Think of a garden and you'll probably conjure images of rows of soil, sprawling beds, or raised boxes, all well filled with plants.

These gardens are often found in backyards, neighborhoods, at congregations, and other places where you can dig in the dirt. However, gardens can exist even in the smallest of spaces - even in a milk jug or coffee can! These small gardens are called container gardens, and are planted above-ground in (you guessed it!) containers, rather than in-the-earth. Interfaith partners for the chesapeake Container gardening

Container gardens frequently hold flowers or edible plants and can be placed nearly anywhere where the plant will receive adequate light (and a proper temperatures for its survival). They can be an addition to in-the-ground traditional gardens, or stand-alone gardens themselves. Because container gardens can vary drastically in size, they're an excellent option for individuals who may live in apartments or other housing units where outdoor space is limited. Likewise, they can be used to provide pollinator habitat or growing space in otherwise ungrowable areas, like porches, stoops, or balconies. 

Starting a container garden is simple! First, locate areas with adequate sunlight for the type(s) of plant(s) you'd like to have.  Once you know the species you'd like, determine the size of the container you'll need.  You should plan to adjust your container size as your plant grows. Take into account the root depth of your plant, space requirements, and what soil it might like to grow in. Buying a pot isn't always necessary -  coffee cans work for smaller plants and larger plants can be grown in old buckets or laundry baskets - the choices for your containers are endless! 

To get started container gardening, you'll need:

  • Any container
  • Plant(s) or Seed(s)
  • UV Light Source (can be the Sun!)
  • Potting Soil
  • Water

If you're hoping to jump into container gardening, consider attending the Small Container Planting Workshop on May 20th at Bright Side Baptist Church in Lancaster, PA. The first workshop session, from 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM will focus on container vegetable gardening, and the 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM workshop session will focus on container gardening native plants. 

Do you or your congregation already have a container garden? We'd love to see it! Please feel free to email pictures of your or your congregations container garden to [email protected].