Getting Started With Container Gardening

We’re going on two years in our RV and this year will be our first getting started with container gardening. I’m pretty excited about this year because of our mini garden last year kind of going caput on us. With all fairness though, it was likely a lack of sun and the area not draining well during a heavy rain season.

Image of a plant in a pot with a name written on it

This year, so far, we have 5 tomato plants and some herbs. I plan to attempt to plant some cucumbers, green beans, and some more tomatoes – can you tell what we eat regularly?

This will likely be a series of posts since we’re just starting this journey ourselves.

Besides these, we’ll be regularly visiting the farmers market on Thursdays to pick up anything we’re not growing. I plan on canning a whole host of things this year to help cut our food bill down. Not to mention, the canned foods will be much healthier than any store-bought kinds.

So, this is what we’re doing this year to get started while we save for a house and land.

How We’re Getting Started With Container Gardening

#1 We’re Starting Small

We talked about growing all sorts of things here, but realistically it’s not going to happen. I’ve come to that realization and I’m not going to stress over “if someone else can do it, then I can” kind of mentality. It’s not worth the brain power or stress.

Focus on what you can handle and start with. We picked the few things we use regularly and are starting there. We may add more here and there, but it will depend on a few things. Some being weather, campground hosts, kids, and animals.

#2 Find A Place With Good Sunlight

Last year our choices of places with sunlight were very limited, and I think ultimately led to our gardens demise. This year, thankfully, we have a space that gets sunlight nearly all day. It was a no-brainer since most of the plants we have need full sunlight to thrive.

So we’ve carved out a place to stick our pots and I’m pretty excited. We have them all lined up in front of our camper.  With the help of our kids, we got them all planted. Now, we just need to be patient, tender, caring and keep them looking their best.

#3 Start Any Seeds Inside

There are a few plants we want to grow, but they’re seeds and not started plants. So, we’ll be starting these inside under a little light on our dining room table. Once they’re big enough we’ll transplant them into their own little pots outside. I’m not sure where or how we’ll hang our light yet, so we’re trying to come up with a plan that won’t cramp our space.

Thankfully, we can move things around so we’re not loading the table down with plants and crowding our only eating area.

I’m hoping the campground hosts and owners won’t complain about our container gardens. We haven’t busted up the ground or messed anything up, so fingers crossed. We are trying to find a non-permanent way to grow cucumbers and green beans right now.

I’m thinking about putting cages around the tomatoes and planting the green beans next to the tomatoes. If I don’t do that I’ll likely just put a cage around the green beans and cucumber pots.

#4 Use Good Soil (if you can afford to get it)

This was one we may or may not have done the right way, but we’ll soon find out. We didn’t have the budget to buy potting soil or garden soil. So, what we did was put really good clay in the bottom of the pots and then traveled into a woody area and took our rake and shovel with us.

If you rake back the leaves and get to the topsoil it’s generally really nice soil. It was nice, fluffy and rich.

Our next goal is to go to a bait shop and grab a good many worms to put in the pots. We don’t really have a place to put a compost, so if you have tips for composting in a camper please let me know.

With all that in place, we’re hoping these plants really take off.

#5 Don’t Overcrowd Your Pots

We’re slowly starting to move things from pots that are crowded to their own pots. I want to have a bountiful harvest this year from my limited garden. So, giving them the best chance of growing without overcrowding is the best option.

I had considered making one huge raised bed garden, but it’s a more permanent fixture and I was certain that would cause issues. The pots are the best way for us to go. But, this old toybox we built (and have since replaced) makes for a really good tiny raised bed garden.

We have regrown romaine lettuce and some green onions inside of it.

You can find used pots from a nursery, or you can buy them pretty cheap from Lowe’s if you’re just getting the plastic ones.

#6 Stay Tuned!!!

Once your container garden is all nice and set the waiting begins. Make sure it’s getting plenty of sunlight, water and that it’s draining well. Without proper drainage, the plants can drown and die. That would be tragic after all of the work you’ve put in to create such a wonderful little container garden.

Image collage of a boy using a hoe and some plants


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