I'm curious if any of you have your own gardens at home, specifically container gardens. I'd love to have a huge garden, but the family who lived here before us worked on cars a lot and had lots of oil and transmission fluid and who knows what else on the ground. I'm very leery to plant food in that soil! I tried a mini container garden many years ago--scallions, carrots, etc., but worms ate my tomatoes and our dogs (or climbing rabbits) got to the carrots. And unfortunately the huge containers are more expensive than I can afford--at least in large quantities.
If you do container gardens, what do you use for soil? Pre-packaged stuff from the nursery, mixtures of some sort?
Or is it just easier to let the experts do it and just buy stuff at the grocery? ;)
I'm going to do online research, but am curious as to actual experiences.
I love container gardening - I get flower pots of all sizes at flea markets yard sales - heck people even throw them out beside the road....I have used organic soil from nursery and I also have gotten soil road side from the country. I don't seem to have bug problems (knock on wood), and I dont have animals yet....I had grape tomatoes in hanging pots this past year.
I want to expand my pot garden, I use organic soil from a nursery, mainly herbs.
as in....? Ha That came out kinda funny. Yeah, I'd love to do some container gardening myself. I guess that way you would be absolutly sure of what's going into your plants. I wish I had a sun room, I'd love to do herbs year round. Perhaps one day..*wistful sigh*
lights under my counter do great for small herbs on the kitchen counter, and in one house we had - I put an open shelf in front of the window - - just a couple of ideas
You can grow anything you want in containers--but you can also make raised beds with 2x4's etc, and either build a bottom or even less expensive, line the ground underneath with anything-newspaper, plastic etc. Then fill to the top of boards with compost/soil and there you go--weedless garden.
There's a plant called dog-be-gone that is a natural dog repellent...you could also attach chicken wire to the raised beds....or cover them.
You might want to consider a method of gardening called Square Foot Gardening. I think it's soooo great. I'm just setting mine up myself and will be concentrating on greens. It is an incredibly productive, high-yield way to garden with minimal -- and I mean, really minimal -- work involved. No weeding, little water, an amazing, innovate planting mix, and it can be adapted for any amount of space from a yard to a little patio. Here's the site on it:
The man who invented it had a PBS series about it a long time ago and a book that I checked out from the library recently. He's now evolved and updated his method (which is explained on the website) and is teaching it in third world countries so that those people can become independent (and healthy!) with minimal resources.
What do you think?
I'd love to share planting (and picking ... later!) stories ... if anyone else is planting or planning to plant and harvest their own produce.
Square Foot Gardening
I did square foot gardening last year and thought it was awful. Maybe though in really small places it would be good. My garden was huge. Anyways, just so you know the plants do not grow the same with such little room around them and it's a pain to try to keep each plant in it's square foot--I found that took just as much time as weeding! Again though-my garden is BIG so that could be why it didnt work well.
Hi there Kelly-
I noticed you were talking about the expense of expensive pots... couldn't you use those clear plastic tubs for storage? They are like $8 or less at Wal-mart... I have never tried it, but I may because although I have a small yard, my hubby put so many plants in, that there is little place for a garden. Just a thought...
Oh, and when we planted a tree this past Spring, we went to a local nursery that had the coolest lady there- she is into organic growing and told us all about worm castings... it is a little pricy ($10 for 10 pounds from what I remember), but it is supposed to be the best for planting anything. The price should be going down because the demand is going up with the awareness of organic grown produce. Our tree is doing wonderfully and we just added a little of the castings under it as a refresher... here is a link to the site about it:
Good luck to all on their gardens! I am excited to get started here... I just planted the daffadils and that really got me into the mood for the garden...
Sweetgoddess, that sounds like an awful experience last year. Are you going back to traditional now? What veggies do you plant?
Kelly, since you're in Tucson, have you considered looking/asking for containers on freecycle? My sister has found so many items for her yard on there.
Daffodils -- I've had bulbs for a couple of years that I bought in Holland, but I've never planted bulbs. I'm so dense. I was just asking a friend when the time is to plant them. Am I too late, Melissa? My climate is cooler and more coastal here in Long Beach than you are in Vista.
Square foot gardening looks pretty, I wonder why that wouldn't work so well? I think it would be great for herbs, I'm down to one pot of herbs now 'parsley'
RawTruth~You can still plant your bulbs ! As long as they have a chance to get cold. I grow corn, squash, tomatoes of all kinds, peppers, herbs, carrots, onions of all kinds, leeks, potatoes, blueberries, strawberries, many kinds of lettuce, chards, kale, spinach, radishes, garlic, pumpkin, cucumbers, eggplants, peas, beans,edible flowers, melons ...everything really. I am having a greenhouse built this spring and am so so so excited. It's 52x16 and I'll be able to grow all my own food all year long. I sell at the Farmers Market also.
Sam I just found that with squarefoot gardening--nothing stays a square inch lol
You'll have to constantly clip everything to stay in its square and will have a much smaller yield.
I could see herbs working though.......and if you only have a teensy bit of room to garden then it would be worth it.
Carmel, I can see how that would be. I can keep my herbs more contained in a c ouple of old strawberry pot I have here, it's decorative and takes up less space.
I know Carmel answered you already but I just wanted to tell you too- most definitly plant them soon... I did mine a little early- but we will be cold here all over Southern CA for atleast another month... so go for it! Mine were already starting to bud a little when I planted them so I hope they do okay... I will post a picture when they are all nice and bright!
If it doesn't rain (again -- grrrr!) tomorrow, I'll plant 'em. Or, maybe, in pots?