A Container Garden For The Gardening-Challenged

I was so excited to be able to pick our first cucumber this week!

In case you're wondering what all the excitement is about, let me just start out by saying that I have a black thumb.  Yes, it's true.  If you visit my home you will notice a sad lack of plant life.  I have managed to kill every plant I have had over the years including two gifts from my husband and one from my mother-in-law.  

I think it may be a genetic trait--when I was growing up my family had a cactus and the Christmas Cactus that blossomed only once during my childhood. 

Or maybe I just don't have the knack for it.

So for this black thumb from the city and her husband {who didn't inherit his mother's gardening skills}, container gardening seemed like a wise choice.  We decided to start by planting tomato plants.  Since this is a vegetable {or I think it's actually a fruit?} that we eat quite often, we were excited about the prospect of saving a little bit of money and enjoying fresh tomatoes. 

That was the plan, anyway.  That first year we were so disappointed when we discovered blossom end rot on many of our tomatoes.  Last year tomato worms destroyed our tomato plants and we ended up with only  a dozen tomatoes.  Of course the city girl thought that the worms were some kind of harmless caterpillar and by the time she realized that they were actually enjoying a nice meal, it was too late to save the tomatoes.  Note to self: insects on vegetable plants usually are not friendly ones.

This year we planted cucumber and tomato plants and so far they have survived high winds, hail and beetles.  Yes, this year we are fighting the cucumber beetles and are hoping that we caught them before they could do any major damage.

Considering our lack of success with container gardening and the amount we spent on plants and soil, I'm pretty sure we haven't saved very much money over the years, but it has actually become a fun and educational family project that we can do together every summer.  Our boys love to help us water the plants and they are anxiously waiting for the tomatoes to turn red so we can pick them.

And maybe, just maybe they won't take after their mom.  Which in that case I would consider money well spent.