Vegetable garden in pots? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 02-10-2004, 11:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi everyone,
I live in Colorado, and the soil is like dust. My back yard is big, but dusty! However, i would love to try and actually grow something. Maybe some tomatoes, zucchini, herbs. But i cant put anything in the ground. I do have a large patio....any suggestions for growing in pots? What can i grow, and should i start the seeds now? Is it too difficult?

you know, i see those ads for those super tomatoes in the Sunday magazines. and it always inspires me.

Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!!

Warmly, Lisa
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#2 of 8 Old 02-10-2004, 12:28 PM
 
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I have a friend that did it one year and she was overwhelmed with produce :LOL Tomatoes esp. are easy in pots (look in the thread about garden supports, I found some info on upside down gardening for tomatoes), even I've done that...and I tend to kill anything in a pot Basil is a great potted tomato companion that is edible and an ok pest control. Here are some links to look at:

http://www.practicalkitchen.com/gard..._in_pots.shtml

OH and btw, I did know someone that grew beets in a pot and they did well.

http://www.geocities.com/apartment_garden/

http://www.stretcher.com/stories/960415a.cfm

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#3 of 8 Old 02-10-2004, 12:29 PM
 
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A few veggies. that I have grown in pots w/ excellent results:

tobasco peppers
cayenne peppers
okra
tomatillos
banana peppers

I haven't had the best luck growing tomatoes in pots, but it definitlely can be done. I just haven't got the hang of it. My tomatoes always grow better in the ground. I grew some watermelons in a large pot that was sitting near a fence and had a couple of really great watermelons that produced...but only a couple.

herbs - all kinds, esp. basil, mint, parsley, cilantro

Use a really good potting mix. It is really worth it and makes all the difference.

I have some big metal washtubs with holes drilled into the bottom that work great. My tobasco peppers grew the best in a "window box" and I let them dry out between watering. I also grew a lime tree that made little limes.
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#4 of 8 Old 02-10-2004, 12:40 PM
 
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I want to grown Kentucky Blue Lakes this year, but I'm noticing that the pH that they want is a lot lower than our soil, which has been doing so well for tomatoes, peppers, basil and parsley.

Any tips on where to get potting soil and really big pots for cheap?
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#5 of 8 Old 02-10-2004, 12:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Any tips on where to get potting soil and really big pots for cheap?
That was my next question!!

Ok so if i decide to do the tomatoes, i know i can find "starter" palnts, that i can transfer to another pot. but about the watermelon, when should i start those? should i try seeds in a little pot, then transfer to a bigger pot? put it by my fence....

we love watermelon, just love it, but it is so expensive that i hardly ever buy it. i simply refuse to spend $7 for a watermelon! when i lived in florida, we could buy giant ones, seedless for like $2!

I will definitely do the herbs. i love fresh herbs and they are quite expensive here and tend to get black quickly.
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#6 of 8 Old 02-10-2004, 04:17 PM
 
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I started my watermelons from seeds, and then transplanted to a huge pot that holds water underneath it. I planted the seeds in the little pots that 6 starter plants come in. You can also use egg cartons to start seeds. And cover w/ a damp paper towel and keep it moist and then transplant after they are a couple of inches.

I got some pots from a feed store that had a lot of extras. Also nurseries will sell pots for really cheap. The big, black plastic ones. I have went to several nurseries and noticed piles of pots in the back and asked if they would sell me some. Sometimes they just give them away when you ask. I also am on the lookout for planter-type containers when people set out big trash. I found my big wash tub with holes already in it for $4 at a junk store.

I do invest in a really good potting mix. I have used a brand called Sunshine that is about $14 for a huge bag. A more organic variety may be more expensive and I noticed it at a feed store that also sells plants and trees.

The watermelons that I grew were the small, round kind that were SO sweet and delicious. I bought the seeds somewhere.
Okra and toimatillos are also very easy to grow from seeds. I don't know if it is my location or what, but I had sooo much okra one year and I do not even like it very much. I didn't expect it to grow so well! I kind of stick to things I will use, especially ingredients for tomato salsa and tomatillo salsa.

I grew lima beans a few years ago but I planted them into the ground and they went nuts! The plants climbed up my fence and then up a tree and got to be about 20 feet tall! Very thick with so many large beans. I would cook them in a little butter and onion and boil them. Really delicious. However, after a while I noticed that a RAT had started living in the thick bushes because he had a constant source of food. I had a large bird house by the plants and would set food out there and it would be gone in the morning. I thought I was feeding a squirrel and to my surprise one day I saw that it was a rat. I had been feeding a rat for weeks! I cut my beans down after that!

I found this glass light fixture at a thrift store and also some glass...I don't know what they are called but they are the things you put over light bulbs on a ceiling fan...anyway, I use those to start my seeds outdoors. I plant the seeds and then put the glass things over them and it seems to provide heat, humidity, and protection. The glass is kind of thick. I have found this as an excellent way to start seeds. Sounds kind of weird but works great for me. I am really into re-using junk I guess!
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#7 of 8 Old 02-11-2004, 11:33 AM
 
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I've had great luck growing stuff in pots. Big pot, lots of nice soil, good sun, and regular watering (because pots dry out pretty fast), and you can grow just about anything. I've had good luck with tomatoes, peppers, and basil. My aunt grew corn in a big bucket in Maine! Good luck!

Mom of (11/27/03) and (9/29/06).
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#8 of 8 Old 02-13-2004, 05:39 PM
 
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I have a few book suggestions. The are all part of my library.

McGee & Stuckey's Bountiful Container: A Container Garden of Vegetables, Herbs, Fruits, and Edible Flowers (Very good but they aren't into organic gardening - so I've had to look elsewhere for fertilizer ideas.)

The Edible Container Garden: Growing Fresh Food in Small Spaces

Lasagna Gardening for Small Spaces: A Layering System for Big Results in Small Gardens and Containers: Garden in Inches, Not Acres

Movable Harvests: The Simplicity & Bounty of Container Gardens

I have an itty bitty yard so have had to become creative to duplicate my old huge kitchen/herb gardens. I am addicted to fresh veggies and am determined to show folks that you don't need to live on 5 acres to be as self sustaining as possible.

My family of 3 (plus pup) Indigo (Aimee), Rob (dp), Ryne (ds) & Phebe (dog), plus my BIL's family of 3.

 
"The best way to predict the future is to invent it." - Alan Kay

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