No ground? No problem
Growing season is soon upon us, and though the city of Eau Claire has plenty of green space, many college students, including me, find themselves with a distinct lack of growing space.
But if you’re stuck on cultivating that green thumb, there is a way to build a garden without tearing up a lawn: container gardens.
Really, you can grow plants in virtually anything that will hold soil and has holes for draining extra water — clay pots, plastic pails, ceramic bowls, baskets lined with garbage bags, even used K-cups — individual coffee serving containers — for seedlings. It’s only bounded by your imagination, and it gives you a chance for some pretty creative recycling.
- Make sure your pots have enough holes for drainage. A hole ½ inch in diameter usually does the trick, but you should also line the pot with newspaper to
- prevent soil loss.
- Allow room for the roots to grow. Using too small of a container will choke the roots and dry out the soil. You can start seeds in small containers, but you’ll need to transplant them to a bigger space after a week or so.
- Put your containers in a place where they’ll get plenty of sun. Most plants require at least a few hours
- of sunlight.
- Use cheap plastic containers, such as milk jugs or K-cups, long-term. These are fine for starting seedlings, but they can deteriorate after spending too much time in sunlight.
- Over-water your plants. Most herbs need damp soil, but a lot of plants, such as tomatoes, can be easy to over-water. For those plants, wait until the soil is dry until you water them again.
- Use just any dirt. While you’ll probably get some results, your plants will turn out much better and much healthier if you use potting soil or, even better, compost.