Help to start a potted garden? - Knowledgebase Question

St Augustine, Fl
Avatar for unicornofatl
Question by unicornofatl
February 7, 2010
I want to make a veggie & herb garden. I live in St Augustine,Fl in a condo, w/ the back patio getting morning & afternoon sun. What plants would work in my area, & are there specific containers that do well for a garden? What should I start out w/, or can I just start w/ whatever I choose? Are there any recommendations you have about anything related to a potted garden?

Answer from NGA
February 7, 2010
You can garden in containers or build a planter box to hold all your treasures. The most important considerations are size and drainage when it comes to containers. You can use either plastic or terra cotta containers, or a combination of these. I plant herbs in terra cotta because they generally like soils on the dry side and terra cotta wicks moisture from the potting soil. Just a personal preference. Choose containers that are about one third as tall as the mature plant will be. For small herbs (parsley, chives, etc.) I use 6 or 8" pots. For larger herbs such as mints and terragon, use 12" pots. Veggies grow well in containers. Use at least a one gallon container for lettuces, spinach, radishes, beans, peas and other veggies with small root systems and 5-gallon containers for plants such as tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers. Most herbs and veggies need at least 8 hours of sunshine per day but some will adjust to only 6 hours. You'll need to experiment a little. Use potting soil rather than garden soil to fill the containers and be sure to check for moisture at least once a day - containers can dry out in a hurry when the weather is hot and the plants are growing rapidly. Water as required to keep your plants happy and healthy. Best wishes with your new patio garden!

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