I am new to container gardening. I would like to try and grow a few things and was looking for advice.
Here are my details:
I live on the New Jersey shore...
My front porch is shaded and gets morning sun...faces north
My back deck gets full afternoon sun...faces south
I am interested in growing:
some kitchen herbs...
a salsa garden, if possible...
strawberries, if possible...
Can I grow any of these?
What type of soil do I need?
Do you recommend any books?
My 4YO son has a "leaf" phobia. I am exaggerating, but for some odd reason, he won't get near plants. Yet, we have been apple picking, pumpkin picking, strawberry picking, and he even picks me flowers!...So, I thought, if I grew some of these, maybe he could see that plants are nothing to be afraid of.
My kids and I grow herbs, an assorments of mints, tomatoes in containers. We also grow a very nice butterfly/hummer container garden.
We fill our deck up and it's so much fun.
I have big and small containers and we just plant and water.
The kids love to watch the butterflies and the hummers. We get syphinx months and they are so cool!
A real good book for kids is Root, Shoots, Buckets and Boots!
Robin in NC www.bunnyrabbits.org/southerncomfortrefuge/
I love to container garden! here are a few things I've learned.
Plants like lots of sun, so the So. side would be great for most things.
Top soil and peat mix blended together and adding a little plant food is great.
Always put pebbles, small rocks, broken pottery, etc. in the bottom of the container to insure proper drainage. Also make sure there are drainage holes in container! Ask your gardening store manager how deep a pot you'll need if not on the plant care stick.
READ the plant care sticks that are in your plants.
Plant marigolds and/or garlic with with your tomatoes. Helps keep pest away. Also a few flowere like Nastursums (sp) are not only pretty but edible.
Rosemary is easy to grow, and can be planted in a large container with other herbs.
Mint is like a wild fire if planted where it can grow where it wants, so containing is best. Lemon balm is a mint and great in ice tea, on fish, easy to grow. It also smells good when you pick it.
For Strawberries I like to plant them in cinder blocks. The kind with 2 holes. I put them on my patio using a newspaper as the base and them added the top soil mix. I Planted them and have had great big nice strawberries. These plants send out "runners" to start a new plant and if you need more you encourage them to grow, and if not pinch off.
Hope this helps, and if you wish to ask me anything, just email me
I don't know of anyone who can resist those bright little faces. There are lots of different varities--I think one is called "teddybear" and it grows small with many blooms to one plant...that would be nice in a terra cotta pot. Try looking at Walmart/K-mart etc for seeds packs.
After the flowers are faded and the seeds are ripe, your son can watch the birds come to the flowerheads and eat the seeds and also can save some to grow the next year, too.
I have several flower pots and each year I let my kids pick out a few of their favorite flowers to plant in them and then they are responsible (with a little secret help from Mom) to keep them watered etc.--helps them learn to "take care of things" and they love to see the plants grow.
Proud to be an American --- God Bless the men and women in our Military Services--hug a Vet today!!
Oregano, mint and aloe vera are easy to grow in pots
I use a good brand potting mix that has a fertilizer already mixed in with good drainage in the pot.
Don't over water, stick your finger on the soil and feel if it's too dry.
Most herbs will grow to the size of the pot so if you don't want the plant to grow to big, don't go for to big a pot, but not a tiny one either.
Terracotta or clay pots dry out quicker as they aren't sealed, so the soil will dry quicker.
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For years and years I grew container plants on our apartment balcony (I finally have a house with a yard). I grew anything that could be grown in the ground. Just get the right size pot. I even grew corn one year in a deep Rubber Maid storage container. I grew tomatoes, lettuce, string beans, strawberries, tons of different flowers and herbs, peppers, watermelon, eggplant, you name it, I grew it! Experiment a little, grow a few sure things ike herbs and/or flowers and experiment with others. Container gardening is limited only by your imagination and your pot sizes. I always used a good brand of potting soil (more sterile than ground dirt - less weeds and disease and seems to drain better.) You can probably make a good mixture yourself with some top soil, peat moss, and vermiculite. Just keep the mixture fairly light if you'll be gardening on a balcony - wet dirt can really be quite heavy.
Good luck and remember to have fun with it!
The most wasted of all days is one without laughter. - e. e. cummings
Check out your local Cooperative Extension 0r Agricultural Extension office, you can look in the phone book under your county usually, they will have lots of hints and publications for you to use or check out our website and do a search for container gardening, see if you can find a university near you who has info. for your area.
When I first bought my house 8 years ago we thought the back yard was too big to maintain. But it prompted me to learn to 'garden' and I soon ran out of space!
Now I have a nice big vegitable patch and some fruit trees and a couple of rose patches and a lot of flower patches. I even have some trelises for the guards a variety of jasmines.
But when I find a new plant at the market, the first thing I do is to plant it in a nice pot, learn how to grow it, when I am confidant about it find a nice spot for it in my garden and plant it there.
I find most all plants can be grown in pots, some in fact are better in pots than in the ground for the owner. Especially herbs, flowers and veggies as it is easier to control their spreading and ofcourse to control the weeds.
A good mix of soil, a nice fertiliser, a nice spot (sunny shady etc depending on the plant) and a good momory to water them regularly and you are set!
Keep us posted on how your son likes the garden.
A great book that covers all things container-gardening is McGee and Stuckey's Bountiful Container (ISBN 0761116230). The authors cover everything from herbs to fruit trees. Highly readable. Good sound advice. And great recipes to boot.
Hi, everyone. I haven't posted for quite a while but I wanted to respond to this topic. About 13 years ago when we bought our house there was a small space out beside it that was ringed by small bushes. I talked my husband into tilling it up so we could plant a small garden. There were 5 of us in the family so we had 5 rows. Each person got to pick what they wanted to plant but they had to also clean that row and water it it needed and so forth. It was fun. We have planted things like carrots, corn, okra, tomatoes, cucumbers, beets and other things. One year I went to the grocery store and bought a pack of dried 10 bean soup mix. I planted all 10 types of beans in those rows. You never saw such a lovely garden that year. We had lots and lots of beans. I would suggest that you ask your son what he might like to grow. Let him plant it and water it and I am sure he would be delighted to see it shoot up. Good Luck and have fun with it.