The Rookie Urban Farmer: Container gardening is really easy you guys

This weekend, I really needed a break from my computer screen. So, for such much needed outdoor therapy, I decided to make the easiest, smallest container garden and share the DIY steps with you all.  For me, the easiest kind of garden to maintain has been the oh-so-simple container garden box. They are inexpensive to make and super easy to maintain. And by adding wheels to my boxes, I’m able to move around my container as the weather changes (during last week’s heat wave, I hid my boxes in the shade!). Here are the easy DIY steps to create your own container box garden!

• Simple cedar garden box (at least 12″ deep)
Other good options are to use old wine boxes or old drawers.
• Drill and drill bits
• Compost (worm castings, malibu compost, or homemade)
• Edible starts (or start your own… but more on that later!)SUPPLIES NOT PICTURED
Drainage materials (non-metal window screening, pieces of broken clay flowerpot, small rocks, etc.)
Potting soil
Watering can

1. Get your supplies ready.
2. Choose the right drill bit for your screw.
3. Place the back of the wheel on the bottom of the box (you want one wheel in each corner). I like to use a hammer to lightly secure the screw in the correct place before I start drilling.
4. Drill in your wheels!

5. Your box should have holes at the bottom for drainage (if it doesn’t, you’ll need to drill a few holes). Line the bottom of the container box to block the holes so that you don’t lose a lot of soil or water. While rocks work, it is best to line the bottom with something that blocks the holes but still allows the soil to breathe. I recommend plastic window screening, a breathable felt, or pieces of broken clay pots.

6. Fill up your container with high quality organic soil half-way, and then mix in your soil amendment. An amendment will give your plants the extra nutrition they need (I highly recommend E.B. Stone’s worm castings or Malibu compost). Mix in the compost with the last few layers of soil.

Next add your edible starts. “Pop” the starts from their container by pushing the bottom of the individual start, and if you need to, let gravity help by turning them upside down. If they’ve been in small containers for a while, they might be “root bound”. If that’s the case, you should use your fingers to break up the roots a bit so that they are ready to settle in to their new home. Make a hole in the new container to accept it. Place the start in the hole and, gently, firm the soil around the roots by pushing the soil down with your fingers. You want the roots to be secure.

7.  Once your starts are in, pat the dirt around them so that they are nice and compact. Add more soil around the start and continue to push the soil down to keep the it secure!

8.  Water the plants to help roots establish themselves in their new home! You may need to add more soil once you water. Make sure to water each day and keep the soil nice and moist.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave them below in the comments.

Happy gardening!

-The Rookie Urban Farmer

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