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08 March . 2018

Harvest some happiness with container gardening

Growing vegetables in containers is a win-win endeavor in the Texas Hill Country, where the soil type is perfect for native plants and flowers, but can be challenging for vegetables.

Container gardening is perfect for gardeners of all ages and skill levels, solving potential problems such as not having enough time to maintain a large garden, or not being able to bend and kneel.

First things first: what is container gardening? It focuses on growing plants in self-contained pots and containers, such as flowerpots, tubs and commercial container systems such as the EarthBox. Raised bed gardens, by contrast, are open to the soil below.

In his Natural Gardener blog, Hill Country garden expert Jeff Durst describes container gardening as a way to get “great results for busy people.”

“For sheer volume, there’s nothing better than an in-ground garden, but labor is significant. Tilling, weeds, pest control... Everything is bigger, including the problems,” he writes.

He says container gardening is the perfect hobby for our busy lives. “Talking with my customers, time is the biggest challenge we all have,” he writes. Check out his blog on container gardening for some easy tips and creative ideas, such as recycling old containers and hanging baskets.

Container gardening also offers flexibility, says Texas Gardeners’ Skip Richter, allowing you to move pots into sunny spots, or up against fences where some veggies can climb.

“Containers are great for a wide variety of vegetable crops. If you get a large container you can grow a good harvest of almost anything,” he writes. “Gardeners in the rocky Hill Country may turn a plant-hostile patch of earth into a great garden.”

For growing in general, the Hill Country Gardener offers these practical tips for every season of the year.

Pollination is key to the success of any gardening project, and Sweetwater residents have an extra advantage, thanks to the community’s partnership with Round Rock Honey. Hundreds of thousands of honeybees reside in the beehives in Sweetwater, providing a sweet annual honey crop and an extra-green thumb for resident gardeners.