Although getting into gardening does require time and energy, this investment is typically minimal and far outweighed by the relaxation and nutritional benefits it provides.
The size of your yard shouldn’t stop you from growing a garden this year. Here are some fun and fruitful vegetable container garden ideas.
This type of gardening is exactly what its name suggests: growing a garden in containers like pots instead of in the ground. People often grow container gardens because they have limited outdoor space. But it isn’t just for those without a yard. These gardens are ideal for sunny patios, balconies and porches, according to OrganicLife magazine.
Because of Tennessee’s mild climate, you can produce healthy food for much of the year. Indoor containers can efficiently grow food like lettuce and herbs even as the temperature drops during the winter.
A Cornucopia of Benefits
When gardening, you reap a great harvest of health benefits:
- The food you grow is typically fresher and higher in nutrients than store-bought produce.
- You have easy access to healthy produce — simply visit your garden and pick the ripened food you’d like to prepare for your next meal. This way, you’re likely to eat more fruits and vegetables.
- You have control over what goes into the food you grow, so you can avoid toxic gardening chemicals.
- While cultivating your container garden, you enjoy exercise, fresh air and stress reduction by working with your hands.
- It’s less expensive to grow your own food than to buy it from a store. You also save money by eating healthier and minimizing the chances of developing illnesses.
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What You Can Grow
Talk with your local gardening expert or research online to discover which plants would be best to grow in your area.
In much of Tennessee, good options for beginners include lettuce, spinach, collard greens, cabbage, peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes.
Herbs like basil, parsley, cilantro, thyme, dill, oregano, mint and rosemary are excellent starters as well, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, and make great candidates for more diverse container garden plants.
Try using the foods you grow in your container garden for salads, smoothies and stir-fry dishes. Herbs like mint are perfect in therapeutic teas when you’re not feeling well.
It’s relatively simple to gather vegetable container garden ideas. You can buy a book or take a class at a local gardening shop. Or visit a store that sells gardening supplies and ask for tips and instructions.
The supplies you’ll need to get your container garden going will vary based on what and where you decide to grow.
In general, here’s what you’ll need to get started:
- Pots in various sizes
- Hose or watering can
- Tools such as a small shovel
- Gardening gloves
- Seeds or starts (for baby plants)
With all types of food harvests, expect some trial and error. Certain items will grow better than others. As time goes on you’ll learn from both mistakes and successes. Meanwhile, you’ll have begun a rewarding hobby while adding healthy food to your plate. Dig in!
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee members can access wellness-related discounts on fitness products, gym memberships, healthy eating and more through Blue365®. BCBST members can also use tools and resources to help improve health and well-being by logging into BlueAccess and going to the in the Member Wellness Center under the Managing Your Health tab.