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How to Plant a Tub Garden

Anne Raygil is a small town-girl learning all about life on the farm.

In today's world it is really nice to have a hobby or activity that you can do to easy your mind from the stressors of everyday life, and what better way to do that than by gardening! Not only do you get some solace from the world but you get fresh vegetables too!

Container gardening is a great way to start gardening because you can start small and it isn't as labor intensive as having to till and plant a traditional garden.

The start of our container garden

The start of our container garden

This past summer I helped my mom plant a container garden, and if you don't know what that is; a container garden is a bunch of containers, think pots, that you plant your vegetable plants in, instead of planting them in the ground. The process was a little less time consuming than a traditional garden and we got a decent amount of produce from our twelve little tubs. Keep reading as I explain how we did it and what we learned, so that you can plant your own container garden this spring!

Step 1: Get some containers.

You can't have a container garden without containers, right? The containers can be anything as long as they're big enough. Being on a cattle farm we had access to a lot of empty mineral tubs which hold about 15 gallons of water and are made of sturdy plastic. Once you have your containers make sure there are holes in the bottom for drainage. We just used a drill to punch four or five small holes in the bottom.

Step 2: Find a good spot for your containers

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You need a place with a decent amount of sun and enough space for all of your containers. We put ours behind our garage since there was a good sun spot there and it was still close to the house. We placed ours straight in the yard in a rectangular formation. One problem we had with this was that the weeds in between the tubs grew up a lot which made it look pretty messy and it was hard to weed eat around the tubs. If you don't want a lot of maintenance, then I would suggest putting a tarp under all the tubs to keep weeds and grass from growing up.

Step 3: Fill your tubs

You'll want to fill your tubs with good soil and some type of fertilizer to help out your plants. We used dirt that we had on the farm and a little bit of cow manure for our fertilizer and sandwiched them which seemed to work well. If you don't have access to either of those you can always buy some dirt or fertilizer from a farm or garden store. You'll want to make sure the tubs are almost all the way full so the plants have enough access to nutrients.

Step 4: Pick your plants and plant them

Almost any type of plant will work in your containers. Things like melons or vine-y plants won't do too well since the containers are raised and the vines might have problems spreading. We tried planting peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, zucchini, and yellow squash. We got crop from all of them but the peppers and tomatoes did the best.

Planting is pretty self explanatory, you just dig a little hole, pop your plant in, (we used all seedlings, no seeds) cover it with dirt and give it a healthy drink of water.

Step 5: Let them grow!

This is the best part, give your plants time to flourish, and soon you'll have lots of goodies to eat! Just make sure you check on them almost daily and give them water when it hasn't rained in a while, and make keep weeds out of your containers (we didn't have much problem with this at all).

Once your vegetables are ready pick them and enjoy!

Overall, it was a pretty easy process and not too labor intensive, and we had a pretty good crop for our first try. Definitely something we will be doing next year.

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