Container gardening - a learning curve and successes..
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 16
  1. #1
    Registered User mommy4ever's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Western Canada
    Posts
    3,226
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Blog Entries
    158
    Rep Power
    18

    Default Container gardening - a learning curve and successes..

    I have tried to garden many times, and failed miserably. Here, our yard has 1 and is surround my oodles of mature spruce and pine trees. It makes for not so good soil. Plants die quickly. I did try raised beds a couple of years, the first year was ok, but then the soil was affected by the trees.

    We have a campsite, and I made a tiny veggie garden out there. It is thriving, but it is on old fields with great soil that the owner let us use. We have 2 tomato plants, lettuce, carrots and radishes in a 3x3 raised bed. I haven't been out in a couple weeks, so I'm not sure what they are looking like, there's been lots of rain, so they are going to be jungles. We also have 2 strawberries in a small raised bed, curious to see how they are doing. This is the first time in a few years that I even attempt because I fail miserable in the past, yet my mother tells me I have a green thumb. As a kid, I could grow anything anywhere...we'll see.

    I learned a lot this year. Next year, I'm going to be container gardening.

    Here is what I have learned so far:

    This year my dad started gardening. He has taken to container gardening like it's the only way to garden. This is a man that until this year hasn't done yardwork beyond rototilling the garden for mom. He didn't even shovel snow until last year(he got a bobcat). This is what he has going on:


    These are tomatoes he planted from seed. The tall plant is about 5'5" tall in this picture, that includes the planter though.


    The plants to the left are potatoes in bags, they are from soil I think. The ivy is one that hasn't grown for mom in 18 years any higher than 12", dad took over caring for it....and look what happened?


    More tomatoes hanging off the fence.... In the back you can see a big container, he harvests all rain water, he has 2 of these, one on the house and one on the garage, plus various big drums as well. He has pumps so he has pressure to water with a hose as a watering can with all his plants would take forever.


    Here is has various plants growning. Some of the buckets are rainwater with fertilizer solution for watering. The kid on the swing is my lazy kid..lol. I think I have 10 pictures of him that day laying various areas of the yard, it was rather funny.


    Here is his 'main garden'. He was driving by a field one day and saw this portable garage, the tarps were in horrible condition. His thought was to buy it and get new tarps. He stopped at the farm house and they told him if he could haul it away it was his. So he brought it home, and decided to put pipe across for his garden. He has a second one with tarps for his bobcat, but it was used as a green house this spring. Here he has tomatoes, strawberries(transplants, not from seed), peas, beans. Behind the container garden you can see dad, he's building a trellis for his english cucumber. They are eating them now, they are over 10" long and there are about 60 on the one plant.

    Now how did he end up with so many plants? Welll.... he was under the impression that 1:10 seeds germinate, when it's more like 1:2 or 1:3. Then when they all grew, he figured only 1:5 would be viable.... they all were. So after all that work caring for them several transplants, he couldn't cull them, so he just grew them all! He has given many away.

    They have some plants in a traditional garden bed, they are no where near as productive as his hanging ones. The peas in the garden are only a few inches big, he's picking from his containers. the potato plants in the garden are very small, the ones in the bags are growing and blooming now.

    DD7 has a few of her papa's tomato plants here, and they are doing fabulously! it's amazing how many tomatoes are on them. We also have a pumpkin in a planter that was given to us last week. I didn't think it would make it, it wilted and dried up, I kept caring for it, now it's grown new leaves and is nearly doubled it's original size! We were also given 2 wilted raspberry plants that I put in a planter again, and it is thriving once again. For those, I'm going to dig in the planter into the ground, it'll prevent much leaching from the trees and keep solid barriers to keep them from spreading too much. It'll also let them winter. And if we need to move them, it'll be relatively easy to do. It will keep weeding them easy too..lol

    Now, all that said, watering them is a something that has to happen. If there hasn't been rain in 24 hour period, every planter needs water. I don't have rain barrels, so it is tap water. But the plants are happy anyway. We are redoing eavestroughs this fall, so dh will angle them to the back yard and we'll set up rain collection. Dad had a great set up. he was 3 connected at the bottom, so he can hold double the water, at the top he has over flow that runs to his trees. I'm going to see about doing the same thing.

    I've never had success with containers until this year, so don't give up! I know next year we're starting tomatoes in March, and various others. I might even let her try her hand at lettuce in doors over winter to see how it does. We were able to start it on a sponge, so there is no reason why it shouldn't grow in a planter in the window.

    He did have one word of advice. He said the container garden needs fertilizer, no question, but through trial and error, that greenhouses suggest over fertilizing as do the packages. He figures it's so they sell more. He doesn't mix a solution as strong as on the package, nor does he do it as often. He mixes it in 5 gallon pails and they just sit outside so it gets diluted by rain as well. He said every 7-9 days depending on how big the plant is, and watering every day until water starts to drip. This helps distribute the fertilizer salts in his opinion, and by the looks of the garden... he might be onto something.

    My dad turns 70 this year. He is slowing down work wise, he's self employed, but he won't retire completely. I'm sooo happy he has a hobby though, I hear so much about men and retirement, that if they don't have a hobby, it seems everything deteriorates. He's not going to be that guy!
    Mom to 4 wonderful kiddos. Homeschooling mom
    • FFEF 2/6months
    • Retirement savings to start
    • Mortgage


    DEBT, n. An ingenious substitute for the chain and whip of the slave driver.
    - Ambrose Bierce






  2. #2
    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Boundary Waters, Minnesota
    Posts
    9,493
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    54

    Default

    WOW!

    Amazing productivity! They could sell some of the overflow at a farmers market, I bet. Or just by advertising it. Or donate to a food shelf.

    Great idea about the former garage frame. We have a brand new one still in the box in our garage. I've been nagging my husband to sell it since we'll never use it to put a car under, but now I'm thinking it might make a dandy greenhouse, and then a place for containers like your dad's when it's too hot for a greenhouse. We shall see. Thanks for the idea!

    Love the rainwater catchment system too.

    We're getting into container gardening more and more, too. It works a lot better for us than any other method we've tried.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “Anything you cannot relinquish when it has outlived its usefulness possesses you.” -Mildred Lisette Norman
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  3. #3
    Moderator monkeywrangler71's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Nova Scotia
    Posts
    3,898
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Blog Entries
    9
    Rep Power
    26

    Default

    Wow!

    I can't tell from the picture how the pots are hanging by the fence. They appear to be hanging on a piece of pipe, but what's holding up the pipe?

    Also, where did he get all those hanging pots!? I could not find anyone selling them anywhere, except with flower arrangements already in them. I asked on freecycle for anyone's leftovers from previous years and got no response.

  4. #4
    Registered User mommy4ever's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Western Canada
    Posts
    3,226
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Blog Entries
    158
    Rep Power
    18

    Default

    mw, if you look about the middle of the picture on the fence post he has a bracket. There's one on every fence post. He's a plumber, so he has lots of pipe, and gets it wholesale, so it's the best choice for him.

    I'm not sure where he got all the pots, but they are close friends with owners of a greenhouse, so he may have gotten some through them, I know he got the water barrels, containment, pumps and some of the pots at an auction. He prefers the 5 gallon pails as they offer more room.

    Next year I'm planning on going hard on container gardening too. But I'm going to do it a little different than dad.

    My dd7 loves to garden.... so going that high will be too much. I'd love to hang them from the fence, but we need to replace the fence so it's not strong enough. Here is my thought....

    We get lots of wood for free from construction sites that they would otherwise throw out. We use it for for fire wood(free heat..lol). Our neighbor is a house framer and FIL does commercial construction, so we get a great variety, often full 8 foot lengths. I want to get dh to make 'benches' that go all along the fence.


    We share our back fence with 4 different yards. It's very wide being a pie shape from a cul de sac, although not overly deep. Not much front, LOTS of back. So if I liked the fence with 'benches' we'd have room for ALOT of containers, without it taking up much of the play space. Play space is important as I run a home daycare. If it was built like a deck but with wider spacing for more drainage, and possible the 2x4 standing on the 2" rather than 4.

    I think it would look nice! It would be strong enough, and if we edge out the yard, use landscape fabric, and put rock on it(we can get both for free due to FIL job and their recycling program), I think it could look supremely sharp!

    I have approx 90' of usable fence area (there is also a tree, dog pen and double garage in the back yard..lol. that would make the yard appros 140') potential that could equate to 80+ - 5 gallon pails sitting on a raised surface. With potential for larger pots sitting on the ground in front. I think that could be a great garden!

    Yes, LOTS of soil required. BUT, I have it. Where my old raised beds are, I can cultivate it, add peatmoss and compost to correct it and fill all pots as it's sitting in a big mound.... I could see some fun painting the pails being fun for the kids.

    Ok, brain storming out loud here...lol
    Mom to 4 wonderful kiddos. Homeschooling mom
    • FFEF 2/6months
    • Retirement savings to start
    • Mortgage


    DEBT, n. An ingenious substitute for the chain and whip of the slave driver.
    - Ambrose Bierce






  5. #5
    Registered User mommy4ever's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Western Canada
    Posts
    3,226
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Blog Entries
    158
    Rep Power
    18

    Default

    Here are some of my containers for this year...


    Tomatoes, asparagus, strawberries, beans, and trees(3)

    2 wild raspberry canes


    Bush pumpkin plant



    Honey Bee Tomato


    Balcony pride tomato, needs to be pruned to get rid of the yellow leaves, think too much rain and needs fertilizer.




    Can't remember what kind of tomato...


    I had no intention of container gardening this year, it just kinda happened. I need to transplant some soon.

    I also have rhubarb that I neglected a couple years, letting it go to seed. I just looked at it and OMG!!!! I need a picture of it..lol It's MASSIVE. It's in containers too..lol

    The pics with the pumpkin and raspberries around the pots is very weedy soil, that is my dirt. It needs some care, but weeding pots is easier.....
    Mom to 4 wonderful kiddos. Homeschooling mom
    • FFEF 2/6months
    • Retirement savings to start
    • Mortgage


    DEBT, n. An ingenious substitute for the chain and whip of the slave driver.
    - Ambrose Bierce






  6. #6
    Registered User SandNOceanGirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Alabama
    Age
    44
    Posts
    414
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Blog Entries
    12
    Rep Power
    9

    Default

    Wow! That is amazing. I have never used containers for gardening but you give me some inspiration for next years crops. Thanks for sharing!!

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Age
    67
    Posts
    273
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    10

    Default

    That is awesome. I was looking at a PBS show last week that did the gardening in cinder blocks. I thought it was kinda neat.
    My brother got containers from a contractor doing some landscaping at a business. He asked what the were going to do with the plastic pots. They were going to throw them away so now he has plenty. So-----I've been looking for one of those places and haven't found one yet!

  8. #8
    Registered User mommy4ever's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Western Canada
    Posts
    3,226
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Blog Entries
    158
    Rep Power
    18

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ssindi View Post
    That is awesome. I was looking at a PBS show last week that did the gardening in cinder blocks. I thought it was kinda neat.
    My brother got containers from a contractor doing some landscaping at a business. He asked what the were going to do with the plastic pots. They were going to throw them away so now he has plenty. So-----I've been looking for one of those places and haven't found one yet!
    You need to scout out where they are working! Then you can collect them from the job site. Look in the spring when the city is planting their flower beds, look in new areas where people are landscaping or richer areas where they pay to have landscapers come in.
    Mom to 4 wonderful kiddos. Homeschooling mom
    • FFEF 2/6months
    • Retirement savings to start
    • Mortgage


    DEBT, n. An ingenious substitute for the chain and whip of the slave driver.
    - Ambrose Bierce






  9. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Age
    67
    Posts
    273
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    10

    Default

    My brother lives in another town and has a 45 min commute to and from work so gets to see a lot of country. My commute was only 2 miles. But I'm not working anyymore so there will be plenty of time to scout out some things.

  10. #10
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    10,457
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    48

    Default

    Wow, that looks great. Seems it's too dang hot here for container gardening. Mine didn't turn out so well. It's probably not my thing either.

  11. #11
    Registered User mommy4ever's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Western Canada
    Posts
    3,226
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Blog Entries
    158
    Rep Power
    18

    Default

    Dad did amazing! I'm planning for next year now DD7 and I are going to garden similarly too!
    Mom to 4 wonderful kiddos. Homeschooling mom
    • FFEF 2/6months
    • Retirement savings to start
    • Mortgage


    DEBT, n. An ingenious substitute for the chain and whip of the slave driver.
    - Ambrose Bierce






  12. #12
    Registered User sinopa27's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    virginia
    Posts
    1,581
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    10

    Default

    I am just blown away at these pics!!! absolutely amazing!!!!

  13. #13
    Moderator ladytoysdream's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Central NY
    Posts
    2,626
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    25

    Default

    Thank you for sharing

    I really liked the garage frame set up...that is so cool.
    We have a old carport frame that hubby closed in with some wood fence panels, and a heavy tarp attached to our chicken house for a outside winter run. Also gives them great shade in the summer also. So that doubled our coop area.
    I will be looking for another frame for the garden next year.

    Our 2 gardens we fenced in this year. I told him if I can't have a fenced garden, then the chickens don't get to free range late afternoons. I have nice protected gardens now

    One thing key to any kind of garden is water.
    We have had some dry hot weather for a spell now, and the plants are suffering. I have a real nice flower bed out front, in the ground, in pots, etc. I water them a LOT.
    --------My signature--------
    The economy is now uncharted waters... grab a oar and start rowing. ~~
    Put the frog in pot, turn up the heat real slow, and the frog doesn't hop out. And by the time he realizes, he should , it's too late... think about it.

  14. #14
    Registered User mommy4ever's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Western Canada
    Posts
    3,226
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Blog Entries
    158
    Rep Power
    18

    Default

    Here we are again Dad sent pictures of his cucumber plant.

    One plant only....









    I'll have to coach him on using his camera and avoid the sun in front of him. He's just doing fantabulous!
    Mom to 4 wonderful kiddos. Homeschooling mom
    • FFEF 2/6months
    • Retirement savings to start
    • Mortgage


    DEBT, n. An ingenious substitute for the chain and whip of the slave driver.
    - Ambrose Bierce






  15. #15
    Registered User KimZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Cape Coral, FL
    Posts
    368
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Blog Entries
    1
    Rep Power
    5

    Default

    WOW What an AWESOME job you have done......... You should be SO PROUD.... and Hey if you want someone to give some of the Cuc's to........ Ill send ya my addy
    Kim - Single mom to one 14 year old High School and Competitive

    7/14 - My savings is for saving, not for spending

    Pound a week challenge: 1/25
    Grocery Challenge: 0/12
    Days not taking anything out of savings to live : 10/365
    New Roof: 0/$7500.00
    RePlumb 0/$3500

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Container Gardening
    By Saule in forum Homesteading and gardening
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 03-03-2012, 05:04 PM
  2. Does anyone do container gardening only?
    By Michelle in forum Homesteading and gardening
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 02-17-2009, 08:08 AM
  3. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 04-25-2008, 10:58 PM
  4. Container gardening
    By Peaches in forum Homesteading and gardening
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 01-30-2005, 02:02 AM
  5. Container Gardening
    By PennyPinchinPam in forum Homesteading and gardening
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 03-13-2003, 12:23 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •