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4 Reasons to Consider Gardening in Containers

One of the newest trends is gardening in containers. This is not to be confused with container gardening but is growing vegetables and herbs in containers.

One of the main things that keep people from gardening is space. Compared to previous times people have far less yard area. Because of this, some have started to grow herbs and vegetables in containers and had good success. The only issue is when this first began, people would tend to do only one thing, like only one type of lettuce, etc. But as time has gone on, this practice has changed and people have started to get fancier with what they plant.

Not only are they using different types of greens, but they are also using different colors too. Now, not only do these containers not look plain, but they are worth growing even if you do not use the vegetables in them. Or if you do use them, you can grow them without missing the annuals that you would have planted there.

Here are 4 reasons why should consider growing vegetables in containers:

  1. It is nice to have fresh vegetables and herbs:

    Vegetables and herbs are a great addition to any meal, but you can’t beat fresh ones and you can’t beat homegrown. Not only are they tastier, they are also healthier.

  2. They are easy to grow:

    Growing herbs and vegetables in containers is really easy. All that needs to be done is watering, harvesting, and maybe a little trimming.

  3. It adds interest to your patio:

    Containers add interest to your patio or yard. They can be used to break up an area or fill an empty spot. Regardless of where you put them, they will brighten up your patio.

  4. They look good:

    Let’s face it, another good reason to grow herb and vegetables in containers is that they look good. A quick search will give you far more ideas than you need to create many different combinations.

Have you ever tried container gardening or can you think of another reason why you should garden in containers? Comment below.

Square Foot Gardening

Spring means planting season in Central Pennsylvania and it’s a time of year when the ground awakens and locals dream of beautiful gardens filled with color and hearty vegetables. Farmers are out walking the fields and gardeners grow restless with anticipation of the coming season. Whether our customers come in by engine or buggy, everyone is asking the same big question- “What can I plant now?“

The spring season in Lancaster County is often difficult to decipher. Days in March awaken to a frost and thaw out to an average of 55°F. Our evenings tend to drop down below 40 and often land in the 30’s. For that reason, frost is a concern in the horticulture world and can be fatal to freshly planted seedlings that are not protected from these extreme temperature ranges. Plants that are not cold tolerant will show signs of stress and may experience irreparable harm.

Luckily, the natural world is a beautiful and tolerant place that offers hardy plants the ability to adapt and grow in even the most unpredictable days of spring.

So come to Ken’s Gardens and fill the wagon with an assortment of cold tolerant plants waiting to feel the touch of morning sunshine.

cold-tolerant-wagon

Ken’s Gardens has cold tolerant seedlings on the self and currently recommends the following cold tolerant vegetables:

  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrot
  • Hardy Herbs
  • Lettuce
  • Mustards
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Radish
  • Swiss chard

Our complete vegetable inventory for 2016 can be found here.

 

However, not all seedling varieties are on the shelves. Mid-April will bring the release of our entire Tomato collection and May will start the beginning of our early summer vegetables. We greatly appreciate your patience as we grow from seed to seedling.

Our Ronk’s location has the perfect example of how a garden can look when planted in early March. Sitting in front of our green roof shed is a 4×4 square foot box. This garden style is called “Square Foot Gardening”. It’s a simple approach to gardening and utilizes every inch for efficient growing, leaving behind the space waste of row gardening.

green roof & square foot garden

 

This box of cold tolerant annuals and vegetables were planted on March 8th, 2016. It was as EASY as 1-2-3. Here’s how we did.

Berry Good Lunch Live Cooking Demo

 

Berries aren’t just for breakfast! Come bring your friends and coworkers to taste seasonal blueberry & raspberry dishes during your lunch hour as they are prepared live with cook, author and storyteller Jonathan Bardzik on Friday, May 1st from 11:00 am – 1:30 pm at Ken’s Gardens 2467 Old Philadelphia Pike Smoketown PA.

Jonathan, a featured presenter at historic Eastern Market in Washington DC, will prepare five hot and cold berry dishes with farm-fresh ingredients and share his techniques for cooking with local food. Take home free recipe cards, tips for growing healthy and delicious berries from the BrazelBerries Collection for your patio or garden. We will also have a huge selection of pottery that will be on sale that weekend.

 

 

Ken's Gardens Newsletter 2015 Brazel Berry-page-0 Ken's Gardens Newsletter 2015 Brazel Berry-page-1

 

 

 

Indoor Herb Garden Tips

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Chives

Very easy to grow, chives are a member of the onion family and are used to flavor soups, potatoes and eggs. The linear leaves should be trimmed when they reach 4 inches, and frequently afterward.

Start from seed or divide an existing clump and plant directly in soil.

 

Dill

Though short-lived, dill’s tangy leaves make it a good winter candidate. Plant the seeds thickly, about 20 per pot. Trim the entire plant once leaves reach 3 inches tall, and frequently thereafter. Toss at season’s end. Start from seed.

 

Lavender

Opt for Hidcote or Munstead varieties for easy growth, plus flowers and fragrance that last all winter long. Good drainage is essential; lavender is prone to root rot. Remove flowers as they fade. Start from crown division or buy a starter plant.

 

Mint

Choose a variety with a fragrance profile you prefer: peppermint, chocolate or even apple with its fuzzy, grayish leaves. Mint spreads abundantly outside, but works well in a container with regular trimming. Start from seed or cutting.

 

Oregano

Varieties of this hardy perennial like well-drained soil and low humidity. Snip sprigs when the plant grows several inches tall; keep trimming to promote growth. Plant from a crown division or starter plant.

 

Parsley

This is another plant that grows easily inside. Eating parsley aids digestion and reduces inflammation. Transplant it outside come spring, and you’ll attract swallowtail butterflies. Plant from seed.

 

Rosemary

Trim the leaves and flowering tops of this needled herb to flavor fish and meat or infuse aromatic oils and soaps. The Herb Society of America recommends cutting stems above any woody growth and avoiding dry, brown or yellowing leaves. Plant from cutting or seed.

 

Sage

This dense, hardy plant will come back year after year. Use green leaves in poultry dishes. Avoid cutting woody stems and remove flowers to encourage growth.

Plant from seed (a three-month process) or use a crown division.

 

Sweet basil (Genovese)

You can use the leaves and seeds of this leafy green often associated with Italian dishes. The Herb Society of America recommends pruning it when it has three to five sets of full-size leaves to maximize growth. Start from seed or cutting.

 

Thyme

Versions of this herb grow tall or spread wider to form a mat that “trails nicely” over a pot’s lip. Versions like lime, lemon, coconut or the more common Italian can perfume a room with just the touch of a hand. Crown division or buying a starter to transplant.

*The above tips are from KIMBERLY MARSELAS | LNP CORRESPONDENT*