Container garden beginner - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 03-05-2006, 06:46 AM
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Just curious what some of the best fruits/veggies/greens are for a beginner to try?



Are there any that do better indoors as opposed to outdoors and vice versa?



I'm in South Carolina and I believe that it's zone 7.
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#2 Old 03-06-2006, 11:30 AM
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I'm kind of surprised no one has replied yet.



Sorry I can't be much help, but here are some things I've grown successfully in containers here in zone 10 (on the coast where it's always overcast, and we never get any real heat): sugar snap peas (trellised), cherry and regular tomatoes, chilies and bell peppers, small cucumbers (trellised), and herbs. Very easy to maintain: lemongrass, bay laurel, parsley, oregano, thyme, mints, rosemary, lavender, basil, dill and chives. I haven't gotten cilantro to flourish, but I've heard it doesn't take to transplanting well, and I think I'm planting it where it's actually TOO shady. Anyway, good luck with the gardening, and I hope you get some more advice here!
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#3 Old 03-07-2006, 12:41 PM
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I wanna know too! No plot of land to speak of, but could do containers outside (herbs inside)~ Tried to do some tomatoes in a small garden last year and nothing ever grew *cry* ~ I'm in Colorado... technically the desert..
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#4 Old 03-07-2006, 12:42 PM
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Just looked it up... I guess I'm in zone 5...
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#5 Old 03-07-2006, 02:19 PM
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I just did a search on container gardening. It's pretty simple really. You can grow pretty much anything. I picked out everything I wanted, and all or it is fine, except of course for corn-that would have to be a very big bucket. Some of the veggies come in varieties especially for boxes.



I'm growing Snap peas, carrots, herbs, bibb lettuce, spinach, and will be planting zucchini, summer squash, aspargus beans, green beans, and tomatoes. The carrots and green beans are especially for boxes, the carrots are short, and the beans grow in a bush instead of a vine. There are also tomato bushes, but I wanted grape tomatoes.



This is my first year. So far everything is coming along nicely. It's getting hot now and I have much more sun than I thought I would, so I'm thinking of going ahead and starting the rest of my boxes outside. I'm in southern Louisiana.
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#6 Old 03-07-2006, 02:46 PM
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Yeah, I think I need to just take the plunge and buy a few different kinds and just give it a go.



Thanks for your answers, everybody.
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#7 Old 03-07-2006, 06:48 PM
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I'm also Colorado with a TINY shaded yard.

I have luck with sage, mints, peppers and basil.



Looking to try onions, garlic and shallots.

We just HAVE to remember to water every day. Or sink the $$ for self-waterers.

Where are you, Beka joi?

I'm Littleton



http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/garden/07849.html
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#8 Old 03-07-2006, 09:12 PM
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I'm in Colorado Springs~ I am still getting used to the climate here~ I could keep plants alive like it was NOTHING, back in Nebraska, lol. It must be the dialy watering thing that got me last year. Will have to try again.
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#9 Old 03-09-2006, 05:36 AM
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It's hard to get used to watering enough in a hot climate if you previously gardened in a mild one. I used to garden in California, which is much more desertlike than Central Texas, but the temperatures are generally milder so less evaporation. I have to water every day here when plants are small. Container plants need to be checked during the day to make sure they aren't drying out. We've had some very warm days here this Spring.
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#10 Old 03-09-2006, 08:14 AM
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I know for a fact that any kind of tomatoes will grow in a container. So will strawberries and almost every herb you can think of! Unless the plant gets super huge, it'll grow in a container! Happy growing!!
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#11 Old 03-09-2006, 07:56 PM
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I accidentally found that old towels make great mulch.

wet, wring and drape over the soil in the container. think Charlie brown Xmas tree.
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#12 Old 03-12-2006, 01:33 PM
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Hey Jenna, I'm in North Carolina...when I started container gardening a few years ago, I found that peppers and tomatoes generally fare well in pots and that cucumbers generally do not. All sorts of herbs can do well...I have fresh basil all summer for instance...but have found that cilantro, though I love to have it as part of my container garden, generally does not last very long. What you get in a store when you buy cilantro is LOTS of cilantro plants. The thing to remember about container veggies in the southeast is WATER WATER WATER. Also some need more sunlight...I always find that my pepper plants fare better on the fire escape out the back door of my apartment because they love the sun. Particularly warm breed peppers, like chilis and seranos need lots of warmth and sunlight. One thing I've learned with porch gardens is that critters LOVE my tomatoes. Two years ago I lost an entire crop of fire escape romas to squirrels, who would drink the juice out of the center and half hazzardly toss the empty tomato halves all over the place. Peppers they do not seem to care for, but tomatoes they love.



I have limited experience since I only grow a few garden plants (tomatoes, peppers and herbs), and like to have some flowers as well. And while I don't get that much produce from my garden yet (maybe I haven't learned all the tricks)...I certainly do love having my garden. Something about all that green on the porch makes me happy.



B
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#13 Old 03-12-2006, 01:35 PM
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Oh yes, someone mentioned rosemary which I find does very well in a po with very little attention.
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#14 Old 03-12-2006, 01:57 PM
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Jenna, I didn't answer because I think my part of the country is drastically different, but similar to what bethanie said, I have good luck with almost any sort of tomato - though I do make an effort to get the ones that are suited for pots - they grow more bush-like and not so tall.



Zucchini and yellow squash seem to do well but they trail all over the place and don't stay in their container so well...



I have an entire herb garden on my patio in various pots - basil does well with LOT AND LOTS of water, mint, sage, rosemary, thyme, lemon balm, lemon verbena, parsley, oregano and fennel are all wonderful though. I usually plant herb pots with some flowers in the pots as well so they are colorful as well as functional. (and attracts bees and butterflies too - so pretty!)



I love container gardening and sitting on my patio in the evening enjoying the fruits of my labor - a tall glass of iced herb tea (or rosemary lemonade - :swoon along with the smells of the various herbs and the sounds of little insects buzzing aroound and of course the way everything looks.... VERY peaceful and relaxing.
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#15 Old 03-12-2006, 04:30 PM
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I see now that I'm going to have to try a larger variety of herbs this year. To the hardware store we go.



B
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#16 Old 03-12-2006, 09:42 PM
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thank you much, ladies. i've been taking notes and added your suggestions!



ETA: as far as tomatoes and squirrels - there are TONS of squirrels around here and they love our yard. any clue what is a good way of keeping them away from the stuff? i'm thinking the only place i can put these containers is on the patio and it's completely open to the elements.
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#17 Old 03-16-2006, 06:36 PM
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Swiss chard is extremely hearty and will grow well in a large pot, it will also keep producing year round, at least in Cali.



Mint is a very sturdy herb if you are a beginner this may be a good one to start out with as well.
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#18 Old 03-16-2006, 08:42 PM
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I am so excited about my balcony garden this year. I think I planted early enough this year to get my plants healthy before it gets too hot. I have tried tomatoes and peppers in the past. Tomatoes did okay until we started hitting 100 degree weather. I got a special variety of tomatoes this year that's supposed to do well in containers. I'm trying to do herbs from seeds this year. I'm kind of worried about it. I saw some birds hanging around on my pots the other day and I'm afraid they ate the seeds. They also built a nest in my hanging plant. I'm not sure if I'm giving the seeds the right amount of water.



I really want cilantro to work because it's the one herb that I need fresh but the amount you have to buy at the store is way more than I use in a reasonable amount of time. I tried it before but it goes to seed really quickly. The herbs I've planted this year: parsley, cilantro, oregano, basil, chives, sage. Also aloe vera, not really an herb though.
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#19 Old 03-17-2006, 03:40 PM
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Ohhhh...please don't start mint in SC. I know here in NC if you start mint you're doomed, as it grows and spreads and becomes rather...what's the word...invasive. My balcony pots somehow manage to sprout some mint every year, which travels maybe by animal foot or bird mouth from the backyard mint....to the pots.
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#20 Old 03-22-2006, 02:51 PM
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Bekajoi--



I live in England now, but I'm from Colorado Springs! My parents still live there.



I think the main thing is to try and pick drought-resistant varieties, try to plant them someplace where they won't get cooked, and water (carefully) every day. Even though there's been water restrictions for the past few years, my parents manage to keep a more-or-less green lawn and various flowers--at least in the well-shaded front yard, where there's no dog!



We grew a patch of vegetables (beets, spinach, carrots, radishes, and I think lettuce) on the back porch when I was a kid. I never have had much luck with tomatoes or peppers, but I think this has to do with laziness more than anything else. I did manage to grow a few tomatoes in a pot on the patio in Denver a few years ago (I only harvested two!).



Incidentally, does anybody have any tips on growing vegetables indoors in a cold, damp climate (Northern England)? I would really like to grow my own sugar snap peas, and maybe some New Mexico-style chiles, but I have absolutely no outdoor space at all. Most of the things I've found on Google are oriented toward those who have a small outdoor space of some kind, but I'm not even sure that I can put up window boxes, due to the design of my apartment windows.



Am I SOL?



Thanks,

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#21 Old 03-22-2006, 06:11 PM
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Mander, is there a possibility you could add a greenhouse window/room to your house/apartment?



http://www.farm-garden.com/store/gre...arden_attached
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#22 Old 03-23-2006, 09:17 AM
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I'm just waiting for the frosts to stop before planting anything this year~ I lived in Nebraska before this, and it was rather different, weather-wise. And I managed to keep several large plants alive on a balcony there, even in 100+* weather. I might have had to water a few times a day but it was definately not a problem. Perk of being at home all day, I suppose. (watered in the dark, especially~ it allowed the plant to soak up a lot of the moisture~ and I misted throughout the day.



As for the balcony/porch thing... I have the same issue. Bottom floor apartment... I'm thinking if I do herbs, I'll keep them in the kitchen~ and if you CAN, it might be a good idea to do hanging plants? Would be more work for those squirrels.



Another idea is to have a bird feeder out, to distract them from your goodies. I am not sure what I'll do just yet.
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#23 Old 03-25-2006, 08:10 AM
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I grow eggplants (aubergines), all sorts of herbs, dwarf sweetcorn, tomatoes, potatoes (in a black plastic garbage bag), zuchinni (courgettes), chillis, sweet peppers, cucumbers, beans, both climbing and bush beans, and this year I am going to fan train a fig tree against our brick garage wall. They like their roots restricted so it will need to be in a pot. They usually will not fruit in our area unless they are grown in a pot. There was even an article in my kitchen garden magazine about growing asparagus in a container.
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#24 Old 04-13-2006, 11:38 PM
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Wow, c-springs ppl! I grew up there.. we never had problems growing things.. the main problem was keeping the deer from eating everything. I think the main thing is just to water and water and water, since it's so dang dry.



I'm now in southern california, where it gets VERY hot.. I've planted a ton of veggies in pots out on my patio (no yard).. THey only get about 4.5 hours of sun each day, is that enough?



and someone said they grew squash in pots.. i know mine will grow out of the pot, how did you support the plants/keep them from tearing the roots out due to the weight of the plant/fruit?
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#25 Old 04-15-2006, 12:32 PM
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"wait for frost to stop"



pardon my laughing Beka Joi, but I've seen snow in high country on July 4 plant 'em and be prepared to cover/ move.

If you have an OToole's garden center go see them- smart cookies and very helpful!
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#26 Old 05-08-2006, 10:54 AM
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I've never done this before, but I'm going to start this summer. I just moved to Florida and live in a 3rd floor apartment with a balcony. I bought a tomato plant and a basil plant this morning to start with.....



My first (very newbie) question is, how big of a pot should I get to re-plant? They are both in pint containers right now. Any idea of what I can expect, and when I should transfer them?



After reading this thread, I'm thinking of getting a pepper plant too - any advice? Thanks!
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