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Old 10-19-2009, 09:07 PM   #21
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No! Not the "o" word!
Well, I said I was gettin' there...I've got a ways to go...

Sorry about the hijack FD...carry onl....
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Old 10-19-2009, 09:25 PM   #22
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Very nice Firedreamer!

bbbamI,

I think the key to container gardening is getting self-watering containers with a water reservoir, like the ones Firedreamer is using. Otherwise, the water and fertilizer go through the container... and out (That's what you might have experienced...)
You told me back in March or April that I would be very happy with those self-watering pots and you were right! They work great.
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Old 10-19-2009, 09:27 PM   #23
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Well our little potted plan garden turned out horrible this year. For whatever reason we got invaded by aphids. Killed most of the herbs and pepper plants in record speed. We ended up with a nice batch of oregano and a few jalapeno peppers.

Oh well it was fun
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Old 10-19-2009, 09:42 PM   #24
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Well our little potted plan garden turned out horrible this year. For whatever reason we got invaded by aphids. Killed most of the herbs and pepper plants in record speed. We ended up with a nice batch of oregano and a few jalapeno peppers.

Oh well it was fun
Aphids are nasty little buggers, aren't they? We had lots of lady bugs this year and they kept parasites under control.
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Old 10-19-2009, 10:25 PM   #25
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I started container gardening several years ago, but with only a few veggies at that time. Every year I've added more veggie containers (as well as containers in general). This year ALL of my veggies were in containers, and NONE in the ground....with two exceptions...the rhubarb is still growing in the ground (and will continue that way), and I grew the zucchini on top of one of my biggest compost pile. Most everything did very well....mostly!

I had a bumper crop of peppers of several varieties...bells, bananas, jalapeņos, and ornamentals! The cherry and grape tomatoes produced waaaay more than I could use, or even give away! I also had 8 varieties of 'regular' tomatoes...some hybrids, some heirlooms....and they did fairly good considering the cool, wet summer we had this year. And because of the growing conditions, I had a few problems with blossom-end rot, but not too severe...and I found a calcium solution to spray on them weekly, that helped out a great deal! And zucchini....geez, did we have zucchini!!! And more zucchini!!! We had it for supper again tonight!!!

I also had radishes (which did very good), mesclun, spinach, collards, okra, onions, garlic, broccoli, and swiss chard (although it didn't fair to well). I also had (and it's still growing too!) parsley, basil, lemon balm, and mint.

I still have 1 banana pepper plant growing and producing, that I move out of the garage during the day, and put back in at night. And those pepers are doing fine!!! Had one in my salad for supper tonight!!!

Some of the containers are fancy-schmancy self-watering ones, some are just plain old containers, some are wooden tubs, some are big plastic/rubber "muck" tubs, some are plain ol' 5-gallon buckets, and some are hanging pots/baskets of some type or another. Most things get a nice 1.5" to 2" layer of cypress mulch to help with moisture control.

I use a garden hose for stuff near the house, and have a couple of 'home-made' 60-gallon rain-barrels in the 'outback'. I got them from the local extension office for a donation...they're recycled food-grade plastic barrels, with the necessary fittings. I'll probably grab a few more next Spring! All it takes to fill the 2 of them, is 1/4" of rain hitting the garage/workshop roof!!!

BTW, counting ALL of my containers....veggies, herbs, foliage, and flowers....I had a total of 116 containers planted up this year!!! PLUS, all of my flower gardens!!!
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Old 10-19-2009, 10:37 PM   #26
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Aphids are nasty little buggers, aren't they? We had lots of lady bugs this year and they kept parasites under control.
We rely mostly on ladybugs, praying-mantises, and wasps for aphid and other mini-critter control. However, when they fail to perform their official duties, I spray a light mist of insecticidal soap on those pesky little aphids!
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Old 10-19-2009, 10:40 PM   #27
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Aphids are nasty little buggers, aren't they? We had lots of lady bugs this year and they kept parasites under control.

Never had them before. They caught us off guard. Next year Ill be ready to do battle.
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Old 10-19-2009, 11:32 PM   #28
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I started container gardening several years ago, but with only a few veggies at that time. Every year I've added more veggie containers (as well as containers in general). This year ALL of my veggies were in containers, and NONE in the ground....with two exceptions...the rhubarb is still growing in the ground (and will continue that way), and I grew the zucchini on top of one of my biggest compost pile. Most everything did very well....mostly!

I had a bumper crop of peppers of several varieties...bells, bananas, jalapeņos, and ornamentals! The cherry and grape tomatoes produced waaaay more than I could use, or even give away! I also had 8 varieties of 'regular' tomatoes...some hybrids, some heirlooms....and they did fairly good considering the cool, wet summer we had this year. And because of the growing conditions, I had a few problems with blossom-end rot, but not too severe...and I found a calcium solution to spray on them weekly, that helped out a great deal! And zucchini....geez, did we have zucchini!!! And more zucchini!!! We had it for supper again tonight!!!

I also had radishes (which did very good), mesclun, spinach, collards, okra, onions, garlic, broccoli, and swiss chard (although it didn't fair to well). I also had (and it's still growing too!) parsley, basil, lemon balm, and mint.

I still have 1 banana pepper plant growing and producing, that I move out of the garage during the day, and put back in at night. And those pepers are doing fine!!! Had one in my salad for supper tonight!!!

Some of the containers are fancy-schmancy self-watering ones, some are just plain old containers, some are wooden tubs, some are big plastic/rubber "muck" tubs, some are plain ol' 5-gallon buckets, and some are hanging pots/baskets of some type or another. Most things get a nice 1.5" to 2" layer of cypress mulch to help with moisture control.

I use a garden hose for stuff near the house, and have a couple of 'home-made' 60-gallon rain-barrels in the 'outback'. I got them from the local extension office for a donation...they're recycled food-grade plastic barrels, with the necessary fittings. I'll probably grab a few more next Spring! All it takes to fill the 2 of them, is 1/4" of rain hitting the garage/workshop roof!!!

BTW, counting ALL of my containers....veggies, herbs, foliage, and flowers....I had a total of 116 containers planted up this year!!! PLUS, all of my flower gardens!!!
Wow, that's impressive Goonie! I currently have 10 containers and would like to get 5 or 10 more. Next year I am also going to rig a sturdy staking system to corral the tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers. I didn't realize how big those would become and the stakes I used this year were way too small. And lastly, I want to put together an automatic watering system. I have a few ideas I want to experiment with...
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Old 10-20-2009, 07:19 AM   #29
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This thread is inspiration for a container gardener wannabe!
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Old 10-20-2009, 08:58 AM   #30
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FIREdreamer and Goonie, what type of mix do you use in your containers? Soil less? Pre-mix garden center stuff? Soil with compost and other choice additives?
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Old 10-20-2009, 10:56 AM   #31
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I love that the recession has inspired so many people to vegetable garden. As a Master Gardener in California, we've seen a huge spike in people interested in growing vegetables in their backyards... I work in the Master Garden demonstration vegetable garden in a Horticulture center where we demonstrate ways to grow fruits and vegetables organically. We added a series of workshops for the home gardener this year and had great interest from the public. We have 700 sq feet of planting space in our garden, and a large orchard, berry patch and vineyard.

We usually suggest they plant in the ground (raised beds or not) or in larger containers like half barrels since we're in such a hot climate: but I love the pictures of the smaller containers and how well the plants are growing.

Goonie, blossom end rot is usually cause by irregular irrigation. The irregular irrigation is what causes the plant to not absorb correctly causing a calcium deficiency. If you have a more regular irrigation schedule, you'll likely see that end. It usually occurs more often in the Roma type tomatoes too.

For those who'd rather grow organically, for Aphids you can spray them off with water. We found that if we sprayed regularly (twice a week at our worksessions) as soon as aphids are spotted, it drastically cuts back on the amount of aphids. We used to use a hose with a sprayer, but found a nifty tool called the bug blaster. It attached to a wand and puts out a sharp fine mist that shreds the aphids but not the plants. It seems to work better than just a sprayer, but they both are the same principle. Knock the aphids off and most do not return.

I have 3 4x8 raised beds in my backyard and am planned on adding another longer bed this year. I grow tomatoes (of course) and squash and melons usually. Since I get to harvest everything we grow in the demo garden, I only grow a few things at home.

Happy gardening everyone. It is one of the best hobbies, in my opinion.
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Old 10-20-2009, 11:03 AM   #32
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If nothing else Michelle Obama does for America is to get people more interested in gardening again. Probably a few who never gardened before are now. I came from a gardening family, so I already did it; but I think it's great to get more people into it = better quality foods, money saving, fun and a great learning/teaching experience for our youth, too.
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Old 10-20-2009, 11:28 AM   #33
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FIREdreamer and Goonie, what type of mix do you use in your containers? Soil less? Pre-mix garden center stuff? Soil with compost and other choice additives?
I used "Jungle Growth flowers and vegetable professional mix", a commercial mix available at most garden centers.
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Old 10-20-2009, 01:41 PM   #34
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FIREdreamer and Goonie, what type of mix do you use in your containers? Soil less? Pre-mix garden center stuff? Soil with compost and other choice additives?
I only use 'soil-less' mixes of one kind or another. Peat moss with compost is great, maybe add in some perlite and/or vermiculite. I've also used MiracleGro potting mix with very good results. I also use Polymer Moisture Crystals in ALL of my containers, so I don't need to water quite as often.

I put an inch or 2 of cypress mulch in the bottom of my containers for better drainage and to keep the drain holes from getting plugged up with the mix. And also a layer of the same mulch on top for moisture retention. At the end of the growing season, it can all be dumped on the compost pile...the mix, mulch, plant remains, and all!

To conserve on the amount of soil-less mix I use, I don't usually empty the bigger containers in the fall. I just remove the plants down to the soil line, and turn the container upside down for the winter so the mix doesn't freeze and expand, and break the container. Then I the spring I flip 'em back upright, mix in some fresh compost, and plant away to my heart's content!

I have access to a LOT of compost, since I have 2 bins....one is 3' x 3' x 3', and the other is 5'W x 9'L x 4'H. I used up all of the smaller bin's compost this year, some in pots and some on the beds. And I'll start using the content of the large bin's contents next spring.

BTW.....the first day of Spring is only 5 months from TODAY!!! It'll be here before ya know it!!!
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Old 10-20-2009, 06:45 PM   #35
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Old 10-22-2009, 01:18 PM   #36
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BTW.....the first day of Spring is only 5 months from TODAY!!! It'll be here before ya know it!!!
Goonie, I love the way you think!
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Old 10-22-2009, 01:26 PM   #37
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Goonie always wins the optimist award for this site.
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Old 10-22-2009, 01:40 PM   #38
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I'm going to start my seedlings in January. Less waiting that way.
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Old 10-22-2009, 03:52 PM   #39
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Goonie always wins the optimist award for this site.
Life is good...anything else is bad!!!
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Old 11-28-2009, 04:27 PM   #40
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The above are pictures I just took. The eggplants survived from last year, and continued to bear fruit this year. I looked it up on the Web, and found that the eggplant is a perennial, not an annual. I learn something everyday!

Anyway, the advantage of living in the Southwest is the mild winter. The temperature is 70 deg F today. The eggplants are still flowering, although the fruits are not huge as they were during the summer. Eggplants seem to love the heat, and are the only things that seem to work for us. These are growing by the back side of the house.

We have finished re-landscaping the side yard that used to be a lawn for the children when they were little. Initially, I thought of having the whole space as a vegetable garden. But then, getting more rational about it, I converted it to a low-maintenance yard with gravel, and kept only a limited growing area in the form of raised beds (3 of 8 ft x 4 ft) to grow some herbs and veggie. I have no veggie to show pictures of for now, but perhaps in a few months.

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