Boomer Generation gardeners, here is a great article from guest blogger, Galen Williams. –
Edible Container Garden
Growing a winter garden can be immensely rewarding and even though it is already November there is still time to plant. Friends will be amazed at your green thumb when you are harvesting greens through the winter months. Depending on your location a greenhouse or cold frame may not be necessary. If you are in a maritime or other mild climate you are probably in luck. A very simple edible garden can be created in a container to place on your patio or deck.
1. First obtain a 3-5 gallon or larger pot.
2. Add an inch of gravel or broken clay pieces to the bottom for drainage and fill with potting soil to within 1 inch of the rim.
3. Sprinkle seeds on the surface of the soil then cover with ~1/4 inch of remaining potting soil.
4. Wet the soil with a fine mist and keep moist for 2 weeks.
5. For fastest germination place the pot inside someplace at least 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit then transition outside when plants are about 1 inch high.
At this point you are probably asking, what do I plant? It is important to plant edibles that can withstand winter temperatures, no tomato plant will survive snow much less be productive in such conditions. Winter greens are perfect for this type of garden as they grow quickly and can stand cold temperatures. Kale, Swiss chard and maché (corn salad, lamb’s lettuce) compliment each other well for a winter container garden. Maché is low growing while Kale and Swiss chard are more upright which allows the use of the maximum amount of container space.
Kale and Swiss chard are great for use in fresh salads (the young leaves are best) as well as soups and stews (mature leaves). I recommend Fizz or Russian red kale, fordhook giant or rainbow chard and large seeded Dutch maché as varieties that do well in a winter garden. Some varieties of kale even become sweeter after a frost.
Practice taking outer leaves first to prolong the harvest period. One of the great features about a winter garden is that you will spend almost no time watering after the germination period since winter is typically a rainy time of year. Enjoy your edible container garden and check out www.ediblegardennw.com/plants for more specific information about growing edible plants.
About the author: Galen Williams is the creator of www.ediblegardennw.com and is an avid edible gardening enthusiast.