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When I first started my patio garden I had very low expectations. I had purchased a few plants from Lowe’s (mostly herbs and easy vegetables) and thought, “If I keep half of these alive, I’ll call it a success!”. Well, they all survived and we’ve been able to eat from our garden so it’s definitely been a successful venture. Having fresh herbs to mix into a homemade salad dressing or greenery to add to a tablescape has been fantastic! I’m totally still a novice but I know there are a lot of gardening beginners out there. That’s why I wanted to take today to introduce you to what is essentially my gardening Bible – Grow Your Own in Pots by Kay Maguire.
My mother-in-law bought me this book about 2 years ago when we lived in Atlanta. I had casually mentioned starting a patio garden and she sent me this book about a month later. It was so thoughtful of her but I never put the book to use. Our apartment in Atlanta didn’t really allow for a patio garden, it was just a dream. This book has sat on my shelf ever since but I pulled it out before starting my patio garden here. It’s basically the best thing ever. Within the pages you’ll find helpful advice on everything from growing herbs to vegetables to trees!
In fact, Maguire breaks down everything you need to know to grow over 60 different types of fruits, vegetables, and plants in pots.
The book starts out introducing gardening beginners to the basics of gardening in containers. A couple of days before starting my patio garden I read through the beginning of her book to get an idea of what I needed to buy. Her recommendations are all affordable so you don’t feel like you’re going into debt by starting a garden. I’d read other books but they left me feeling like I needed to invest thousands of dollars. Who has that kind of money to sink into starting a patio garden? Not me, that’s for sure. I just wanted the basics.
This book continues on to discussing essential growing techniques as well as tips for harvesting and storing your crops. The pages even include common problems and problem-solving tips which I found really helpful. Once I planted something new in a container I knew how to approach it, what potential problems to watch for, and how to properly harvest once the time came. I’ve never had a how-to book put me so much at ease when tackling a new hobby.
I started with a few herbs (basil, cilantro, parsley, and oregano) since I use them so frequently when I cook. Then, I added a couple of vegetables and greenery I could use for floral arrangements and to help ward off mosquitos and other bugs. This book has also been my go-to resource for planning out my fall plantings. It’s only my first year planting a patio garden but I’ve had a pretty decent go of it. Beyond investing in quality soil and pots with good drainage, this is the best contribution to my garden (thanks MIL!).
If you or anyone you know is considering starting a patio garden, this is a must-have resource. It’s affordable and I promise it will save you so much money! I can’t imagine the mistakes I would have made if I didn’t have this book guiding me from the start. It’s essentially my container gardening Bible now, haha. Learn more about the book on Amazon.
Share your favorite gardening resources with me by tweeting me at @ashleyfromfbl or leave your thoughts in the comments below.