Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Do You Have A Green Thumb?

     It is spring…finally!  This is the time of year when the dirt calls my name prompting me to start a garden and plant colorful flowers on my back deck.  Playing in the dirt is my kind of therapy, being transformed into a young girl planting a vegetable garden with my mom and sisters.  It also brings back many memories of weeding, my least favorite part of gardening. 

     Instead spending time weeding, container gardening is a great way to enjoy growing fresh vegetable in a small area without pesky weeds.  It is great for small spaces, such as a balcony or deck.  This gives you a chance to grow fresh vegetables right outside your door for minimal costs.


(, 2015)

    To grow tomatoes in a container chose a 5-gallon container or bucket, put in several drainage holes, and fill with potting soil (, 2014).  Chose your favorite tomato seed, tomato plant. or a draft hybrid plant that does not grow as high.  Plant the seed or plant in the center of the pot and insert a small wire tomato cage to give the plant support as it grows.  Keep the soil moist to give the best results.  I usually water my containers every other day when temperatures are 70 degrees and every day above 80 degrees.

(Grant, 2015)

    Yes, even cucumbers can be grown in a container on your deck.  Chose a large pot to fill with potting soil. Make sure the pot has several drainage holes, so the extra water can have an exit.  Cucumbers must be planted in soil of at least 70 degrees F.  Plant the cucumber seed at least ½ to 1” deep and water.  Place the pot out of the direct wind, so it won’t blow over in a storm.  Since cucumbers sprawl and generally lay on the dirt, creating a trellis for them to grow is essential.  I purchased small bamboo poles (one pole per cucumber seed) at our local garden discount store, planting the poles 6 inches in the soil and tying them together at the top with garden twine.  Continue keeping the soil moist but not wet throughout germination of the seeds until harvesting season is over. Use a garden scissors to harvest to avoid tearing the cucumber vines when harvesting (Michaels, 2015).

I hope this inspires you to plant some healthy vegetables and play in the dirt!

Angela Ask MPS
Kaplan University
Fulltime Adjunct Professor in Health Sciences

References (2015, January 1). Container Gardening. Retrieved May 12, 2015, from

Grant, B. L. (2015, January 1). Cucumbers For Pots: Learn About Planting Cucumbers In A Container. Retrieved May 12, 2015, from

Michaels, K. (2015, January 1). Retrieved May 12, 2015, from (2014, May 6). The Best Soil for Container Gardening. Retrieved May 12, 2015, from


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Kaplan Center for Health and Wellness
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