container gardening

Here in Vermont, we’re just starting to reap the rewards of our hard garden work. I love chatting with fellow gardeners about what’s growing well in their gardens this year. I wanted to share one great success, and one colossal failure we’ve had this year.

I’ve got a sizable in-ground community garden plot, but the soil is very sandy and honestly I think it needs a few years of augmentation to be great soil. We’ve struggled with growing things like carrots and beets, and since our family eats lots of carrots, we really want to grow at least some of them!

container gardening
Happy kids with their sizable carrots!

So this year I bought a few fabric bags for growing carrots. (I bought these Grow Bags in a few bright colors.) We filled them with a good local, organic soil designed for containers. We watered them diligently until they sprouted. I mercilessly thinned the carrots. (Ugh, why is thinning carrots so hard?!) Reader, we had fantastic success! My kids pulled up beautiful carrots last week, and we couldn’t be happier. (Well, they fought over who got to eat the purple carrot, but they did eat six carrots in one evening.) There are some that are still pretty tiny, so we’re just doing a few a week, to the dismay of my preschooler who would love nothing more than to pull every.single.carrot out. (Want more info on growing carrots? Check out our carrot growing guide.)

And then there’s the strawberry tower. I wrote about this when we first constructed it. It started off so well! The strawberry plants blossomed! We were all dreaming about shoving our faces full of strawberries. Then, the plants slowly died. Honestly, they may have dried out? The thing was really hard to water. Also, the plants didn’t really have that much soil to work with. My spouse wants to deconstruct it and add a watering source down the middle. I am less into this plan, and want to just plant the strawberries in the ground. But, it was a total fail, and I think we literally got one strawberry from the whole contraption.

What about you? What are your strikes and gutters in the garden this year?

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