The Q&A Archives: Puget Sound Patio Garden

Question: We live west of Seattle less than 1/4 mile from Puget Sound. The only area on our property that gets sunlight for any length of time is our cement patio which is about 5 feet below street level on the north and west sides of the house. My 10-year-old son and I would like to grow enough veggies for a daily salad for 3 (we need to feed his dad too). We've started some tomatoes (Viva Italia, Early Girl, Heirloom Yellow Pear), Spacemaster cucumbers, Gourmet Blend lettuce, Carnival Mix peppers, sweet basil, and Extra Curled Dwarf parsley on the window sill in Jiffy-7 peat pellets. We need to know what else we could plant and what size containers to put them in.

Answer: Most any plant will adapt to growing in a container, if there's ample room for root growth. How about some green onions or chives? They will grow in a pot that's 6 inches deep. You can grow 'Orbit' carrots in 6 inches of soil, as well. If you provide a trellis, you can grow cucumbers and harvest them when they 4-5 inches long. The cukes will need about 12-18 inches of soil for their roots. How about adding one big container and making it an herb garden? The size is up to you - a five-gallon pot will hold dill, marjoram, oregano, parsley, basil and nasturtiums (bright flowers with a pleasant peppery taste to add interest to your salads). Enjoy your patio garden!

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