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Container Gardening

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Container Gardening

Post by Farmfresh on Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:10 pm

Do you grow plants in containers? Here is the place to share your successes, secrets and problems.

Growing plants in containers can be a good idea for many people, even those with plenty of garden space. A container grown plant can be given the conditions that it needs to thrive - like acidic soil or a warmer climate - no matter where you live and grow.

I have grown in containers for many years, first by necessity since I had very little garden space and now for the ease that it provides. My favorite container is shown in my avatar. It is a 50 gallon plastic barrel that once held soft drink syrup. I cut it in half and then to provide a water reservoir at the base I drill several holes about three inches up from the bottom on the side wall. I fill the space between the bottom of the barrel to just above the drain holes with stone. Lava rock works best for this. Then I fill the remainder of the barrel with good compost. Setting up a container like that provides proper drainage for the plants and yet allows some self watering via the capillary action of the soil that trickles into the water reservoir. I plant my containers using the spacings for square foot gardening. It works great.

Herbs are especially great for growing in containers. I also container grow a lime tree and at least a pepper plant so that I can over winter them both.
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Re: Container Gardening

Post by backtotheland on Wed Apr 29, 2015 4:35 am

I found these things on another site called Smart Pots. They are basically black or tan fabric bags. They come with and without handles. I think I'm going to send for some. I wish the trees would leaf out so I can tell how much space I'm actually going to have. I did find that there are plants that will tolerate partial shade (I've always had a full sun garden before). I have one raised bed and it is partial shade and I am planning on planting kale, carrots, brussel sprouts and cabbage in that space. Peas will also grow in partial shade and if I have enough room I will plant them in that bed and if not I have to dig up the flower bulbs along the fence and I can plant the peas along the fence. I think this is going to be a really good garden year for me, if the weather ever gets warm that is.

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Re: Container Gardening

Post by Harvey_Birdman on Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:40 am

I have experimented with this some, but not much. Last year I bought 4 flower pots, and tried peppers in them, with the plan of wintering them over in the house. All 4 died of root rot before I got the first fruits off of them. The pots I had did not drain well at all.

This year, I planted 2 blueberry bushes in terracotta pots, and I am keeping them on my concrete sidewalk so the drain holes do not get clogged. So far the are doing great, and draining like they should. I have done better research this year, and plan on building some pots like you described above to try some peppers again. I will let you know how that goes.
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Re: Container Gardening

Post by PATRICE IN IL on Wed Apr 29, 2015 6:12 am

Back to the land you can sew your own bags out of commercial grade landscape fabric. You can even use fabric shopping bags like you can buy at WM, Aldi etc. Then you just fill them with potting mix and plant your choice of things in them.

For more ideas search "Rain Gutter Grow System" there is a FB group and you tube videos by the founder Larry Hall from Minnesota.
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Re: Container Gardening

Post by backtotheland on Wed Apr 29, 2015 6:42 am

I did see a video on YouTube where a guy planted one tomatoe plant in those blue fabric Walmart bags, put them in a kids swimming pool and made a self watering type thing. I might try that too. As far as sewing my own bags goes, I wish I was that talented. I can sew clothes and anything else as long as I have a pattern to follow. To come up with a pattern on my own, forget it. I am just so excited about this container gardening thing. I haven't been this excited about gardening in quite a while.

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Re: Container Gardening

Post by PATRICE IN IL on Wed Apr 29, 2015 7:10 am

All you have to do is sew the side seam to make a tube then either sew a bottom circle of fabric on or tie the bottom shut with heavy twine or a plastic zip tie. You can make the bags as big as you'd like by sewing them yourself. Wink Easy peasy!
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Re: Container Gardening

Post by Farmfresh on Wed Apr 29, 2015 8:07 am

The rule is that anything that is grown for the root or leaf you can grow in partial sun. Anything that you grow for the fruit or seed pod needs more light. Peas still do well in partial shade because they are so sensitive to heat, but beans, tomatoes, peppers and the like need that full sun to produce.

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Re: Container Gardening

Post by backtotheland on Wed Apr 29, 2015 8:46 am

Thanks FarmFresh for telling me how to sew the bags. I could handle that. I'll have to look for the landscape fabric. I have a roll but I don't think it is commercial grade.

Thanks for the information on what plants to plant in shade and which ones need full sun. I'm just going to wait until I see how much sun there is in the yard one the trees leaf out completely. Right now it's sunny most of the day but that will probably change when all the leaves come out. Just have to wait and see.

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Re: Container Gardening

Post by PATRICE IN IL on Wed Apr 29, 2015 9:12 am

If it's not commercial grade just double it up/two layers sewn together. Cut your length double, fold in half then use the fold as one side of your seam. Wink
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Re: Container Gardening

Post by backtotheland on Thu Apr 30, 2015 8:01 pm

Thanks Patrice, I will give this a try.

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Re: Container Gardening

Post by Farmfresh on Fri May 01, 2015 1:41 am

I got my containers topped up with compost the other day and then the Kid and I got a few of them planted up for the summer. So far we planted two containers with cucumbers and put a tomato cage into each for them to climb up on. Then he planted a container with edamame (soy) beans and another with some peanuts.

We cut a circle of plastic chicken fencing to top each container and then staked them down. Hopefully that will keep hens from scratching up the new plants and the plants can still come up through the mesh.
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Re: Container Gardening

Post by PATRICE IN IL on Fri May 01, 2015 3:03 am

Good idea FF, that should keep them safe until they start getting bigger. Wink
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Re: Container Gardening

Post by backtotheland on Mon May 04, 2015 11:03 pm

Still waiting for the trees to leaf out to see how the sun is in the yard. I was out there this morning and noticed that the bed I thought was shaded all day isn't actually and there seems to be a lot of sunshine along the fence. That would work out well because I could put the climbing plants there like peas and cucumbers and possibly tomatoes.

I'm also on a container gardening board on FB and followed a link to a video about these things called The Garden Stick. I watched it and it seems pretty neat. The only thing that made me really nervous was the fact that these things are made from PVC pipe. Yuck - chemicals leaching out in my food. So, I contacted the company and they explained that the PVC pipe they use is not what I would get at Lowe's and it has been tested for years and is safe. I do know that the hydroponic strawberry place where I'm going to get my strawberries this year grows their berries that way and I've never heard any complaints. I just might give a couple of them a try, one now and if it works I'll order a couple more for planting strawberries in the fall.

Of course, this all could be a moot point because the guy who owns the big field next to me is leasing it to a farmer and he plowed it up the other day. I don't know what he is going to plant there I'm thinking whatever it is it will be GMO and I don't want to plant anything near GMO fields. I guess I'll just have to wait and see.

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Re: Container Gardening

Post by Farmfresh on Tue May 05, 2015 1:27 am

The Kid's three kitchen trashcans/ potato planters are doing well, so far this season. He has one purple potato planted in each. He has been earthing the up every few days. I need to get another bag of soil and they will be topped off for the season.
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Re: Container Gardening

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