My advice to new gardeners is to start small. It’s easy to purchase too many things, then become overwhelmed with their planting and upkeep. Two good rules are to plan where each plant will go first and not buy more at any one time than you can plant in a weekend. Pick low-water flowers like California poppy varieties, or veggies that you like that taste significantly better when home grown. For example, tomatoes off the vine taste better than just about anything you can buy. Basil can be used throughout the season with the tomatoes as well as frozen for winter, and is easy to grow, so is another good choice. Snails and slugs love it too, but you can literally foil them by growing basil in pots that are wrapped with a strip of self-adhesive copper foil. Lettuce and other greens are also best fresh from the garden, and it’s easy to grow most, including container-friendly varieties.
|This Year's Seeds...so far|
Renee’s container-friendly seed list includes carrots, celery, eggplant, radishes, and peppers, plus the usual greens and herbs. You’ll also see not-traditionally container-friendly flowers like sunflowers, cosmos, dahlias and larkspurs. I’m going to plant “Super Bush” tomatoes and “Container Zucchini.” Anyone who has tried growing zucchini in a container can testify that, contrary to popular belief, zucchini will not grow everywhere.
My “pot” garden will be mostly herbs this year: chives, French thyme, Italian basil, oregano, sage and parsley, slow-bolt cilantro, Dukat dill, plus a French perfume lavender. (My marjoram survived the winter.) For bedding plants I’m adding kneehigh cosmos and flashback calendulas (white backs “flash” in the breeze) to a bed where other calendulas bloom profusely. Then, I broke my first rule of gardening and purchased two seeds that I have no idea where to put (see how easy that is?). But what gardener cook could resist Pepperbox and Hungarian Breadseed poppies, which in addition to looking lovely can be dried for culinary poppyseeds?
Feel free to post any seed sources and beginning gardening information that you might have. I'm also interested in composting information.