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ZANNACHAN's Photo ZANNACHAN Posts: 9,009
5/5/09 11:52 P

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Velcrotk, I hope the book is helpful for you.

Now that I have spent more time in my new place, I'm rethinking some of my plants. It doesn't get nearly as much sun as my old place, which is both good and bad. Good, because it won't get so hot and so it's not as likely to bake my plants before noon, but bad because the sun-loving plants I've relied on won't do as well. It gets afternoon light and lots of indirect light, so part sun/shade plants should do okay. I'm just not as familiar with them.

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VELCROTK Posts: 7
4/27/09 9:45 A

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AEROBICHO, try planting zucchini squash (2-3 plants per bucket, in a mound), or even pumpkins or cantaloupe. Your climate is great for warm-loving plants like that, and since they grow best in mounds of earth the containers might work well.

VELCROTK Posts: 7
4/27/09 9:39 A

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Hi, ZANNACHAN:

Thanks for the book idea. I am in MI too and in need of container gardening- my garden space is shade only, which means mostly hostas and lilies, herbs. I will check out that book- thanks!

ZANNACHAN's Photo ZANNACHAN Posts: 9,009
4/27/09 9:24 A

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I have a bunch of the self water containers pots and for me they are worth every penny. We have a south facing balcony with a black surface, so it gets really hot out there. Before I started switching to the self-watering pots, I had to water my plants out there every day or they would wilt, they dried out so quickly. With the self-watering containers, I only have to water once or twice a week. Since I don't have an outside water supply, I have to fill the watering can at my kitchen sink, so that saves me a lot of work. It also frees me from being tethered to my plants--I could go visit friends or family for a day or two and not worry about my plants drying out because I was gone for a couple of days.

I do recommend drilling a couple of holes in the bottom of the ones from the Garden Supply Company, though. The reservoirs sit inside so they will still hold water, but it keeps the plants from drowning if you get a heavy rain. I almost lost a lavender plant one year because a sudden deluge had it swimming before I dumped out the excess water.

Edited by: ZANNACHAN at: 4/27/2009 (09:25)
Zanna (or Zannachan), from Michigan

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RUBYSNANA's Photo RUBYSNANA Posts: 3,791
4/27/09 7:58 A

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I do container gardening every year as it is the only way my plants can go where they get enough sun. This year I want to purchase two fairly large self watering containers for my tomatoes and I was wondering if any one had tried the self water containers and if they are worth the expense?

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LGARNER12's Photo LGARNER12 Posts: 1,447
4/27/09 4:11 A

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those of you who are balcony gardening: be careful to check for any weight restrictions and to anchor anything you place on or hang from the railings so they don't fall on someone below. Putting some packing peanuts in the bottom of the pot works for drainage and lightens the weight.

Linda

ZANNACHAN's Photo ZANNACHAN Posts: 9,009
4/26/09 9:20 P

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Those containers sound lovely! I love window boxes--they really set off a house. We have one that I plant herbs in. The first year I did this, I mixed in some other things but my husband (who is the cook in the family but definitely not the gardener!) raided the herbs once and picked lavender by accident! Fortunately, lavender is edible, but after that I never plant anything in there that isn't edible.

Edited by: ZANNACHAN at: 4/26/2009 (21:21)
Zanna (or Zannachan), from Michigan

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AKARTIST1's Photo AKARTIST1 Posts: 428
4/26/09 1:49 P

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Container gardening is the way to go in Alaska! Soil temps in the ground usually don't get over 55 degrees, and with containers you can get the soil temps up so the plants can use nutrients more readily. For fuller flowering containers we usually put the seedlings closer together than normal 6", ending up with beautiful, full containers more quickly. We still grow tomatoes, cukes, peppers,basil and corn in the greenhouse, in containers. However, we are building a new greenhouse with raised beds, which we are going to lay hot water heat pipes in them to be able to utilize the space better.
Window boxes are also a great way to add beauty to your place. We use curled and Italian parsley, sage and thyme intermingled with flowers. Fun!


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ZANNACHAN's Photo ZANNACHAN Posts: 9,009
4/25/09 9:19 P

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The container gardening book I have is:

Encyclopedia of Container Gardening edited by Geoffrey Burnie.

I like it pretty well--I got it when I was first getting into gardening (in containers because I had no other option) and it covers a lot of the basics from pots to dirt to combining different kinds of plants. It covers both indoor and outdoor containers as well, so all in all it's a pretty well rounded source.

A lot of the plants represented need warmer climates than Michigan, but it covers more north-friendly plants than some books I read--those I must have gotten from the library or gave away because I don't seem to have them any more. This book is useful for a lot of climates zones, however, because it focuses on things like texture, color, height, leaf shape etc.--things that can be applied to plants suitable to pretty much any region. It is however, pretty basic, so probably not so great for someone with experience who is looking for new ideas.

Zanna (or Zannachan), from Michigan

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***DEBRA***'s Photo ***DEBRA*** Posts: 1,662
4/22/09 11:34 P

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Garbage cans with drain holes in the bottom make good planters, too. They can also be painted to match your outdoor decor.
Because they're tall enough they can be double planted with potatoes first and then pole beans
(climbing green beans).
I prefer to line the bottom with some weed cloth to keep the soil in and the bad bugs out.
**First I add a 6 inch layer of soil.
**Then the seed potatoes. (I found Yukon Gold, my favorite, at Walmart of all places.)
**Add a few more inches of soil.
**When the potatoes are about 6-8 inches tall add about 4-6 inches of soil.
**Allow the potatoes to grow another 6-8 inches and add another layer of soil.
**Repeat this until the plants and the soil are almost to the top of the can.
**Now add a trellis, tripod, tomato cage or whatever you have that vines can grow up on.
**Plant climbing green beans/pole beans.

Potatoes and green beans are compatable veggies. They confuse some of each others pests.
**Add some Basil, Marigolds or Snapdragons.










FRUIT:
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http://www.thefruitpages.com/contents.
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For extended nutritional information click on the name of each fruit.

Hope you find this helpful.


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SWEETSPCL's Photo SWEETSPCL Posts: 2,165
4/22/09 2:22 P

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Hannah I've heard of the kiddie swimming pool and while I have yet to try it I think it's a fabulous idea. This year i'm doing containers again but the kiddie pool stays in the back of mind always.



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AEROBICHO's Photo AEROBICHO SparkPoints: (16,041)
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4/22/09 1:56 P

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Thanks! but no hurry. so far so good. i havent had alot of time to kill them yet :)

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ZANNACHAN's Photo ZANNACHAN Posts: 9,009
4/22/09 12:16 P

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AEROBICHO, I'll see if I can find it and hope it helps you! We're in the middle of packing for a move, so finding things at the moment is a little complicated, but I'll post them when I find them.

Edited by: ZANNACHAN at: 4/22/2009 (12:17)
Zanna (or Zannachan), from Michigan

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BEETLEBUGLADY's Photo BEETLEBUGLADY Posts: 760
4/22/09 8:07 A

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Lots of good ideas here. I am going to put a cherry tomato in a container and have not tried container gardening before since we have a large garden, but want some veggies at our summer camping site. Connie

KASHI64's Photo KASHI64 Posts: 163
4/21/09 11:58 P

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One thing to try (as far as using pots or containers) is either a large plastic bin (usually the kind you'd find for storing toys or blankets), or a kiddy pool. I'm going to use a top-soil and peat-moss mixture. This should act like a raised bed.

Hannah.



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AEROBICHO's Photo AEROBICHO SparkPoints: (16,041)
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4/21/09 5:42 P

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well, i live in georgia so the warmer climate tips would be great for me!

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ZANNACHAN's Photo ZANNACHAN Posts: 9,009
4/21/09 5:17 P

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My pots are fairly small because our current apartment has a tiny balcony--3 feet by 6, I think. So my biggest pots are 16 inches in diameter, going down to pretty small ones about 4 or 6 inches in diameter (which have the moss roses in them; I have them on a tiered plant stand in the corner). I also have a 39 inch long window box on the rail. They are all either plastic, which resembles ceramic but is a lot lighter, or glazed ceramic.

For our new place, where we have a much larger balcony, we're getting another window box and two larger pots, 20 inches in diameter. I don't dare go much bigger than that though, because it is a balcony.

I've seen some neat things, though, if you have a patio or actual yard to put the pots in. In addition to the traditional barrels, cement and ceramic pots, and the like, you can use all sorts of things--wagons, cauldrons--anything that can be put outside and filled with dirt. Though if you are planting vegetables or herbs, you might want to make sure that they won't put anything toxic into the soil.

I'll have to hunt up some of my books on container gardening later to post. I have some good ones, though the biggest problem I face is that a lot of them are aimed at people living in warmer climates.

Zanna (or Zannachan), from Michigan

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***DEBRA***'s Photo ***DEBRA*** Posts: 1,662
4/21/09 2:44 P

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My whole veggie garden is planted in BIG pots leftover from a landscaper after he plants trees for his cunstomers.

It worked so good for us last year that we've collected more pots to expand this year.

Old garbage cans with holes in the bottom work well, too.

Here's another option that has become popular here in NC.

"Straw Bale Gardening"
Here's one webpage but there are more online.

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/
t/584625/

I just added a couple of snapshots of our new & improved veggie cage. We still have alot of work to do.
More seeds arrived today in the mail! WooHoo!

Edited by: ***DEBRA*** at: 4/21/2009 (15:16)
FRUIT:
Nutritional Information

http://www.thefruitpages.com/contents.
shtml

For extended nutritional information click on the name of each fruit.

Hope you find this helpful.


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ESMERILDA1313's Photo ESMERILDA1313 Posts: 1,640
4/21/09 2:12 P

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They have great books at the library just for container gardens I was amazed at all you can grow!
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AEROBICHO's Photo AEROBICHO SparkPoints: (16,041)
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4/21/09 1:37 P

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i used 5 and 6 gallon buckets. i drilled holes in the bottom of them, put in a small layer of gravel and used purchased potting soil from the store. I chose it because it had added nutrients. I have never had much luck with any type of gardening so i decided to give it all the help it could get from the miracle grow potting soil.

i just used regular squash and cucumber plants but it may not work. i didnt check into well enough before i actually bought and planted the plants. Hopefully it will work.

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CHRIS4338's Photo CHRIS4338 Posts: 1,033
4/21/09 1:24 P

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This is something I am dying to learn more about! I have a small city yard and am very limited on planting space so I definitely need to rely on containers. What size container do you recommend? What type of soil do you use? A few of you mentioned putting squash/cucumber in a container - are there varieties that are specific to containers? I have typically done tomatoes and basil - I don't think my peppers were in a deep enough pot because they started to tip over and I had to stake them up. Oh, btw I'm in Pittsburgh.

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4/21/09 1:20 P

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i am also trying container gardening this year. BUt i'm doing it because we have a new dog that likes to dig. So i am very interested in this topic. Any suggestions would be great. i have tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, peppers. I bought an okra plant and have now learned it will grow very high. Can i still put this in a 5 gallon bucket?

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ZANNACHAN's Photo ZANNACHAN Posts: 9,009
4/20/09 9:38 P

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Scorpjen, what is your zone?

I live in an apartment in Michigan, so all my gardening is container gardening. Perennials tend to die if I can't bring them inside in the winter, and space inside is limited, so I mostly plant annuals but I've had good luck with those.

I plant a lot of herbs--they do well in containers, make the balcony smell heavenly, and are great in all kinds of dishes. I also plant lavender, because I love the smell and it's useful dried. I then plant heat and drought tolerant flowers--things like moss roses, million bells and wave petunias, marigolds, strawflowers and the like.

I'm only in zones 4 or 5, but our balcony faces south and so it gets all sun, all day. It gets really hot out there--so hot I have to wear shoes on the balcony because it burns my feet otherwise. I have mostly self watering containers now because otherwise I had to water every other day at least; I could never leave home, even for a weekend, with out my plants wilting, even with drought tolerant plants. If plants aren't heat and drought tolerant they don't usually didn't survive the summer. I think the wave petunias and million bells may be the exception--they aren't listed as drought/heat hardy but they did well.

Edited by: ZANNACHAN at: 4/20/2009 (21:39)
Zanna (or Zannachan), from Michigan

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ZANNACHAN's Photo ZANNACHAN Posts: 9,009
4/20/09 9:30 P

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Have you tried the self watering containers, Bookgoddess? I have a south facing balcony with a black surface, and while it doesn't get as hot as it would in Arizona, it does get pretty hot out there. I had a lot of problems with my plants drying out so I started investing in the pots with an internal water supply. You can also get the reservoirs to turn regular pots into self watering ones. You would probably need to still focus on heat and drought tolerant plants, but it might help.

Edited by: ZANNACHAN at: 4/20/2009 (21:30)
Zanna (or Zannachan), from Michigan

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BOOKGODDES's Photo BOOKGODDES Posts: 200
4/20/09 6:25 P

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I am an Army wife and move, alot. So putting in a garden is not always possible. Container gardening though seems to always be an option though. This is my first season trying in Arizona and so far, not so great. Everything I put ourside dies! I had great looking green beans and dead dead dead. Strawberries are looking rather pathetic as well and the wind is ripping up my flowers.

With a grow light in a sunny window though, I have tons of seedlings of different kinds. Just so scared to put them outside and they badly need as they are very rooty.

How are your outside plants doing?

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SCORPJEN1121's Photo SCORPJEN1121 SparkPoints: (31)
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4/20/09 2:07 P

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I live in an apartment complex currently so sadly am limited to a container garden on my balcony, with two railing pots, and a few lil indoor ones too.

tips, ideas etc welcome.

this year i have strawberries, tomato and squash i'm hoping to grow. along with a few herbs and maybe even some pretty flowers :)

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