Container Gardening

Gardens come in all sizes and container gardening is so easy to do. Don’t have a yard or live in an apartment? Get containers and grow a garden.

Gardens come in all sizes and container gardening is so easy to do. Don't have a yard or live in an apartment? Get containers and grow a garden.

I live on a very small lot and I try to find any way I can to grow veggies and fruit. Our homes are virtually on top of each other and to give you an idea of how small our yard is, it only takes about 15 minutes to push mow it. But, I have learned a few secrets from neighbors on how to grow a garden, make it not look like an obvious garden and also be able to follow rules of our HOA.  One way is with a barrel container.

I have a nice “small” patio on the side of my home next to the kitchen and I decided what a perfect place to put a large planter.  I could grow so much in that small area, easy to harvest and keep watered.  But, I wanted it to also look nice.


I found a really nice half whiskey barrel that did wonders for a few years and I didn’t think when I bought it, the wood and metal rings would eventually fall apart in the weather we have here in Florida.  Eventually, the rings rusted so badly the pot fell apart which meant the barrel fell apart.  You live and learn.  So, on to the best solution.


A plastic version of a half whiskey barrel.  Looks great and won’t fall apart anytime soon and plastic will hold moisture much better in the constant heat and sun. Its been several years now and it looks just as good as it did the day I brought it home.

I do use bagged dirt, for the simple reason, it does make the job easier and I don’t have to haul dirt from somewhere else.  Also, we have a nematode problem and I don’t need those pests in my barrels.  Any brand of bagged dirt will do, but I do prefer using Miracle Grow brand.  It has everything mixed in the soil my plants need to grow healthy.  There is also a moisture control version that I love using in my smaller pots. Be sure to check out their Useful Tools area for tons of great information about your zone area, plant finder, and grass helper.

pot with styrofoam

Container Gardening Hint:  To keep from using way too much dirt (it can be rather costly if you garden a lot), I learned a trick from a garden friend.  Put some styrofoam chunks in the bottom of your pot or barrel and then you won’t have to use so much dirt to fill it up.  It also makes the pot much lighter if you want to move it.  Don’t worry.  The roots are so shallow the won’t make it to the styrofoam.

What seeds do I use?  I have ordered seeds online from catalogs and most of the time I just buy whats at my garden center. I know buying seeds can be rather expensive, but I will let some of my plants go to seed, and that way I can harvest seeds for the future and won’t have to buy any for a while.   I purchase seeds mainly from garden stores and here.

Leaf Lettuce

leaf lettuce

Leaf lettuce is pretty easy to grow and there are many different seed types to get.  Just find out what your planting zone is and that will judge when you can plant cool-weather plants.  I’m a Zone 9, so that means I can plant leaf lettuce from fall into later spring.  I do have a neighbor who plants lettuce all year long!  I couldn’t believe in our Florida heat that was possible, but she just plants on the north side of her home and it stays shaded during most of the day.  She does let some of her plants go to seed for later use.

When you harvest, just cut what you need and most of the time, new leaf shoots will come along from the same plant.  I do stagger my planting of seeds so that I can have many weeks of harvest.  I plant some seeds in half the pot and then a few weeks later, I put a different variety of lettuce on the other side.  To show you how seed varieties are different, both plantings are the same size now even though they were planted weeks apart.  When you feel a plant is done, just pull them up and plant seeds again.

There are so many different things you can grow in a container and I will be showing some of these in the near future.  One of the things I can’t wait to try is sweet corn in a pot.  I saw this variety not too long ago called On Deck Sweet Corn and I will just have to give it a try.  I adore sweet corn!

Container Gardening Collage

There are so many different ways to garden with containers.  I love the colander pot in the picture above.  The holes are already done for you.  You can find out all the information about these containers on my Container Gardening Pinterest board.

Do you garden in containers?  And if so, what do you grow?

You can compost for any size garden. Learn the best way to add much needed nutrients back in the soil the easy way.
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Looking for a way to save money on water and also have enough water for your plants or garden? How about a rain barrel.

Get your hands dirty,


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  1. Love these gardening tips. I would love for you to share this great post at our WIW Linky Party. I hope you can join us.


    1. Thanks for letting me know about the linky party. I will be sure to join in and I added your linky party button to my link page.

  2. I love this post – thank you for sharing it w/ us. I love using containers to garden…..I have used it one year when we were planning to move during the growing season, so planted my garden into 1 gallon buckets and it worked great! We had to move a LOT of those buckets, but we still harvested food even though we had just moved in…
    ….One thing I have used successfully is a wicker basket – just set it on the ground or deck or wherever and fill w/ dirt and plants. It looks beautifully charming and lasts for 1 or 2 seasons b4 needing to be thrown away – I bought mine for 25c at a garage sale, so it was cheap and I had lots of compliments on it.

  3. Tammy,
    Just bookmarked your site. Love it! I think I will take your advice on the rain barrel. I was planning to purchase some this spring for tomato growing. I am a novice gardener myself who has a lot to learn, some of which I will be blogging about. I see we have similar tastes in other areas as well. Come visit sometime 🙂

  4. Just dropping by to say hello via The SITS Girls Comment Love Week. Both our names start with a T so we ended up in the same group! I love gardening too! It is amazing what you can grown in a container garden and container gardens come in all shapes and sizes. I just plant annuals in mine and place them in different locations in my big garden to add a splash of colour and different heights of plants growing. Take Care, Thea

  5. I’m determined to garden, even just a little bit, this year. I actually love the plastic whiskey barrel version! Looking forward to taking some tips from your blog. 🙂
    Visiting from SITS!

  6. OH MY I LOVE THIS! I live in a townhouse with a postage stamp front yard and two decks. I cannot wait to do this, because I have wanted to for years, and with my girls. What a great way to do vegetables and I hadn’t thought of it.

    #CommentLove #SITSBlogging

    1. Thanks for stopping by Vicky. I love using containers for gardening where I live. I also use smaller pots for my herbs. Just walk out my back door, clip off some lettuce and herbs for dinner. So easy!

  7. Tammy, I really enjoyed reading your post for a couple of reasons. I am just TIRED of winter and really needing some sun right about now. Well one way to take my mind off of it is to start thinking about planting seeds. Woo hoo. Also, I just love those half barrels and was looking for one last spring. I did not purchase one, and you have saved me from getting one. Even though I like the look of wood best, the plastic is the better buy since it i will last much longer. Thanks a bunch for sharing.

    1. Thanks for stopping by. I live in Florida and don’t have the winter I’m sure you are having but we still had way too many cold days that we aren’t use to. I hated seeing my wooden barrel fall apart like it did because it looks so neat, but I can’t complain about the plastic one. It really looks nice and does the job. Its been in my yard now about 3 years and hasn’t faded one bit. I got it at the Tractor Supply Store.

  8. I’m in Georgia and I have just started my garden. I finally transplanted my seedlings outside because we’ve had a longer than usual winter. I am looking forward to seeing the fruits of my labor for the first time. Right now everything is still in seedling stage but I am using containers and will be following your Pinterest board!

    1. I lived in Georgia for a few years and never had a garden in the yard. The red Georgia clay kind of creeped me out! *LOL* Didn’t think about mixing good garden dirt with it to make it richer. But I did have a couple of containers with items. Good luck with your garden and I hope to read about it on your blog.

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