Ask a Question forum: New Gardener

Views: 335, Replies: 14 » Jump to the end
Name: Saqina Begum
Houston/katy (Zone 9a)
Beginner Balcony Gardener
Aajmousamh
Jan 8, 2016 8:02 AM CST
Hello all!

I am a beginner at container gardening on my balcony. As of now I only have a few containers from ikea. Please asisst in which direction to go. I want to plant flowers and edible plants/fruits/vegetables ASAP. What should I be doing at this exact time/weather of the year? Im located near katy area, what are some resources for a beginner around here?

Thank you
Thumb of 2016-01-08/Aajmousamh/ec5553

SB
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Jan 8, 2016 8:06 AM CST
It will help if you can tell us where you live - or what climate zone it is.
Porkpal
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
Image
needrain
Jan 8, 2016 8:16 AM CST
Aajmousamh said:Hello all!

I am a beginner at container gardening on my balcony. As of now I only have a few containers from ikea. Please asisst in which direction to go. I want to plant flowers and edible plants/fruits/vegetables ASAP. What should I be doing at this exact time/weather of the year? Im located near katy area, what are some resources for a beginner around here?

Thank you
Thumb of 2016-01-08/Aajmousamh/ec5553


In the Houston area you will be able to grow a lot of plants. With the humidity in the area I would think most succulents might be more difficult unless you can keep them dry. But things like Ficus, ferns and any number of leafy plants that like humidity should do well and not need protection from cold too often. There are a lot of people at ATP from the Houston area who can give you more specific advice. You will have a lot of choices, so it may depend on the space you have on the balcony to share with plants.

Edit: Welcome to ATP!
Donald
[Last edited by needrain - Jan 8, 2016 8:17 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1026306 (3)
Name: Mary
Glendale, Arizona (Zone 9b)
Region: Arizona Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Plumerias Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
Composter Hummingbirder
Image
Azgarden
Jan 8, 2016 8:34 AM CST
Welcome! to ATP @Aajmousamh

Choose "Goodies" in the left column and there you will find the Garden Calender. Type in your zip code or city and you will be given a very informative planting guide specifically for your area.

Best wishes with your gardening! Smiling
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
Image
Dutchlady1
Jan 8, 2016 8:49 AM CST
Welcome! Aajmousamh

Do you have sun on that balcony or is it shady?
Name: Deborah Pryor
Orangeburg, SC Zone 8a (Zone 8a)
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff!
Charter ATP Member Amaryllis Region: United States of America Tropicals Seed Starter Plumerias
Plant and/or Seed Trader Peonies Lilies Irises Hummingbirder Echinacea
Deebie
Jan 9, 2016 10:20 AM CST
Welcome! I agree You will find that there are lots of plants that you can grow. The dilemma will be which ones. If you stick around here, you will find plenty of enablers urging you to try to grow different plants. Ask me how I know. Whistling BTW, I love your balcony set up. Thumbs up Happy Gardening in 2016!
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Jan 9, 2016 12:02 PM CST
Your balcony picture is just lovely. Should be on a calendar or a magazine cover.

I agree with Hetty, though, unless you have several hours of direct sunlight, it will be difficult to grow much in the way of edibles. In winter, maybe you can grow a planter of greens like lettuce, spinach or kale though. Earth Box makes a very nice white planter that would fit with your theme, and be a great way to grow some cool season stuff, or leafy herbs like chives, parsley and cilantro in the warmer months.

What direction does the balcony face? If it faces south, you'll have sun in the winter, but pretty much full shade all summer. A good thing for keeping the area cool, but not a great thing for plants that want sun to flower or bear fruit or vegetables.

Another thing to keep in mind, with your artistic flair for arrangement is that with any luck all your plants will grow. So be prepared to do some pruning to keep them from taking over the place. For decorative purposes, I'd stick to foliage plants that tolerate mostly shade.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Saqina Begum
Houston/katy (Zone 9a)
Beginner Balcony Gardener
Aajmousamh
Jan 9, 2016 4:36 PM CST
Thanks all for prompt replys!

My balcony is covered from 3 sides and open from one with a railing. It sure is facing south so I do get a good amount of sun during winters.

I am located in Houston/Katy area thats zone 9a
SB
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
Image
needrain
Jan 9, 2016 4:51 PM CST
Aajmousamh said:
I am located in Houston/Katy area thats zone 9a


I remember when Katy was a little town just west of Houston. There was actually space between the two Rolling on the floor laughing . I haven't been through it in years. The Katy Freeway is something to avoid if at all possible, IMO.

Donald
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Jan 9, 2016 5:05 PM CST
I lived in Houston from 54 till 58. I think Katy had a traffic light. Whistling
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.

GardenJunkie
Jan 9, 2016 9:49 PM CST
I am new to taking care of indoor plants... ive been going to Lowes weekly with my boy friend and saving the clearance plants that's are not looking too hot... I'm just not sure when the plants need to be potted up? any tips? I'm all ears! I'm all ears! I'm all ears!
Name: ursula
Chile (Zone 9b)
Image
Mutisia
Jan 9, 2016 10:12 PM CST
Welcome! to ATP, Saquina! Welcome!

Your picture reminds me of my early times living in apartment with 2 large balconies - after a short time there was scarce place left for me to water the multiple plants and seed-trays Whistling I only realized how many plants I really had when I finally moved to my current place at the countryside Sticking tongue out
Name: ursula
Chile (Zone 9b)
Image
Mutisia
Jan 9, 2016 10:16 PM CST
Welcome! to ATP, GardenJunkie!

You will most likely get better advise if you start a new thread with your questions. Otherwise, there could be confusion about giving replies to 2 different questions in a thread.

Welcome! Welcome! Welcome!
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Jan 11, 2016 5:42 PM CST
GardenJunkie said:I am new to taking care of indoor plants... ive been going to Lowes weekly with my boy friend and saving the clearance plants that's are not looking too hot... I'm just not sure when the plants need to be potted up? any tips? I'm all ears! I'm all ears! I'm all ears!


Welcome to ATP, GardenJunkie! Nice screen name.

Keep listening for experienced advice about potting up. My main thoughts are that if the plant is doing well, growing and putting out new leaves, it probably doesn't need re-potting.

If it "goes downhill", or looks sickly, maybe it does.

The best clue will be tilting the container and trying to ease the root ball out of the pot. (Don't pull on the plant stem! Push from the bottom hole with the pot horizontal or tipping down a little.)

If it comes out whole, and you see more white roots than dark soilless mix, especially if the roots are circling the pot - the plant is circling the drain and in trouble. Re-pot.

What I don't know is how experienced indoor gardeners check their big pots when they are NOT root-bound yet. if my experience with little tiny propagation cells is a guide, pushing the "root ball" out of a container before it is rootbound means that you kind of tear the root ball apart and wind up with soil everywhere, and then have to stuff the roots back into the pot after mangling them.

There is a difference between just "potting up" and "re-potting". Dropping the old root ball into a somewhat bigger pot is just "potting up". It doesn't cure circling roots or over-age roots that have gotten ropy and thick.

If a root ball is really dense, it probably needs some root pruning. Cut off the bottom 1/4 or 1/3 of the root ball! Untangle and unwind as much of the old, circling roots as you can. Thick roots are just anchors: nutrients and water are only absorbed by root hairs on fairly new roots. You have to cut away the big old roots for small new ones to grow back.

And while re-potting, knock away as much of the old soilless mix as you can, and gently wash away most of the rest. Re-pot into NEW soilless mix. Mixes for containers actually need to be coarse and fast-draining. Some big-box-stores sell "potting soil" that is NOT well suited to growing in pots! It's suited to making a high profit margin for the store and the vendor with a bag of ill-suited but cheap material. If you kill your current plants, and have to buy more, the store thinks they made a new customer.

What you need most in pots is a mix that will let enough air reach the roots to keep them from drowning. It has to let enough water OUT of its pores and channels that those channels open up to air. THEN oxygen can diffuse in the pot and CO2 can diffuse out. Without oxygen, the roots die, root hairs first.


Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
Image
Weedwhacker
Jan 11, 2016 8:45 PM CST
Welcome to All Things Plants, @GardenJunkie !

I agree that it would be best for you to start a separate thread on this forum for your question, hopefully with either the names of your plants or photos. Smiling
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
- John Powell / Cubits.org - A Universe of Communities
/ Share your recipes: Favorite Recipes A-Z cubit
C/F temp conversion / NGA Member Map

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Ask a Question forum
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Today's site banner is by nativeplantlover and is called "Bumble Veronica Pink"