I’m starting my first ever garden! My girls expressed interest in learning how to grow their own food, and it’s something I’ve wanted to learn for over a decade. I did a bit of research via books, podcasts, and YouTube, and have compiled all of the things I stocked up on to get started in this post. Here’s what you need to start a small container garden!
What You Need to Start A Small Container Garden
The possibilities are endless when it comes to types of products, and brands of soil, fertilizer, etc, but to keep things simple, I’m going to share what I decided to use in our garden, after lots of research. I would contact your local garden center or nursery if you have any questions about alternate products!
01. Smart Pot Containers
I purchased three of the 20 gallon Smart Pot aerated growing containers. I may eventually grab a raised bed as well, but I wanted to start small and easy. Each 20 gallon container holds 2 bags of the Good Dirt soil (I talk about this in detail below), so I knew I needed six bags of the Good Dirt.
I chose the Smart Pot for my garden because the containers are porous, so they are great for growing fruits and veggies. There isn’t any water build-up at the bottom of the container. Plus, the best part is that instead of roots forming in a circular shape at the bottom, they fill the pot with deep, fibrous roots, that fill the whole soil area. This helps maximize the growth of any plant!
Lastly, I’ve noticed that these pots are extremely durable and lightweight. I love that these 20 gallon containers have handles!
02. Good Dirt Soil
Good Dirt caught my eye not only because the packaging is attractive, and it has a catchy name, but because it’s a living soil. It’s special because it solves to main problems novice gardeners face: aeration and water retention. Good Dirt potting mix lets the roots breathe. I also LOVE that their products are sustainable and come from a zero-waste manufacturing facility.
Here’s a few more things that make Good Dirt special:
- It contains “BogBits” – a proprietary recycled by-product of sustainably harvested peat moss. It provides the permanent porosity that plants need to breathe and roots to thrive.
- It’s Organic-Based Plant Food – oil-seed extract from a zero waste manufacturing plant here in the US that contains all the properties for a seed to germinate, or a plant to grow strong. It feeds the roots and the probiotics in the mix. Our plant food is not petroleum based (most are and it accumulates salt in the soil eventually burning roots).
- It has PlantBiotics – the soil contains the longest list of micro-organisms in the market to help break down enzymes for roots to better absorb the Plant Food and naturally occurring nutrients.
03. Seeds or Seedlings
I am fortunate to have organic veggie start plants (or seedlings) at our local grocery store. Otherwise, I would have to start the plants from seed indoors and then transfer them to my container. Since this is my first time gardening, however, I wanted to keep it simple. I opted for veggie starters. I love that they’re organic.
Here’s what I found at my local grocery store:
-1 green zebra tomato plant
-1 orange straweberry tomato plant
-1 basil plant
-1 california wonder pepper plant
-1 pepper plant
-1 box of rainbow chard seeds (6 total)
-1 dino kale plant
I would also like to grow cucumbers and squash, but I think I’ll start those from seed in a month or so.
I still need to do some research on fertilizer and veganism, but this time I settled on the Vermisterra worm castings mix. I just put a scoop of this in the hole I plant the veggies in, and that’s it.
05. Gardening Tools
I bought a set of gardening tools, grabbed an old plastic watering can I had lying around, and the gardening gloves I bought last summer. This is all the tools I used! Other than a hose and spray nozzle! I’ve opted not to use a drip irrigation system at this point, and will water the plants each morning, if needed, instead!
Next, I’ll share with you how I went about planning the garden space, and planting the seedlings!
I hope this post about what you need to start a small container garden was helpful to you! If you have any questions, let me know!
Thank you so much for reading!
*Good Dirt did provide me with product in exchange for writing this blog post, but all opinions and reviews are completely my own!