Container Garden Update: Vegetable Production Continues Well into Late Summer

by Gina Blitstein · 0 comments

This summer I’ve been growing vegetables in containers and reporting on my garden’s progress. Container gardening is a frugal alternative for those without sufficient or appropriate space for a traditional vegetable garden. In case you’d like to follow along with my adventures from the beginning, previous articles on this subject are, No Space to Grow Vegetables? Try Container Gardening as a Frugal AlternativeFrugal Container Vegetable Gardening in Action and Container Garden Update: the Bounty Begins!

As we near September, my garden has been in full-swing for a month or more, producing a great bounty of vegetables. First the leafy greens – spinach and lettuce – appeared, along with their fellow cool-weather friends, radishes and green onions in June. Next came the green beans and jalapeños along with the herbs – parsley, oregano, chives, cilantro, basil, sage, thyme and marjoram in July. For the past few weeks, it has been a tomato, zucchini and summer squash extravaganza around here. Fortunately, I was prepared for the bounty of tomatoes and have been putting them to good use so none of them have gone to waste.

But even with all its production thus far, the garden is far from done. In mid-July, I planted another batch of green beans. Their growing season is short enough to fit in two harvests in a summer. I’ll already be harvesting some of this “fall crop” within a few days. With the arrival of mid-August, I planted some additional seeds that, because they prefer a cooler growing temperature, will yield produce well into the autumn, including lettuce, spinach, radishes, green onions and carrots. Already all these new plantings have sprouted and are off to a vigorous start. Bear in mind, I’ve used the second half of the seed packets I originally purchased in May for this fall planting so I’m still operating within my ever-so-frugal budget of $100 for all my gardening supplies purchased this season, which included seeds, seedlings and potting medium. The containers I used were ones I already had on hand or were items I’d repurposed into planters, like cat litter buckets and old dresser drawers. The only other expense of vegetable gardening has been water – and I’ve been offsetting its cost in two ways:

  1. Mindfully saving/reusing water from the house. Instead of dumping the cat’s water bowl or what’s left in a glass down the drain, I save it in a pitcher that I use to water my containers. I’ve also used water I’ve used for boiling eggs – most any unsalted cooking water can be put to use in the garden.
  2. Keeping a rain bucket in the garden. It’s been dry this last month but when we do get some precipitation, the bucket collects any rainfall so I can use it to water my containers.

Although these solutions are a far cry from providing all the water my garden needs, they are helping to keep the water bill from getting out of control.

I’m certainly not an experienced gardener but what I didn’t already know, I researched on the good ol’ Internet and all my questions have been answered. Questions like, “How do I know when my Green Zebra heirloom tomatoes (which are still green when mature) and my Kentucky Beefsteak heirloom tomatoes (which are orange when mature) are ripe?” And, why isn’t my zucchini making any fruit? Yep, all asked and answered.

Container gardening has been an exciting, frugal and productive pastime this year. I highly recommend you try it yourself; it lends itself – at least to some degree – to nearly every housing situation.

Have you tried container vegetable gardening?

Bonus Tip:

You can seriously cut your Internet and TV costs. Find a Verizon FiOS promotion code here and you might be able to spend less every month.

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