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#230273 02/01/06 10:40 PM
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So, I was just thinking about this today. A few years ago I moved to Louisiana (where the water table is so high it can be tricky to grow stuff) from New York (where the dirt stays still). I've grown some herbs in pots, but I think I'd like to try growing some veggies, too.

So my question is: what veggies grow well in pots? The climate here is ideal; it's already warm during the days and only down to about 45 at night (winter's over LOL), but it does get hot in the summer. I have a nice big shaded patio where I can put pots.

I guess I'm just wondering where a good place to start would be?

I'll eat just about anything, by the way, I don't think there's a veggie out there that I don't like.

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#230274 02/07/06 02:47 PM
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Tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, squash, all of these, and more will grow well in containers.
Cherry tomatoes grow well in hanging baskets and are very cute doing so. It's great fun to pluck a cherry tomato off a hanging planter and just pop it in your mouth. Since they are up off the ground, they're pretty clean.
I know one family that is in the U.S. Park Service and is relocated fairly frequently. Tired of losing their garden mid-season, they just started planting in 5-gallon spackle buckets, growing lots of veggies, and they just move them when their marching orders come.
They use gravel in the bottom of the buckets to help weight them, as the tomatoes can get a bit top-heavy. They use wire trellises for support. Also, they only fill the buckets about 2/3 full when planting the young tomatoes. As the seedlings gain height, they add soil to the pot to give extra support to the stem. This is a very good way to get strong stems on the tomatoes.

There isn't much you can't grow in a container.

#230275 02/15/06 10:47 PM
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Gecko
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Gecko
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Hi again!

Thanks for your article on growing veggies in pots, VERY helpful. You mentioned that containers frequently dry out in hot weather.... is that any different in extraordinarily humid climates? I know I mentioned that I am in Louisiana, in the summer, it is REALLY hot here, but also INCREDIBLY humid.... to the point where I can't even wear my glasses all the time... they sometimes just steam up. In any case, will this change my watering needs? I know you mentioned that popsicle sticks make good indicators, do they still work in severe humidity?

I'm looking forward to my container garden. I like the idea of a garden in the summer here that I can work on with a gin and tonic in my hand... the down-and-dirty stuff is a little bit too much for me.... I'm not as scared of the dirt as I am of the snakes and spiders that live in it. LOL.

#230276 02/16/06 12:54 PM
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I like your idea of gardening with a G&T in hand. Ditto on the snakes and spiders, though I have become a lot more tolerant of the critters as time goes by. My brothers used to chase me around with earthworms, so that I can blame on early childhood trauma. I had to learn to love them. (Both, the brothers and the worms.)

I can just imagine how humid LA would be in the summer. I have a friend living in Bunkie. He never even broke a sweat here in the NJ summer, and we think it's humid here!

Still, I think the popsicle stick would tell the tale about how dry the soil in your containers is at any given time. If the part of the stick that's an inch below soil level is moist, the plants have enough water.

I would be more concerned about rot and fungus. Though what I've read about LA describes lush and verdant plant life, if growing conditions are too wet, you can run into trouble with the excess moisture. I'd keep an eye on that. Air and sunlight are the antidotes. I would definitely keep the plants growing up, whether with a trellis or tomato cages, or just plain old stakes, if you make like Playtex and lift and separate the branches, there will be more air circulation and opportunity for sunlight to hit every part of the plant. My Dad used old nylons as ties for the tomatoes and swore by them. They don't damage the stems like some other materials. (I think it amused him as well to have all the girls saving their stockings for him.)

Container gardening is great for people who don't really like to get down and dirty, but who love to garden. It's just easier once you get a system going. Especially for those of us who can't easily get down to earth anymore, it's a real boon to be able to putter in a garden that's a bit more on our level.

If you like onions, I'd put some of them in as well. Fresh onions are incredible! It's onion squared. <img src="/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

Enjoy.

#230277 02/17/06 05:01 PM
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Thanks for all the great tips for container gardening. I'm going to plant green beans in tubs in June so I can put them in sunny spots in the garden. I'll post pics of the results.

#230278 02/17/06 05:29 PM
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Which kind, pole beans or bush beans? They both like plenty of sun and soil on the kind of dry side, which is good for container growing. You're not a slave to the hose. That's pretty smart, cookie. <img src="/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />

Me, I've been dreaming about radishes now. I see a sandwich recipe that Julia Child made on Oprah way back when she was a lunchtime junior broadcaster with Maury Povich in Baltimore in her early days. It involves chopped radishes, butter, salt, and rye bread. Unbelievable. Now, though, I'd be eating it on a Wasa crispbread to make it low-carb.

Radishes, mmmm, I wonder if they're as extra strength as home-grown onions are?

#230279 02/18/06 02:24 AM
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Well, actually, I'll be planting pole beans. In the photo you'll see ours from this past summer - on the left. The package said bush beans. hehehehe

Anyway, the pods grew so long and big with 7-9 seeds in them that I let them grow and die off, then harvested the seeds from those long pods, dried them out and last week made the best baked beans I've ever tasted.

Fortunately I held back 20 seeds from the cooking pot and those are what I'll be planting in the containers.

In front of the beans is swiss chard which survives yearround. <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

On the right in the photo is our little greenhouse for tomatoes - in our climate you only get a crop against a south facing fence or enclosure because of our short warm growing season - May 15th to August 15th.

We got 80 tomatoes from that harvest.


#230280 02/18/06 09:13 AM
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Finally, I get to say it and mean it---cool beans!
ROLF! (Oh, I crack myself up.)

Swiss chard. This is an interesting vegetable. I've just started to use it because we've been making soup more often this winter. It's actually quite delicious. I don't know why I had passed it by before. I guess it looked a little too healthy. I bet it would grow in a container as well.

You have a short growing season? Clever greenhouse there for the tomatoes. Well, your farmers have figured something out. The tastiest tomatoes we get here in the US in the winter are grown in Holland.

#230281 02/18/06 01:31 PM
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Yup - tomatoes and peppers are grown in greenhouses in Holland.

#230282 02/18/06 01:45 PM
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I love a greenhouse. The ultimate container garden! Anyone lucky enough to have one can start all their seeds in there.

Even a terrarium is a greenhouse, though on a small scale.

Megan: I'm thinking of Louisiana as a big greenhouse right now. There'd be a few similarities there, right? Hot, humid, nice for [color:"green"]growing[/color] things... <img src="/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />

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