After not having a garden for five years, Ed and I were finally able to plant a small vegetable garden this past Monday. Not only was the weather perfect, but our local Home Depot was having a major sale on plants and soil. We just had one problem: we rent an apartment. While we have access to a big yard and have the permission to build garden beds, neither one of us really want to do all of that work on someone else’s property. We also don’t want to spend a whole lot of money on something that we technically don’t own or can’t take with us when we move. So what’s an apartment dwelling gardener to do?
Plant in plastic storage bins, of course! Our landlord already gave us two 54 gallon bins that were left over from the previous owners. They’re dirty and in rough shape, so they’re perfect to use as planters. I did mention that Home Depot had a pretty awesome sale this weekend, didn’t I? We were able to snag two more 54 gallon bins for our garden for a good price. Sixteen bags of container soil and sixteen plants later, we have a great vegetable garden that is both spacious and portable. The best part about using the bins is that we can cover them after the growing season. Our plan is to let the soil dry out then cover the bins and then cover everything with a tarp to keep the ice and snow from breaking the plastic.
Before we added the soil to the bins, we drilled ten, 3/4 inch holes in the bottoms to drain the excess water. The soil that we used is organic and specifically made for container gardening. I’m toying with the idea of adding earthworms to the containers, but Ed said they’ll all die in the winter. I also want to start composing our organic waste in a compost bin full of worms that I’ll keep in my foyer, which is cool and dark. Of course, I’ll have to do some research before I do anything. I could just turn the soil and add organic fertilizer/compost next spring.
We planted two types of tomato plants that are specifically bred for container gardening — two Patio tomatoes and Husky Cherry tomatoes. We planted three zucchinis, two types of cucumbers — Bush and Boston Pickling, two sweet basil, two Thai basil, and two lemon thyme. We have packets of lettuce seeds, but we need another bin. A long squat planter will do the trick.
As you can see from the above photo, I’m THRILLED to have a garden again. Gardening means pickling, cooking, and good health. It’s a fun activity that Ed and I do together. Ed is already talking about all of the zucchini muffins and cookies, salads, pickles, and other dishes that I’ll be making all summer. YUM!
Let a bliss-filled summer begin!