Author Topic: Vegetable gardening in planters?  (Read 6513 times)

Offline Zuladad

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Vegetable gardening in planters?
« on: February 13, 2010, 04:11:46 PM »
Is it worthwhile/productive/effective to use plastic planters (the round kind) rather go to the bigger task of building up a standard sort of "garden"?  I've used planters with tomatoes the past two years - zero success.  My back yard is sloped, has poor drainage and crummy clay "soil".  It would be difficult for me to build up a garden, but I will do that if the "easy" way won't work.

Any thoughts or experiences to pass on?

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Re: Vegetable gardening in planters?
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2010, 04:20:47 PM »
Its not hard to be successful with planters if you remember a couple things.
In cold areas, planters get colder than an in-ground garden and in hot areas planters get hotter than an in-ground garden. So, keeping light needs in mind, you may have to move the planters according to the season, to keep them warmer or cooler.
Make sure you don't over or under water. A soil meter that shows moister can help and should cost around $10.
Also remember that planters need a slow supply of plant food added to the planter as the seasons develop. That can be done by slowly adding finished compost or by adding commercial plant food. I like a product called Worm Poop.

OK forum friends what did I forget?

Offline mmyersPA

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Re: Vegetable gardening in planters?
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2010, 03:20:42 PM »
Some crops are amenable to being grown in planters, while it is more difficult with other crops.  We have successfully grown tomatoes in pots on our deck for several years.  Tips for tomatoes - use large planters - maybe 18-24" high.  We use plastic planters.  It is helpful to use the type that "self water", as tomatoes are *very* thirsty.  We water ours daily, and twice a day in hot weather, especially when they begin to fruit.  Tomatoes like warm roots, so no need to worry about the roots getting too hot in summer.  A good tip I picked up last year with tomatoes...top the plant when it gets beyond your staking system. 

We also grow peppers very successfully in planters.  I also tried romaine and spinach last year, with great success.  This is great for us because our 2nd story deck is right outside the kitchen, so this forms our kitchen garden. 

Things we've tried with less success:  horseradish, parsnips.  We may continue the horseradishes in planters this year, because they're a perennial and already planted there, but parsnips will definitely go in the raised beds this year.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Vegetable gardening in planters?
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2010, 05:14:11 PM »
Two years ago, our entire garden was in homemade earth box type containers.  I made them out of 18 gallon Rubbermaid containers, and made a couple out of those big buckets that you use to hold drinks at parties.  I had pretty good success.  Below is a pic of some of the plants.

One thing to remember about tomatoes and peppers is don't crowd them.  Put 1 plant in a 18 gallon container, maybe 2 peppers in a container as long as they are a small plant.


Offline Zuladad

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Re: Vegetable gardening in planters?
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2010, 07:22:40 AM »
Thanks so much your the tips & info.  Y'all are great!  I love the pics - & never even thought about those containers.  Also, (I'm really new at this grow-food concept!) I really appreciate the guidance re the tomatoes.  I have been afraid of over-watering mine, and I think I caused the poor babies to die of thirst!  But . . . this year, . . . this year - things will be different!  Arrrr!

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Vegetable gardening in planters?
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2010, 10:50:45 AM »
I have been afraid of over-watering mine, and I think I caused the poor babies to die of thirst!  But . . . this year, . . . this year - things will be different!  Arrrr!

If you end up using the self watering containers, no more worries about over or under watering.  Just fill it until water comes out of the hole and it wicks up into the soil.

Offline Roswell

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Re: Vegetable gardening in planters?
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2010, 07:53:11 AM »
Moved to Gardening

Offline LICountryBoy

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Re: Vegetable gardening in planters?
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2010, 10:10:46 AM »
I have had a lot of success using 5 gallon buckets (don't forget to drill drainage holes) and plastic pots.
Plastic is better than clay because it holds the moisture longer.
I also add Soil Moist to help keep them from drying out.
I have grown Tomatoes, Peppers, Eggplant, lettuce, herbs, broccoli, squash and cucumbers
this way and have been very successful.

I have also had a lot of success with salad tables.




I haven't used the self watering containers but it is one my list.
The Soil moist works very well.




Offline mmyersPA

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Re: Vegetable gardening in planters?
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2010, 01:17:41 PM »
I have had a lot of success using 5 gallon buckets (don't forget to drill drainage holes) and plastic pots.
Plastic is better than clay because it holds the moisture longer.

Ah, yes, I forgot about the 5 gallon buckets.  We've used them for tomatoes, with great success.

I have also had a lot of success with salad tables.

What's a salad table?

Offline KYdoomer

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Re: Vegetable gardening in planters?
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2010, 01:24:18 PM »
Clay soil is not bad.  Just thank the gardening gods that you didn't wind up with sand!

I grew tomatoes in clay soil with NO amendments for years and never had anything less than a great crop.  When you put organic matter in it, it keeps it loose.  If you still feel bad about planting in clay, add some sand and silt and make your own loam.

A tomato plant is what?  3 bucks?  A seed is a few pennies.  Try one and you may be surprised at what your soil will do.

J

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Vegetable gardening in planters?
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2010, 04:52:19 PM »
A salad table is just a "table" filled with soiless mix.  Used to grow greens.

Here's a good PDF on how to grow one.  Salad Table PDF.

I'll be building one this weekend.

Offline Trillias

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Re: Vegetable gardening in planters?
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2010, 09:53:37 AM »
This may be a really dumb question, but I've never grown *anything* before, and I'm really hoping to make my deck into a nice veggie garden this year.
The PVC pipes in the containers in the rubbermaid picture...are those pushed down into the soil so when you pour water into them they water from the bottom up? Or do they serve some other purpose?

Offline Fin

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Re: Vegetable gardening in planters?
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2010, 11:58:09 AM »
One thing to remember about tomatoes and peppers is don't crowd them.  Put 1 plant in a 18 gallon container, maybe 2 peppers in a container as long as they are a small plant.

Has anyone tried the hanging pots w/ tomato dangling out the bottom?  I was thinking to try one of those for grins, and thought to even add some strawberries around the perimeter.  Would that be crowding 'em, and would tomato and strawberry be compatible in a pot?  A hanging, large pot would definately call for lots of lightening (e.g. vermiculite, etc) in the mix, I'd think...  (But I'm just a beginner, don't know if this is at all plausible.)

Fin

Offline wyomiles

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Re: Vegetable gardening in planters?
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2010, 12:34:27 PM »
Zulidad, I was wondering if you could use the clay soil in your yard as the "pot". If you are filling a pot with soil to plant in anyways why not try this. Dig a hole in your clay soil. The dirt that is taken from the hole is used on the down hill side to create a "dam". Now put your good soil and plant into the "pot" and water. The clay soil will moderate the temperature and moisture levels. If you rotate the holes each year , you will soon have an area that is all good soil, or clay soil mixed.

Also plant your transplanted tomatoes by pinching off the bottom two leaves and bury the stalk up to that level at least. Tomato stalks will send out roots from the buried stalk. My dad always told me you cannot water a tomato to much. I have drowned many tomato plants but never killed them from to much water.

Fritz-M.  Those are really cool planters.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Vegetable gardening in planters?
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2010, 06:39:52 PM »
This may be a really dumb question, but I've never grown *anything* before, and I'm really hoping to make my deck into a nice veggie garden this year.
The PVC pipes in the containers in the rubbermaid picture...are those pushed down into the soil so when you pour water into them they water from the bottom up? Or do they serve some other purpose?

Those pots have sort of a false bottom.  There's always a couple gallons of water in the bottom of the pot.  The water is wicked up by the soil.  The PVC goes into the bottom of the pot so the reservoir is filled.

Offline ransom147

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Re: Vegetable gardening in planters?
« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2010, 04:49:45 PM »
do you have any pictures of the trays inside the earth boxes? i built my first one today, and though i'm satisfied w/ it... i think i could have done better.






basically what i did was squeeze 4 gatorade bottles into neck sized holes for wicking chambers. for support i found an old stick on the ground and cut 6 legs, then attached with nails. also i zip tied a couple of broken bricks for center support... i'm still scheming up my fill tube, and don't want to buy anything... so i'll have to find the right piece of pvc scrap somewhere.


next question: how do i mix up some potting media on the cheap that will still wick properly? i can buy organic compost cheap, but not too sure about the vermiculite or peat. i've got loads of horse manure and old leaves laying about... any suggestions?????

Offline Cool Blue

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Re: Vegetable gardening in planters?
« Reply #16 on: May 03, 2010, 07:15:15 PM »
When we lived in a townhouse, my mom used a hard plastic kiddie pool for a veggie garden.

Offline mmyersPA

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Re: Vegetable gardening in planters?
« Reply #17 on: May 07, 2010, 09:13:01 PM »
Has anyone tried the hanging pots w/ tomato dangling out the bottom?  I was thinking to try one of those for grins, and thought to even add some strawberries around the perimeter.  Would that be crowding 'em, and would tomato and strawberry be compatible in a pot?  A hanging, large pot would definately call for lots of lightening (e.g. vermiculite, etc) in the mix, I'd think...  (But I'm just a beginner, don't know if this is at all plausible.)

Fin


I have tried the hanging tomato garden and the earth box.  The problem I have with both is that you have to water them so much.  Even if it rains, you still have to water them.  Our pear tomatoes did *ok* in the hanging tomato garden, but the bigger tomatoes did not get to full size.  Earth box is great because it is somewhat portable, and keeps pests out.  We used it for cabbage.  No slugs.