Flower garden in an old grill

     The majority of our Grow Appalachia participants have at least a small (in ground) garden at their home, and some have very large gardens, but, we also have several participants who do not have the yard space for any garden at all, so they have taken enthusiastically to raised beds and container gardening. We have also accumulated quite a few “potted” plants at our house at the settlement school that we could not fit in our garden. So, I thought it might be interesting to provide a little bit of information about container gardening and some ideas that might be helpful for those of you who are always trying to find ways to plant more.
     You can really get creative with the types of containers that you use for growing flowers, herbs, and vegetables, so many things can be repurposed to create a wonderful garden. When choosing your containers some important things to keep in mind are adequate drainage, appropriate size for specific plant, treatment (make sure wood has not been chemically treated), and quality of material (how will it hold in rain and sun). The following list is just a few suggestions but there are many more possibilities (an internet search for creative container gardens, will give you tons of options).
using an old sap bucket for flowers


Bags (non-plastic)
Garbage cans
Wooden bins (use recycled shipping pallets)
Water troughs
     Growing vegetables in containers can be a great option because it provides protection against disease and weeds. But buying lots of potting soil, compost, etc. can get pretty expensive, the ideal way to start your plants in container gardens would be to make your own dirt as explained by KC in this earlier post:
However if you cannot find topsoil or create your own dirt here is a good “recipe” for filling your containers with store bought materials:
Container gardening soil recipe
Tomatoes and peppers in buckets given to
us by a GA participant
1 part perlite
1 part moisture-retentive filler such as shredded coconut fiber or peat moss
1 part all-purpose potting soil
1 part compost or composted cow manure
     Most vegetables can be grown in containers, but some are easier than others and will require less space, we even have one participant growing potatoes in a container.  Here is a list of plants that tend to do well in containers and don’t require quiet as much space.
Swiss chard

 *Plants such as tomatoes and pepper will need a deeper container to allow room for roots to grow

Maggie and Joyce
Discussing what to grow in a raised bed garden
Raised beds for a front yard garden