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#230293 03/23/06 12:23 PM
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Shark
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Thanks Mary Ellen! <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> I love basil so that is definitely top of my list.


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#230294 03/23/06 01:24 PM
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Today I prepared 20 5-gal plastic fake terra cotta looking pots with the lower half last year's garden soil and the top half potting soil. Oh, I laid one layer of coffee filters over the drainage holes.

I plan on planting tomatoes in the little greenhouse at left and the swiss chard from last year is still growing in the bed at left, but in the pots I'm going to try lettuce, carrots, spaghetti squash, lima beans, bush beans, herbs, peas.

Also in the bed with the swiss chard I'm going to plant last year's dry beans.

#230295 03/27/06 01:09 PM
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Shark
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Sorry, I'm househunting and finally found one with plenty of gardening space! Yea!.

Anyway, Swiss Chard can also be cooked like asparagus! Tear off the leaves for salads and steam the stalks!

The containers were the 40-gallon size. Then I lined the sides with at least 1-1/2inches of newspaper wrapped in green garbage bags! Gravel for drainage and layered the soil -- my own variation on French intensive gardening. It's a little tricky to do, but well worth it. They're perfect for small yards, and sunny apartment porches!

1. 40-gal rectangular tub.
2. Fold enough newspapers in half to reach 1-1/2 thickness.
3. Cover each bundle with plastic bags, or open bags, wrap around bundle, and tape closed on side that will be against wall of basket. (this was the year-round insulation)
4. Put at least 4"-6" of aggregate (large driveway rocks) on bottom for drainage. You won't need to drill holes in the bottom of the containers, so there's no mess on balconies!
5. Layers, repeat twice. 2" soil, 1/8" bone meal, 1/8" blood meal, 1/8" green sand (crushed concrete), 1/4" Vermiculite (sp?). Repeat layers and end with soil. Should have about 2" border above last layer of soil.
6. Now check out a local nursery and ask if you can collect some worms from under their potted plants! Most will let you take them. Or, if not, find some fishing worm places and buy a few bags. Or....way down the ladder, dig your own!
7. Before you add the worms to the planters, make sure the top soil is damp and inviting. Divide the worms among your planters and they'll take care of your soil irrigation needs!
8. Broadcast all seeds, except Swiss Chard and Kohlrabi, thin when ready, as plants are nearing final harvest, put down new seed/seedlings near plant to replace it. Remember to rotate plants, either by container or position in container.

You'll be harvesting year round, so invite me to dinner!


Sharlene Thomas
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#230296 03/27/06 08:25 PM
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Gecko
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Those sound like some very professional containers there, with the newspaper insulation and all. You really did keep the crops going year 'round, didn't you?

There was a time when I was moving around so often and so busy that all I could do was buy a bag of potting soil, poke holes in it top and bottom, and pop in some posies to keep me going until things settled down. I mulched over the bag and put it in the sunshine and it did just fine for the few months until I got settled again. Actually, as I remember, that was a good year for flowers. There's really no limit to what you can do if you apply a few good gardening principles and let your plants grow.

Dinner? Any time!

Oh, I keep worms on hand to feed my fishes! If you do have an aquarium, use the water from your water changes to water your plants. It's rich in nitrogen and the plants love it!

#230297 04/20/06 05:58 PM
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Gecko
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Quote:
make like Playtex and lift and separate the branches


What a classic quote. <img src="/images/graemlins/rolling.gif" alt="" />

I've done veggie containers many years, and the only thing was the tomatoes were thirsty all the time. But it's doable.

This year we'll have

Eggplant (3 vars.)
Pumpkins
Tomatoes (cherry and brandywine)
Onions (walla walla)
Bell peppers

Later on I'll plant some zucchini, but I don't want to be overwhelmed. <img src="/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" />


Darling Poor
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#230298 04/21/06 09:28 AM
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Gecko
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Yep, tomatoes do need their water. They are very juicy fruits. (Hmmm, where have I heard that before?)

It would be the pumpkins that would scare me, not the zucchini, though I know what you mean. By fall, you could be looking at a real embarrassment of riches with zucchini. You can reduce productivity with zucchini by picking early and often. If you remove some of the flowers (How can I bear it?), you shouldn't have too many zuchs.

I bet those onions are going to be real tasty!

#230299 04/21/06 10:30 AM
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These are the giant var. of pumpkins and I presume he'll want to remove most of the flowers to focus on a few biggies.

I've never tried onions, so this will be a first. Hubby likes to grill them so I am picturing lots of summer evenings with grilled steak and onions. Mm.


Darling Poor
Editor of Horses Site
#230300 12/22/06 09:50 PM
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Shark
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Okay. Lots of time has passed. I've moved into the new house and actually got a major "container" garden going, but not until the middle of June. Layered the soil and added about 600 worms.
You can see an October picture if you go to my new site: http://www.creativehandz.com/creativehandz/ne2.1myblog.htm

Grew:
Roma tomatoes
Beefsteak tomatoes
Grape tomatoes
Swiss Chard
Onions
Radishes
Carrots
Okra
Eggplant
Zucchini
Summer Squash
Cucumbers
Basil
Chives
Thyme
Fennel
Bush Green Beans
Leaf Lettuces

Used the same layering technique as for the smaller containers, except lined it with the plastic bags from the aggregate. Poor little plants really had some tough sun to compete against, but, as you can see, they made it.

Made sure they had a constant source of water by putting needle holes in the bottom (opposing sides)of plastic water bottles and refilled them every couple of days. Bottles were spaced to feed two plants each. (Don't you just love progress?)

Anyway, the move lasted most of the summer and gardening was low on the list. Even so, we had great dinners of fresh veggies and I'm glad I went ahead and set this one up.

I'll be doing lasagna gardens this spring.


Sharlene Thomas
Career Training Editor, Bella Online
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#230301 01/04/07 07:21 PM
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Gecko
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Totally awesome! This is some container garden! I love a raised bed myself, hence my great enthusiasm for container gardening. Your tip about bottle watering is well taken and I've spied used soda bottles in some very high-brow containers over the years to cut down on the daily watering required at the height of summer. It's a beautiful thing.

Here in NJ, the daffodils are peeking their leaves out of the soil and the primroses are greening up. And we haven't even had our first lick of winter yet!

Thanks for posting.

#230302 01/05/07 10:14 PM
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I think anything can be grown in pots and containers. In fact they are probably better off in containers if you start with a perfect soil rather than mucking around with the existing soil.

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