Confession: As a vegetable gardener, I'm pretty pathetic. We used to have a 12' x 15' vegetable garden at the back of our property (about 200 feet from our house and down a somewhat steep hill). With the weeding and watering, our excitement every spring for growing our own peppers and tomatoes faded quickly, leaving us with a less than flourishing garden. Several years back, we gave in, realizing that, even though we have plenty of room for a 'proper' garden, we just weren't 'proper' garden people. We made the switch to container gardening and have never looked back. And the ironic thing? My one or two peppers and tomato plants invariably produce more every year than they ever did in my garden. Why? Because I can baby them. I keep watch over them in pots on my deck and I've even branched out to a little container of strawberries on the southeast side of my house that are doing wonderfully. So, as you can tell, I'm a big fan of small-space gardening, which was why I was so excited to see Andrea Bellamy's recent title Sugar Snaps and Strawberries: Simple Solutions for Creating Your Own Small-Space Edible Garden.
In the book, Andrea takes us through the entire process of gardening edibles in containers and other small spots. From assessing our space (including managing common site problems), to preparing a container for planting, to deciding what you should grow, to pest control and to harvesting, she has everything covered for us to have successful gardens, sans the acreage.
My favorite part of the book has to be the "Edibles from A to Z" reference section, which includes not only vegetables but fruits and herbs too. In it Andrea tells us how to go about getting the best out of each plant/tree covering such things as when to start them, what kind of containers to use, where to position the containers and common problems (insect and disease).
If Andrea's advise wasn't inspiring enough, Sugar Snaps and Strawberries also features the beautiful photography of Jackie Connelly that makes everything look luscious, even dirt!
So, whether you, like me, find 'proper' gardens overwhelming or if you don't have the space, take heart. As Andrea says, "No yard? No problem!" Container gardening is a the solution.
To nab your copy of Sugar Snaps and Strawberries, head on over to Amazon ($14). Also, visit Timber Press to see how you can win a copy of the book along with a garden starter kit But hurry, because the contest closes March 31, 2011.
BONUS: We've covered container gardening before here on The Curb. Here's some great how to's and info that'll get you growing in no time.
- How to make an Upside Down Tomato Planter
- How to Grow Potatoes in a Garbage Can
- The Container Gardening Craze!
- The Littlest Veggie Gardens
- Turn Your Patio or Balcony into a Vegetable Garden