“in pain you shall eat of it…”: Using containers to ease the pain of gardening


These are our pepper plants in a container. Last year I was moving pepper plants around in the garden to keep them from drowning in all the rain. This year my peppers are in containers!

I was talking about the garden to a friend of mine. I was mentioning the things that needed to be done and what I was looking forward to and/or dreading. She said that she wanted the produce of the garden without all of the work. She determined that maybe she should just hit up the farmer’s market for groceries. Well that is a good way to get awesome produce. Whenever I’m pulling weeds (and pulling and pulling) I always think about the repercussions of the Fall in Genesis 3, more specifically where Adam receives the curse for eating the fruit.

And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” Genesis 3:17-19

The same peppers about a month later. There are two good size plants and several seedlings grown from Miracle Gro-able pods. Also two zinnia seedlings.
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Pepper container on June 15, 2016
June 23, 2016

It doesn’t matter if you have fields upon fields, fancy equipment, pesticides, or just a small plot. It is work to bring forth produce. Fortunately the bible does not end the story with Genesis 3:19. If someone told me the only way to exercise is to run 10 miles I would quit before I ever started. Distance running is not my cup of tea. Big gardens may not be for everyone, but that doesn’t mean that gardening isn’t.

Two tips for a low-maintenance garden

  1. Use containers. You can plant lots of things in containers. Peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, and herbs do GREAT in containers. Get a good size, and make sure it drains. This takes away the need to weed, you can bring them in or raise them up to protect against the elements (or rabbits). Is it raining too much? Is it crazy windy? Are there tons of bugs starting to attack? Move them! Bring them inside! Last season beside our main plot we used containers for a few tomato plants, a lettuce plant, and some herbs. They did awesome. You don’t need a whiskey barrel, just a good size planter that drains. If you’ve never cared for a plant I really recommend getting a tomato plant and putting it in a pot. Make sure you keep it watered (moist soil, not wet leaves and not standing water), plenty of sunshine, and watch it grow!
  2. Spend money well. If gardening is not in your budget don’t go all crazy buying expensive seeds or plants. The Dollar Tree has very affordable seed packs and you can usually find fairly inexpensive pots. Buying potting mix and plant food would be a better use of money, in my opinion. Last year the name brand seed packets I bought that were over $2 did no better than my dollar tree seeds.
Newly planted tomato plants in a container.  There are also two zinnia seedlings in here that our 4 year old grew.

Everything takes some work. This doesn’t mean you can’t grow some food and enjoy it. We all lead different lives and can be very busy. That doesn’t mean you can’t garden at all! Want to see redemption in action? Get one container, one tomato plant, potting mix, sit it in the sun, and keep it watered. Do it! It’s fun for the whole family, even if they don’t want to eat it.






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