Gardening Rookie: Starting Containers

| 7/30/2009 4:25:08 PM

Last spring—my first as a homeowner with my own yard—all I could think about was the garden I wanted to plant. I started flipping through gardening books, looking at seed catalogs and fantasizing about the many edible delights I would harvest in no time. 

And then reality hit. 

Our little backyard was far too shady for a full-fledged garden, and our front yard was dominated by trees and bushes. 

After my initial despair over the fact that I wasn’t going to have my dream garden, I realized I still could have a garden. It just had to take a different shape. Specifically, it would involve pots—lots of pots—on our front walk. 

container gardening
Eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, cucumber, herbs, marigolds and geraniums get their start in the front-yard container garden. Photo By Julie Collins.

So, armed with a random assortment of terra cotta, clay and recycled plastic pots, and a few big bags of organic potting soil, I got to work planting my sidewalk garden. The beauty of container gardening is that it requires less preparation and less space than regular gardening—in other words, it’s pretty darn easy—yet you can yield a terrific harvest.