Gardening to Gains Pt. 2

Todays article we’ll get into some of the equipment you’ll need to make your GainsGarden a reality.   To refresh, we’re focusing on container growing for the many benefits it affords, namely space.

  1. CONTAINERS! A bevy of options are available for any type of growing and any type of budget.  Big box both on and offline sell them.  We picked up $20 self watering garden beds1 from Lowes.  These are great because the are self watering and need minimal upkeep.   Galvanized troughs, terra cota pots,  hell a kiddy pool can be used if you’re so inclined.   Just make sure they have an overflow drain, puddling water and lead to root rot and loss of crops.
  2. SEEDS! You’ll be overwhelmed with the volume and variety at your local home store.  However, they are usually well organized and easy to navigate.  There’s always the option to explore the internets.  We picked up a variety pack on AMAZON for the cheap2.  Stick to “Heirloom” varieties.  They provide you with the best end product.
  3. DIRT! Now this will depend on your plants individual needs.  But normally wil break down into 3 categories,  soil, fertilizer and moisture retainer.  Now for containers “Potting Mix” is essential.  Because your container will not contain the same ecosystem as the natural ground, you’ll need a different medium.  Garden soil and potting soil will compact and not allow for a healthy root system.  Also they are not great a water retention which is necessary in a container.   For example, our Patio Pickers need a medium that will allow water to be wicked up from the bottom reservoir to the roots.  We picked a mix3 from Walmart that was condensed which made it very easy to transport.
  4. WATER! This will vary based on the container you choose but is a crucial element to a successful crop.  Direct watering will be the most labor intensive self watering will of course require the least effort.  Other options include soaker hoses and drip irrigation.  Water will also depend on the plants themselves and your climate.  Here in the south, we get tons of rain in the summer, so watering will mostly be passive.   Whichever system you choose, make sure you pick the one that makes it easiest for you.  This will insure you keep up on it.
  5. TOOLS! Some simple tools you may find handy while growing your garden.
    1. Nitrile gloves: cheap and durable. Will keep your hands in good shape when mixing soil and fertilizers.  As well as having a barrier from chemicals.
    2. Watering Can: again CHEAP, will make watering easy if you don’t have access to a hose.
    3. Hand Cultivator: Sold everywhere.  Will make turning soil and aerating a breeze.
    4. Scissors: you’ll need them for pruning and harvesting.  Dedicate a pair to your garden.. Nothing special needed, just good and sharp.
    5. Hose Attachment: get one with a “rain” option that would wash out your soil.

As we go we will add more tools and tips that we come across to help the process easier.  With minimal investment you can set yourself up for continuous cultivation.

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