tell me about container gardening - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 04-14-2011, 12:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I know NOTHING about gardening but want to very much and find it obsurd that we don't grow some of our food. I think container might be a good start for us. What can you tell me?

 

Three specific questions though-

1. where do you gat containers without spending $$

2. do you think about toxins leaching from plastic?

3. are there plants you can't grow this way?

 

thanks

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#2 of 7 Old 04-14-2011, 01:17 AM
 
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I'm just starting out with containers, but....

1. I've heard some people use cheap 5-gallon buckets from home improvement stores. Found items can work well, too, depending on their size and the type of plant.

2. Yes. We're avoiding plastic for this reason.

3. Yes, though it seems quite a lot are workable. I hear good choices include tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, herbs, and potatoes.

HeatherB ~ mama to 3 wonderful boys:  reading.gif 03/02; modifiedartist.gif09/04; sleepytime.gif 09/07 - and Eliana, babygirl.gif 11/13/10!  
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#3 of 7 Old 04-14-2011, 01:18 AM
 
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We have a mix of container and ground beds.  Right now i have nasturtium, potatoes and carrots in containers (with courgette, beans and peas and chilli's and tomatoes and possibly peppers to be added as the year progresses (i'm in Scotland so i tend to add a month to the normal sowing advice).

 

For containers i have a mix of old (left by previous house owner) plastic containers, and re-purposed things.  My best and most favourite thing right now is.....*drumroll* old car tyres.  I grow my potatoes in them.  You put the tyre down on a bed (or if you only have patio put it on the patio and put a piece of close-ish metal or plastic mesh and a layer of gravel on the bottom so it'll drain) and then fill it with soil (i used topsoil/manure mix but you can use compost or whatever you think) and plant your potatoes in it at the recommended depth.  I put 4 to a tyre.  Then when the plants have grown up to about 8 inches you stack another tyre on top and begin slowly filling it up with more soil, making sure you always leave a good bit of each plant above the soil (it'll rot if you totally bury it).  As you do this the potato with put more tubers (aka potatoes) out under the new soil level.  You can do up to 4 tyres stacked (it's known as vertical gardening) and grow a TON of spuds in a smallish space.  Where we live you can get worn out tyres free from garages.

 

We also use:

Old wellington boot with toe cut out and holes cut in sides filled with soil and a strawberry plant in each hole.

(blue hold-all style) ikea bags filled with soil for growbags

egg-boxes to start beans before they go out to harden and go into the ground.

old tree cuttings (from whippy branched trees) as garden canes.

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#4 of 7 Old 04-25-2011, 06:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow GoBecGO

 

HeatherB-so if you (too) are avoiding plastic what do you garden in??  I just saw online someone using shopping bags, the sort of p[lastic kind that Whole Foods sells. I wonder if they are toxin free. I will ask. 

 

 

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#5 of 7 Old 04-25-2011, 07:01 PM
 
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We're using wood and terra cotta pots. DH is actually out getting more for me right now. smile.gif

I've got lots of promising plants and am hoping they all manage to fruit well!

HeatherB ~ mama to 3 wonderful boys:  reading.gif 03/02; modifiedartist.gif09/04; sleepytime.gif 09/07 - and Eliana, babygirl.gif 11/13/10!  
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#6 of 7 Old 04-26-2011, 12:08 PM
 
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In my area you can get nice, thick, food-grade buckets (from pickels and mushrooms, mostly) from some delis for free.  I do worry about leaching from plastics, but I guess not enough to stop me from using it.shrug.gif  Terra cotta isn't terribly expensive and will last for a while - I like to buy mine during sales at craft/fabric stores, though it can be hard to find large sizes.  (If you use terra cotta and it freezes in your area - which seems unlikely? - you should empty out the soil before cold weather starts.)  If you want to use wood, look for untreated, rot-resistant wood like cedar - unfortunately that usually means spending some $$.

You can buy varieties of many plants that were specifically developed for container growing.  Usually they produce smaller fruit than what you're used to buying in the store, but they'll produce a lot of it in a small space.  Some plants, like salad greens and many herbs, will never notice they're in containers.

With container gardening you have to do a really good job keeping up with the watering.  If you are going away for a long weekend and not expecting rain you'll need to find someone to water your plants.  (At least, this is the case in my area.)

There are a lot of good books on container gardening; I like The Bountiful Container.

Good luck to you!


  Happy wife to N and mommy to R (9/2008) and belly.gifnumber two (5 or 6/2011).  blogging.jpg about my garden.
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#7 of 7 Old 05-02-2011, 12:13 PM
 
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I ordered one of these phytopods from http://www.verticalhomegardens.com/.  However, they charged my account almost three weeks ago, and I have still not received it, so they aren't getting a good review from me.  I am still hoping I get it though, as this was suppose to make it so we could actually grow a decent amount of food on our front porch of our apartment.  The pod we ordered is a foot and a half diameter and 3 feet tall, but is the equivalent of a 15 square foot bed.


Student nurse Mamma to Kaylum (3/01/2007) and wife to computer nerd DH .

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