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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi mamas~ I've been lurking here a lot lately trying to gather info for my big attempt at gardening this year. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br>
A dear friend of mind gave me some awesome heirloom seeds and I've purchased a few berry plants too.<br>
I am on an extremely limited budget. We live in So. Cal and in a rental house. The garden "areas" in our backyard run up against either our house, garage or our neighbor's house. The dirt that's in the garden is pretty gritty. I'm concerned about lead and other issues too.<br>
My plan was to use containers (large pots) instead of growing them in the icky dirt we have.<br>
1. Should I worry about the cruddy contents in the dirt we have or should I not be too concerned and just add some manure and compost and mix it up?<br>
2. Should I stick to containers and use manure and compost (it's what I have on hand and have limited funds to buy anything good.<br>
3. If I use containers, can I add random dog poo from our dogs and some compost type items like veggies, banana peels, etc?<br>
This is what I have so far<br>
1 rasp. bush<br>
1 blueberry bush<br>
1 boysenberry<br>
1 rosemary<br>
1 basil<br>
Seeds I have are<br>
echinacea<br>
calendula<br>
lemon balm<br>
cilantro<br>
tomatos<br>
sugar pumpkins<br>
chives<br>
lettuce<br>
chammomile<br>
carrots<br>
honeydew<br>
peppermint<br>
Any tips would be greatly appreciated <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mykdsmomy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10725883"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><i>1. Should I worry about the cruddy contents in the dirt we have or should I not be too concerned and just add some manure and compost and mix it up?</i></div>
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Yes, if your house/outbuildings are painted and pre 1975 or if you live right next to a highway. Compost is a great soil improver, but I think you need alot of it to negate the yuckies in contaminated soil.<br><br><i>2. Should I stick to containers and use manure and compost (it's what I have on hand and have limited funds to buy anything good.</i><br><br>
Use what you have. Cardboard boxes make great short term containers. Pots are going to be expensive this time of the year. But they will be super cheap at the end of the season. So start them in cardboard and then transplant them (the perennials) later in the season. I saw some big pots at Sears for a super price; they were clearing out summer for Christmas and had to move them quick. So plan early. Stash away some pot money so that when you find some nice,big pots, you can buy them.<br><br><i>3. If I use containers, can I add random dog poo from our dogs and some compost type items like veggies, banana peels, etc?</i>[/QUOTE]<br><br>
No dog poo! You only want to use manure from non meat eating animals. You can do the lasagna method in pots, just be sure to put the non-composted materials at the bottom of the pot. There is a book about Lasagna gardening in pots, check if your local library system has it.<br><br>
Your blueberry plant is going to need a friend. Blueberries need another blueberry plant (of a different vareity, I think) to produce fruit. Or put it close to a neighbors blueberry plant.<br><br>
Containers are going to dry out fast, so add lots of water retaining material to your containers like shredded leaves. Aim for a 50-50 parts of finished compost and partially composted shedded leaves.<br><br>
So here would be your layers (bottom first):<br>
1.cardboard<br>
2.Kitchen scraps (no meat, cheese, bones)<br>
3.shredded leaves (or shredded newspaper)<br>
4.decomposing shredded leaves<br>
5.finished compost<br><br>
You can also skip 2 and 3 just do 1,4,5 and put your kitchen scraps and shredded leaves in a compost pile.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you so much for the advice! I really appreciate your time and help <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> I had thought about the newspaper too!<br>
I actually already have quite a few big pots to use....I believe they are 5 gallon rounds.<br><br>
Can I ask one more question? Could I plant a few herbs (if they are compatible) in the same 5 gallon pot or is the diameter too small? Thanks <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/innocent.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shy">
 
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