CowpeasInAPot is an adventure in gardening… in containers… in south central Texas. In other words, a train wreck in slow motion.

“Gardening is not a rational act.”

-Margaret Atwood

I honestly can’t remember what possessed me to decide to grow vegetables in containers on a small patio in Hellahot, Texas, but I did… and now I’m hooked. I do remember being on a budget, so my first fall garden was planted in coffee cans and kitty litter buckets with seeds from the dollar store. Let’s just say that I did not have a whole lot of success that first season, but I caught the gardening bug and I caught it bad!

I then started leaning towards organic gardening. This was not a decision made of conscience. Like I said, I was broke. How do you kill a boatload of hungry aphids without dropping ten bucks on pesticide? How do you deal with dying tomatoes without having soil and water tested and buying the latest and greatest “gardener’s friend” miracle product?

Thank goodness for libraries… and the internet! I searched and I studied. I read books and scoured articles. I discovered seed catalogs, or as I like to call them, “gardening porn.” The next season was still riddled with failure, but I did have a few tiny successes and I kept on. I read the words of seasoned gardeners and crafty pinners and found that both could be very right and yet extremely wrong at the same time. Don’t get me wrong. The gardening guru in Vermont is a super awesome go-to guy for gardeners in Vermont, but has probably never experienced shorts and t-shirt weather from Valentine’s Day to Christmas… every freakin’ year! And, yes, you can put a tomato plant in a handful of dirt in a two-liter soda bottle, but on my patio in the summer, it would be dead in twenty minutes.

So I kept digging… both in my garden and in my research. I’ve found a few things that work for me. I’ve discovered why some things have not. I’ve discovered people that have encouraged me with their support and others who have encouraged me with their ridicule. (Don’t know if this is just a Texas thing, but what good are friends if you can’t give ’em hell?)

Along the way, I’ve also discovered that I’m not the only one with container garden dreams. I’m not the only apartment dweller who dreams of taking the salt shaker to warm, vine-ripened tomatoes and delights in the crunch of a freshly picked cucumber. For those who find they’re pressed for space, or your home is perched atop a limestone slab. This blog is for us! I’ll share my successes and mishaps. Hopefully someone will benefit from them. I’m also hoping others will share their knowledge, too! I still have a lot to learn.

I can’t imagine being able to feed myself completely from my patio garden, but it is my sincere hope that I can at least keep myself in fresh, seasonal veggies while the weather cooperates.


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