Tuesday, January 18, 2011

From the Beginning...

Hi, I'm Erin Bennett in south Louisiana and last summer I created my very first self-watering container and started my very first garden ever. It was mostly a self-watering container garden.


Because I didn't want to till the ground. I didn't want to weed. But mostly because I had been reading off and on about self-watering containers and was curious about them. So I thought, why not?

It turned out to be much better than I could have anticipated! And it was so fun and easy!

After my summer garden, I planted a fall garden, which has also done better than I expected. And now I'm in the process of planning my Spring 2011 garden! Well, the seeds anyway.

Before I start going into detail about my spring garden, let me show you some pictures from my Summer 2010 and Fall 2010 gardens, including my strawberry patch. I didn't take any pictures while I was putting together my containers, but I will do a better job with that this spring.

My Summer Garden:

These were my glorious tomatoes! Now, I admit that I over planted the containers and didn't know about pruning the tomato plants. But what could be more fun than having this glorious jungle of tomato plants as your first crop!?

This was my first lettuce. I have to admit it didn't taste very good for some reason. I'm still learning. But it was beautiful and fun to grow. :-)

I planted my cucumbers and cantaloupes in the same pot - mainly because I wanted them both to climb the trestle. I won't ever do that again! I didn't know they would cross-pollinate and I would end up with meloncumbers that would taste just terrible.

This is my broccoli from my fall 2010 garden. It was the most tender broccoli you have ever eaten! Unbelievably delicious! There are 6 plants in the 44 gallon container. And broccoli drinks a LOT of water. I didn't realize just how much broccoli I would continue to get from the plants even though I had picked the main harvest from each plant. It continues to put out little sprigs of broccoli all over the plants and we are still eating it 2 months after I thought the harvest would be over.

I had my own cabbage for New Years! Grown by my own little hands. And was able to share with neighbors and friends! Nothing better, let me tell you.

I didn't plant my strawberries in self-watering containers. I purchased 5 - 10 foot pipes from Lowes that already had 3 rows of holes in the "bottom" of the pipes. Then I cut a trench in the top of the pipes, lined the bottom holes with ground cover, so the dirt wouldn't wash out and planted my strawberries in them. I strapped them to 2 sawhorses and planted 45 plants. I think I've lost 3 plants, but otherwise they are doing great.

The strawberry plants started out as little clots of plants with no leaves and just roots. I actually asked the person I was buying them from if they were alive. But as you can see, they've put out some beautiful leaves and I'm now starting to get blossoms. Although I don't expect to get strawberries until March or so because the frosts will kill the blossoms.

Well, there are lots more pictures, but I don't want to focus on what was done in the past. I'm going to start focusing on the step-by-step process of my new spring garden.

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  1. I am impressed and excited for you! Maybe I will learn a lot from you and use it at my future small home. Love love love strawberries, jealous me...

    If the lettuce was left to long toward the heat of summer it can taste bitter.

  2. What a neat way to garden! Thanks for starting this blog.

  3. I've tried container gardening but not self watering. I'm going to do more container gardening this spring and will follow your blog. Thanks!

  4. Great ideas! Excited to try this out. Not sure about the type of containers and the PVC pipe in them but will follow your blog to find out. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Erin
    I noticed your post on An Herb Garden. I don't have a lot of time to garden, but I have used self watering containers for years. They are great, of course I've had to buy mine.

    I admire your sense of adventure. I became discouraged last year because my plants got some sort of bug or disease.

    I really feel we need to grow and store our harvest because of the mess our country is in. I'm going to be following your progress.



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