container garden

alOha Everyone ; ) 

  Sunday was a special day for many reasons.   1.) We had family in town from the southern, hot-as-Hades part of AZ.   2.) There was an amazing solar eclipse that cast the most bizarre sun-moon shadow on everyone's houses (see below).   3.) It was a new moon black sky night, perfect for star gazing, and   4.) We finally planted some tasty organic food !! 

   The soil up here in the mountains isn't the most hospitable place to plant delicate baby roots - the mineral content is off, and seeing as though we're strapped for space (we used to have plants in the broken air conditioning ducts on the Winnie's dashboard) but now we're crop sharing with my brother and his wife on the sunny side of their house. After contemplating tilling up and conditioning the soil vs. building wooden planter boxes and creating our own perfect atmosphere .. we were turned onto this simple bucket endeavor ; )  

Lotta buckets ... all their own mini specialized gardens - perfect for its occupant. 

   All of these weeds had to go, but with many helping hands, we had a blank slate here in a matter of minutes ; )

   After drilling drain holes in the bottom of these 5 gallon buckets (the herbs will live in 2 gallon buckets) we shoveled in a thin layer of gravel to help in the draining process, and keep more of our mineral rich soil from washing out. 

   This is the black-gold bedding for our soon to bee flowering Spring show .. the local nursery, Warners, makes their own perfect blended organic soil, and mixed in on a 3 to 1 ratio, we supplemented with some poultry compost ; )  

   We loaded all 20 buckets (more on the way) with the dense farm-scented soil and then positioned them in the sunniest part of the yard.

   And in come the stars !! Watermelons, cantaloupe, peppers, heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, pickling cucumbers, white cucumbers, mint, parsley, basil, rosemary and more ; )

   This little bell pepper was super cute, but we made the call to snip it, so the plant could pull as much nutrients for a healthy stock and leaves, and save the fruiting for later ; ) We all nibbled a taste of the first offering from our happy plants!

   As you can see, part of this melon vine was a little sad that it had to sit in such a small pot in the nursery, and it drooped and withered .. but after Juwels tucked it into its new home and sang it to sleep, we woke up to find it all puffed up and full of life !!

   We gave everything a little bath, and then decided to wrap the cluster of plants up in some old bed sheets for the night. The night time temperature was supposed to be pretty mellow, even though we can still get a deadly freeze as late as June 15th (?!) way up here at 7000 feet, but for their first night away from the nursery greenhouse, we couldn't help but baby them. (there's actually 22 mile an hour winds outside the studio as I type this, and we're rushing to tape up some final boxes, so we can make a trip down the hill to drop off some orders and check in on our girls..)

   Juwels found a trick for growing stronger tomato plants .. when planting, it's suggested to trim off the bottom two branches and then burry the stem to the level where they once were. New roots will spread out along the stem and anchor the plant extra secure and help pull more goodies form the soil ; ) We'll see ..

Rosemary and Basil. 

   This is the Chocolate Mint .. seek this one out - super tasty and refreshing. Can't wait to steep this as tea or throw a handful in a big bowl of salad ; )

   Although these tomatoes don't look worthy of being caged .. soon they'll be monsters. Anyone who's grown happy tomatoes knows that they'll really reach up and offer you a bounty of juice red goodness as the summer wears on. We're ready!

   Okay, that's all - time to go check on our babies.

  happy growing, love, love,


   Here's a little snap of the sun/ moon shadows. I saw these on a house across the way, wispy Dr. Seuss looking things, and commented to my mom about what tree could have been casting such a shadow .. but then later in the car, I saw this same pattern everywhere. It was an odd an beautiful solar graffiti .. almost more impressive than the eclipse itself for its scattered frequency.

   And at the end of that drive, in our tiny downtown with people staring at the sun on every street corner, the family sat at this fine restaurant for some yum yum. Great day ; )


  1. What a great idea...and one I am very likely to use sometime. Thinking about a move and won't likely have a big garden space like here. Thanks for the inspiration!!

  2. Thanks : ) The bucket thing is so easy .. and you can pick them up for under 4 bucks each..

  3. Great idea! We live in a condo , with limited space, Happy Growing!!!

  4. Awesome! I am inspired again. I live in an apartment and have a small balcony. My only problem is that it only receives sun light until 11:00 am. Do you fertilize the herbs and vegetable plants?

  5. alOha Lola ; )

    We are using some organic fertilizer ... poultry compost (chickenShit) and a kelp sea weed one, too. Lack of light could be an issue - on that we just had, and we had sun from 9am till 1:30 .. but tomatoes need almost 8 hours, same with mellon. But just ask the ppl at your local nursery .. I know you can do herbs well in partial light ; )

    Good luck, love,