Author Topic: Anybody container gardening?  (Read 8344 times)

onehair

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 365
Anybody container gardening?
« on: June 17, 2015, 11:11:45 AM »
I live in an apartment and don't have much space. After whining it was too hard to grow my own food I decided to take the plunge and give container gardening a shot.  I planted hybrid mini carrots and okra.  The okra didn't make it but the carrots have hung on though I have yet to harvest them.  Their tops are healthy but the bottoms look puny.  I have been watering them and thinning them like mad.The bottom stalks appear to begetting thicker but I haven't seen any bits of orange roots yet.

Next it will be strawberries and maybe turnips and more carrots next year.  No peas or zucchinis or squash due to personal prejudice!


geekette

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1830
Re: Anybody container gardening?
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2015, 12:12:08 PM »
I have a couple Earth Boxes (FIL gave them to me at least a decade ago).  Tomatoes grow like crazy in them.  I've had good success with okra, but don't even try to plant it until it's warm.  Or hot, even.  Try too early and they will fail.  Also, it helps to soak the seeds (even nick them with a knife) to get them to sprout.

Kaspian

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1536
  • Location: Canada
    • My Necronomicon of Badassity
Re: Anybody container gardening?
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2015, 12:47:39 PM »
I began experimenting this year with spices in an indoor box.  So far the cilantro's been very fussy but the basil's a real rockstar.  The plant is so big I'm going to have to move it out of the little yogurt container soon.  As per recommendations from the MMM community on Facebook, next year I'm going to try dill and chives.

Kaspian

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1536
  • Location: Canada
    • My Necronomicon of Badassity
Re: Anybody container gardening?
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2015, 12:51:08 PM »
Picture of my "experiment".  The cilantro has since tangled itself all up and died.  I've replanted with less seeds.  The basil has since tripled in size. This year I was really just aiming to see a) whether it could be done in my window and b) how much work would be involved.

Redstone5

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 403
  • Location: BC
Re: Anybody container gardening?
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2015, 01:04:46 PM »
I got some great containers for gardening for free from a friend who works at a milk delivery business. They are huge, white, ice cream buckets (about 1 and half feet tall and 1 foot in diameter) and apparently these companies often have lots just waiting to be recycled. I drilled some holes in the bottom of each for drainage. They even have handles so you can move them around more easily.

Rural

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4803
Re: Anybody container gardening?
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2015, 02:34:11 PM »

I'm doing a mix because our courtyard is scraped down to subsoil. So everything in there is a five-gallon buckets.

Those actually work great for things that need a little more space. I have peppers in them just now. With things that need a lot of water like peppers or especially tomatoes, you can drill the holes a couple of inches up the sides of the buckets instead of in the bottom. Then add gravel up to the level of the holes so that they don't get clogged with dirt, and your plants will have a reservoir of water in the bottom to last over a couple of days.

2ndTimer

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4616
Re: Anybody container gardening?
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2015, 02:42:33 PM »
I poked a few roots left over from my green onion tops into a pot of dirt about six months ago.  Have been harvesting green onion tops to sprinkle on things ever since. 

MishMash

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 641
Re: Anybody container gardening?
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2015, 03:39:06 PM »
I made three huge self watering planters out of nothing more then a rubbermaid container with lid, PVC pipe and a used flower pot.  This is the first year I've had them but the eggplants and peppers are HUGE and tons of flowers/fruit.

Mrs.LC

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 226
    • Loose Change Living
Re: Anybody container gardening?
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2015, 04:39:35 PM »
Read the book Square Foot Gardening for more ideas on small scale gardening.  Tomatoes and peppers work great in containers. 

Elderwood17

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 525
  • Location: Western North Carolina
Re: Anybody container gardening?
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2015, 07:54:10 PM »
We have had good success growing lettuce in containers (in season).  Not much else!

frugalmamma13

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 12
Re: Anybody container gardening?
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2015, 11:44:14 AM »
We have been able to grow amazingly healthy plants in containers withe vermicompost (worm compost).  You can also fit a small worm bin on a balcony & then you can compost & have highly nutritious soil for your plants.

4alpacas

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1897
Re: Anybody container gardening?
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2015, 12:06:05 PM »
Read the book Square Foot Gardening for more ideas on small scale gardening.  Tomatoes and peppers work great in containers.
I love growing tomatoes, especially cherry tomatoes.  I have a ripe tomato almost every day! 

gardeningandgreen

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 326
  • Location: Minnesota
    • Gardening and Green
Re: Anybody container gardening?
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2015, 01:06:16 PM »
If you have limited space and access to an outlet which it sounds like you do. A simple DIY hydroponics system is awesome! You can grow tons more than you would in any containers. Basically what you need is a rubbermaid tub that you can fill with water. Get a sturdier one because water is very heavy. You also need a small air pump from a fish tank, an air stone, mesh baskets, clay pellets, neutrient, water and plants.

To set this up you get a level area put the rubbermaid tub down and put the air stone in the bottom. Find something to weigh down the stone(I used some random rocks). Fill the tub up with water and nutrient. Plug the pump in to make sure there are little bubbles coming out. Then take the cover to the tub and cut holes the size of your baskets. Put the baskets in the holes and fill those with the clay pellets. Put the plants in the baskets making sure that you wash as much soil off as possible. Take the lid filled with plants and set it on top of the tub. The water in the tub should be up to the bottom of the plants roots. At the beginning the water will have to be higher than later in the summer. Basically the maintinece for the rest of the year is making sure the pump stays plugged in and the water keeps getting topped off. As the plants grow you also need to add more nutirent in. When you start off it needs to be weak but as the plants grow the mixture gets stronger and stronger as the plants need more.

Anomalous

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 125
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Arizona
Re: Anybody container gardening?
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2015, 03:38:56 PM »
I've been doing a type of container gardening for a couple years. Most of my plants are in self watering containers made from 5 gallon buckets. These take a little work to make, but are very cheap.

The self watering containers provide a water reservoir for the plants without over-saturating the soil. You can make them out of all different kinds and sizes of containers. They work by nesting two containers together with an air gap in between. The outer container acts as the reservoir, and should have a drain hole drilled in the side so the water level is close to the bottom of the inner container but with an air gap. The inner container has holes drilled in the bottom so the soil can drain. There are one or two mesh pots sticking out of the inner container and extending into the water reservoir. Filled with potting soil, these act as a wick to draw water from the reservoir up to the plant. This maintains a good moisture level without either drying it out or over-watering it. The last component is a fill tube that goes straight to the water reservoir. Just add water until it starts to run out the overflow hole.

Here are a couple pictures of some plants in self watering containers made from 5 gallon buckets. They're in a little greenhouse I built to protect from the extremely aggressive wildlife here (I've had animals walk up the stairs onto my porch to find something to eat.)



MrsStubble

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 164
  • Location: West Chester, PA
Re: Anybody container gardening?
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2015, 01:53:45 PM »
are you using pine cones for mulch?  That looks a pretty darn good idea.

if you get a chance (or have an empty bucket at some point) can you take a pic of 1 container set by itself so i can see what the inner/outer looks like a little closer.  I'm sort of a visual person

Anomalous

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 125
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Arizona
Re: Anybody container gardening?
« Reply #15 on: June 29, 2015, 10:42:22 PM »
are you using pine cones for mulch?  That looks a pretty darn good idea.

if you get a chance (or have an empty bucket at some point) can you take a pic of 1 container set by itself so i can see what the inner/outer looks like a little closer.  I'm sort of a visual person
I guess the pine cones are a sort of mulch. I let my cat go out into the greenhouse, and the main purpose of the pine cones is to make it clear that my plant containers are not litter boxes. They also keep the dirt from washing away if I water the plants from the top.

I've attached some pictures of the self watering buckets to show how they go together. The 5 gallon buckets are probably a little deeper than ideal, but they work OK for me. Three of the pictures show one made using an aquatic plant basket for the wicking container; the last picture shows a paint tub with holes drilled in it to serve the same purpose. Either works, the paint tub is cheaper but a lot more hassle.

AlwaysBeenASaver

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 440
Re: Anybody container gardening?
« Reply #16 on: July 02, 2015, 07:44:14 AM »
I have plenty of land, but also lots of deer and very little sun, so I've plants growing in containers on my deck. I have 2 blueberry plants in containers that do very well, as well as thyme, oregano, and green onions. Oh and I also have a dwarf Meyer lemon tree that's been thriving in it's container on my deck for 8 years!

onehair

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 365
Re: Anybody container gardening?
« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2015, 08:51:53 AM »
Cool!! I garden here at work since loads of people have all types of plants here on all the floors.  i decided to plant the turnips early they sprouted fast.  i harvested a teeny tiny carrot last night took it home, washed it off and chopped it up leaves and all to put in my navy bean pot i was cooking.  it tasted pretty good and added some much needed fresh greens.  Now to wait til the rest turn orange and harvest them for use in either spaghetti sauce or possibly salads.

DCKatie09

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1617
Re: Anybody container gardening?
« Reply #18 on: July 07, 2015, 09:03:31 AM »
I've also had great luck with tomatoes (just make sure they're determinate), peppers, and greens in containers.

I'm a member of a community garden that has an awesome co-op model (instead of everybody having their own plot) which is an amazing way to meet people and grow way more than I could on my own - so far this year we've had an abundance of greens, kohlrabi, kale, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, beans, carrots, peas, squash, and we even have some watermelons, potatoes, and pumpkins on the way! I don't think it's a model that exists too many places, but I love and recommend it - if you can get about 25-30 families involved it becomes pretty sustainable (we pay a $25 annual membership, all volunteer-led).

Bbqmustache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 221
  • Age: 2014
    • Financial Literacy Conversations
Re: Anybody container gardening?
« Reply #19 on: July 08, 2015, 05:48:56 AM »
We are trying container gardening in an old coffee bean bag.  Burlap, once containing 50 lbs of beans.  $1.00 from the local roastery.  Place a layer of potting soil in the bottom, then place a large diameter tube in the center of the bag. (We used a Home Depot black corrugated outdoor drain pipe.  Fill the pipe to the top of the bag with large diameter gravel.  Fill around the tube with potting soil.  When filled, pull out the pipe.  You not have a center column of gravel for watering and drainage.  Potatoes and tomatoes in the top, herb plants placed in cuts along the sides of the burlap bag.

happy

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4769
  • Location: NSW Australia
Re: Anybody container gardening?
« Reply #20 on: July 08, 2015, 06:25:31 AM »
I have a container section close to my house in a courtyard. It contains potted herbs, and anything I'm trying to grow that gets eaten in the garden, or is difficult to start. Winter at the moment  but I  currently have: coriander, chives, spring onions, lettuce, thyme, parsley

MrsStubble

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 164
  • Location: West Chester, PA
Re: Anybody container gardening?
« Reply #21 on: July 11, 2015, 11:29:51 AM »
Thank you Anomalous!

Pine cones for cat detterrent is smart thinking as well!  i use wine corks to cover my pots to keep squirrels out. 

onehair

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 365
Re: Anybody container gardening?
« Reply #22 on: July 14, 2015, 08:13:00 AM »
I hope to harvest my first carrots soon.  After they're out I will plant rosemary next.  Then mini strawberries provided I can poach enough containers from generous coworkers. 

flyingaway

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 166
Re: Anybody container gardening?
« Reply #23 on: July 23, 2015, 10:52:15 PM »
I am putting fig trees in containers this year since the winter kill them twice in the last two years. I am also trying to grow peppers in containers.

Capsu78

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 696
  • Location: Chicagoland
Re: Anybody container gardening?
« Reply #24 on: July 24, 2015, 04:14:46 PM »
We are trying container gardening in an old coffee bean bag.  Burlap, once containing 50 lbs of beans.  $1.00 from the local roastery.  Place a layer of potting soil in the bottom, then place a large diameter tube in the center of the bag. (We used a Home Depot black corrugated outdoor drain pipe.  Fill the pipe to the top of the bag with large diameter gravel.  Fill around the tube with potting soil.  When filled, pull out the pipe.  You not have a center column of gravel for watering and drainage.  Potatoes and tomatoes in the top, herb plants placed in cuts along the sides of the burlap bag.

Actually last summer in Sweden and Denmark, I saw many pots that were using burlap bags as liners for big oversized pots.  I purchased a bunch at a Rural King store and have basically lined all my pots and planters with the, folding them over the edges by 1/3 the height of the pot.  They hold in moisture better and they just look great.  I had a couple pots heading for the trash that came out respectable using coffee bags.

onehair

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 365
Re: Anybody container gardening?
« Reply #25 on: August 05, 2015, 09:49:00 AM »
I saw some article where a guy was using plain buckets to garden in and seems to have managed a nice haul.  At present I have marigold seeds planted in my pots I hope they sprout.  They will do until I can order my carrot and strawberry seeds.

The_path_less_taken

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 654
Re: Anybody container gardening?
« Reply #26 on: August 09, 2015, 08:22:50 AM »
Due to rabbits and other rodents, all of my food gardening except the fruit trees are in various containers.

Wish they were the self watering kind you have!

But I'm doing good with: tomato, peppers, eggplant, blackberries, blueberries, acorn squash, carrots, and would have cukes if the damn jackrabbits didn't jump in that container and eat it all to down to dirt.

onehair

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 365
Re: Anybody container gardening?
« Reply #27 on: August 17, 2015, 09:21:29 AM »
The rosemary never sprouted. :-( but the marigolds and turnips are thriving.  Unfortunately I cannot eat the marigolds don't think I didn't research that lol but the turnips can be harvested for salad greens or the roots and leaves themselves.  maybe I can use the petals in my soapmaking since I don't use pesticides.


Bbqmustache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 221
  • Age: 2014
    • Financial Literacy Conversations
Re: Anybody container gardening?
« Reply #28 on: November 28, 2015, 05:02:27 AM »
Lots of cherry tomatoes from our coffee bag garden.  Usually the winter weather destroys the burlap bag, but I have pulled the plants and covered the garden with a contractor garbage bag.  I will see if it survives the winter.