8 Goes Green: A Garden Everyone Can Use

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COLUMBIA - Not everyone has the perfect yard to have a traditional garden. But there is still a way to grow fresh vegetables and flowers in very little space--even on pavement.

Container gardens provide people with a way to not only make up for the lack of room they may have in their yard, but also are better for the environment.

Unlike a normal garden, container gardens involve planting plants in containers, pots, or even laundry baskets. With these gardens in containers instead of the ground, the containers provide less risk for soil-borne disease, essentially eliminate weed problems, and mobile plants give more control over moisture, sunlight and temperature.

Hannah Smith, a recent MU graduate, said with her temporary living situation she likes the mobile aspect of the container garden.

"I didn't want to put anything in the ground that I wasn't going to be able to take with me when I move in the fall. So I looked up urban gardening and container gardening is something that a lot of people are doing."

However, with all the rain mid-Missouri has received so far this spring, it is important to drill or poke holes in the bottom of containers. What this does is drain excess water that gets into the container.

Monta Welch has used container gardens for about two years now, and said the main reason is the layout of her yard.

"I have a more sunny driveway, so I have my containers here alongside my driveway because I have a very shady yard. I don't have a really good place to put a garden."

Compared to last year, this year has already had a large amount of rain, which is great for gardens, but as temperatures begin to pick up, the need to water these gardens will increase.

"When we get up into temperatures, say, in the 90s especially, those containers will tend to dry out really quickly," said Bill McKelvey, a project coordinator in the Rural Sociology Department at MU, "So you'll have to probably water them this summer regardless of whether we have kind of a dry or normal summer."

Click here for a more detailed look at container gardens, provided by Better Homes and Gardens.