Container Garden Fail!

This past spring, I thought it would be a good idea to plant a container garden with the kids.  I thought it would be fun to have the kids help me plant some veggies that we would eventually use to cook with.  I am not a gardener, and don’t have much of a green thumb, so I thought we would go the route of a container garden rather take on the task of big backyard garden.  I am about to show you what not to do when planting a container garden.

I ordered carrot seeds and lettuce seeds, as well as a few containers.  In addition I chose to buy a cucumber plant rather than start from seed.  I did the same for tomatoes.

I am all into using my Cricut, so I dressed up the containers with what the veggie was.  To do this, I used Oracle 651 vinyl.  Oracle 651 is a permanent vinyl and can withstand the outdoor elements.

I am in zone 5, and zone 5 called for planting the lettuce and carrots in May after the danger of frost.  In June, I planted the cucumber and tomatoes.

The twins and I excitedly planted our little garden and tended to it.  We were so excited with how quickly the lettuce started to sprout.  In no time at all, the carrots started to sprout too.  The twins and I made sure that our containers had enough sun and water.  The boys liked doing a “taste test” of the lettuce.  They would pick off a tiny piece and eat it.  We had to thin the carrots out on a regular basis so as to not let the carrots become over crowded.  When that happens it prevents the carrots from growing to their potential.

So what wrong? Well, an animal came and ate all of my lettuce.  I never got the chance to even make a salad.  It was so disappointed because it was growing strong. I could never get it to grow again after that. The cucumber got knocked off the back deck from Maya, our dog.  I had a baby cucumber growing, and that went to waste.  I did get to eat a couple of tomatoes, but I went on vacation and the plant dried out, turned brown, and died on me.  See, I told you I didn’t have a green thumb. My container garden was done with and dead before the end of July.  I gave up and succumbed to the idea that I was not meant to plant a veggie garden.

Last week, I found hope in the idea of trying again.  I had forgotten all about my carrots, and noticed they had not died off on me.  So, I plucked one out and wha la I had carrots.  These were by far the most delicious carrots that I have tasted.  The twins agreed and they got to carrot to picking and eating with me.  I ended up using the carrots to make homemade chicken soup, which by the way was a parent fail.  I added spinach and broccoli into the soup and my family was not having it. What can I say; I guess I am not much of a good cook either.  So, I have started to re-evaluate the idea of a container garden again next summer.

I think that placement of these containers is key.  I will keep the containers higher so as to hopefully prevent a critter from eating my lettuce.  I will definitely find a better spot so that the dog doesn’t know them over.  I think I will plant less lettuce in the container as well.  It may have become overcrowded which prevented new sprouts. I need to plant less carrot seeds as well.  I did get some good carrots but not nearly as large as I would have liked.  Some were tiny, so it was probably overcrowded. I might try to plan the tomatoes from seed rather than a plant.  I think the cucumber would have been ok if Maya didn’t knock it over.  So tell me, what other tips can you share with me so that I have a better farm to table experience next summer?