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Get creative with your gardening setup

Last Modified: April 19, 2024

Heart Health, Nutrition & Recipes


This post was written based on a presentation by Mary King, supervisor, telemetry monitor, Central Monitoring, Parkview Health, and support team member for the Her Heart Support Network.

When it comes to sowing and growing nourishing, delicious fruits and vegetables, don’t let a lack of real estate hold you back! From containers to towers to windowsill pots, there are so many ways to get creative with gardening.

The benefits of gardening

The rewards for starting a garden are bountiful, but some of the biggest wins are:

  • Increased exercise
  • Improved diet (For everyone in the house!)
  • Time in nature
  • Reduced stress levels

Read more about how gardening supports healthy habits.

Supplies and setups

If you have the space, a raised garden bed is great, but if your plot is a bit smaller, it’s no problem! All you need are a few supplies and a bit of sunlight.

Garden essentials include:

  • Potting soil
  • Pots
  • Plants or seeds
  • Tools (gloves, a hand trowel, pruner)

Depending on what you choose to plant, you’ll want to consider …

  • The direction of the sun – Remember the sun’s journey during a typical day and keep that in mind when placing your pots.
  • Space – Do you need room for a big pot or can you use a smaller one? Could you put something near the window for extra nourishment?
  • Exposure – Make sure you pay attention to how much sunlight your plants prefer–full or partial sunlight.
  • Wildlife/pests – Be mindful of areas where you typically see active animals, such as bunnies, squirrels and deer, and any factors that might attract pests to your plants. (This post has great tips for combatting invasive insects in your garden.)
  • Time commitment – When deciding how many pots and plants you want, be realistic about how much time you can dedicate to caring for your plants.

Container setups

If you’re looking for inspiration, a quick internet search can yield an abundance of creative container garden arrangements and ideas. You can incorporate your food into your landscaping for an edible aesthetic or utilize hanging pots for an elevated approach.  You can repurpose buckets, empty food containers or even water troughs. The sky’s the limit!

What should I grow?

There really are no limitations to what you can plant in your garden, but some foods that do well in containers include:

  • Tomatoes
  • Green beans
  • Eggplant
  • Cucumbers
  • Jalapeno peppers
  • Green peppers
  • Herbs like mint, lemon balm, cilantro, basil and parsley
  • Cabbage
  • Kale
  • Strawberries

If you want plant starts, there are several locations you can find them, including:

  • Big box stores like Menard’s and Lowe’s
  • Friends with starts they’re willing to share
  • Nurseries
  • Online plant retailers

Read more about how to pick the right plants for your garden.

Seeds are also a great option. From drying out strawberries to salvaging the center of a bell pepper, you can find great information online for harvesting seeds from produce you’ve already purchased or planted. The Allen County Public Library also hosts a Seed Library, where you can choose up to eight seed packets and checkout at the front desk. Learn more about the program here.

For a fairly low-cost option, search online for exciting heirloom and hybrid seed selections from vendors or browse the options at your local store.

If you enjoyed this information, be sure to browse our calendar of Classes and Events for similar content. For information about the Her Heart Network and other services available to you through Parkview Heart Institute, call 260-266-2444 or toll-free 855-762-7762.

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