Last year I posted about gardening with no space. We moved downstairs in our complex since that post and basically inherited a side yard that is getting a good amount of sun. With the move, we were able to purchase a planter.
We selected Patio Pickers Raised Garden Kit since it was a decent size and came with wheels. The wheels were an important feature as we wanted to move the planter for optimum sun (ie. on one side of the yard for morning sun and the other side for afternoon sun). I love the "cover" (think plastic trashbag + binder clips), which keeps the buggies and weeds out.
I think we didn't have good luck with in-ground gardens because our soil kind of sucked, the sun in the designated gardening spot wasn't great, and the animals, bugs, and weeds took over and got to the plants before we could. I'm also not sure if I watered correctly or not, which added to the stress. I really love the planter so far. We filled it with planting soil and planted our starter plants. We bought a green/red pepper plant, a regular cucumber plant, and a lemon cucumber plant. As much as I love homegrown tomatoes, I just don't have the desire to fail at tomatoes again (4 summers in a row). The watering system is super easy (just fill the cylinder until water starts dripping out the bottom hole).
May 12 (note the overflowing cucumber plants):
We had 6 green bean (blue lake pole bean variety) plants and a sunflower that we grew from scratch. We gave the beans a tomato cage to grow up. Little did I know, our cucumber plants would take over the cage and climb as well. May 16, it just keeps getting bigger and bigger:
I'm a little worried our green pepper plant in the back won't get enough sun, but we'll have many, many cucumbers and green beans.
Our strawberries from last year survived the winter (barely), and that really excited me because I've heard from multiple sources that strawberries do better the second year.
Here's our biggest cucumber so far (May 16):
Homegrown green beans are the best! I'm hoping for a big harvest so I get some too.
**We purchased our gardening materials at our local hardware store. All opinions in this post are mine.