Containers forum→Balcony potted herbs trolley-shelves, a Work In Progress (WIP).

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Name: Peter
Australia, north-east NSW. (Zone 10a)
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PeterHausamann
Aug 23, 2020 4:45 AM CST
I love the idea of stepping outside to snip some herbs for making a meal.

I can only grow potted herbs at one end of the balcony which only receives morning sunlight. The balcony has daily human traffic, and so the shelving has to be narrow. It has to be relocatable to make way for furniture removalists occasionally using the balcony. People downstairs grow plants in similar shady circumstances. They grow plants that don't need full sun all the time. Similarly I will select herbs which grow okay under such lighting. However, it can get quite windy at times, mostly from the south. Plan to use a mesh wind break along the back of the shelf.

Using up to eight 300 mm (12") plastic pots. Plan to grow basil, parsley, chives, shallots, mint, bay, and possibly dill. Do you have any other suggestions?

My other goal is to have an automatic watering system via misting. Since each herb requires a unique, and ideal, degree of moisture, each potted plant will have its own water level sensor and mister.


Thumb of 2020-08-23/PeterHausamann/befadb

[Last edited by PeterHausamann - Aug 23, 2020 4:57 AM (+)]
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Name: Johannian
The Black Hills, SD (Zone 5b)
There is none truly good but God.
Sempervivums Cactus and Succulents Orchids
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Johannian
Aug 23, 2020 2:04 PM CST
You might want to try some mustard and oregano. Thyme and sage would be some good choices as well.
Honor thy father and thy mother, do unto your neighbor as you would have them do unto you. (Mat. 19:19)
WOLVES ARE AWESOME
Name: Zoë
Albuquerque NM, Elev 5310 ft (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Herbs Salvias Composter Bee Lover Container Gardener
Bookworm Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers
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NMoasis
Aug 23, 2020 2:28 PM CST
Welcome! Peter, can you tell us where you are located and what your temperature range is? When are you planning to install the planters? Bear in mind that dill and basil are summer annuals. How the others will behave in winter depends on your location.

Misting is not an adequate way to water outdoor plants. They need to be watered in the soil.

For me, gardening is really just an excuse for playing in the dirt. Admittedly, plants are a satisfying by-product.
Name: Peter
Australia, north-east NSW. (Zone 10a)
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PeterHausamann
Aug 23, 2020 7:38 PM CST
Johannian said:You might want to try some mustard and oregano. Thyme and sage would be some good choices as well.

Thank you Johannian for the suggestions.

Have thought of sage and rosemary. both love lots of sun. I never used sage before, so I had some reservations to plant it. However, I am prepared to experiment. Already have a few rosemary cuttings (gifted) which some have rooted in a peat-pot. I plan to have one loose rosemary pot to leave outside (downstairs) in more sun...not knowing if it won't get stolen. So, I will also start a sage pot, and have it next to the rosemary.

Don't like thyme, so that one is off my list. Never thought about mustard or oregano; I will look into those two.
Name: Peter
Australia, north-east NSW. (Zone 10a)
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PeterHausamann
Aug 23, 2020 7:57 PM CST
nmoasis said: Welcome! Peter, can you tell us where you are located and what your temperature range is? When are you planning to install the planters? Bear in mind that dill and basil are summer annuals. How the others will behave in winter depends on your location.

Misting is not an adequate way to water outdoor plants. They need to be watered in the soil.


Thank you nmoasis for the welcome.
I come from Australia (north coast of NSW). Average temp in C 15-24. Average humidity in % 55-68.

Have been experimenting with misting at close range (spray area of pot circumference). This will confine most of the misted water into the pot. The automatic system will have its water level sensor in the pot tray. When dry, the mister comes ON for 30 seconds then OFF for 3 minutes _ to allow water to filter through the pot. If after 3 minutes the water has not filled the tray, the mist comes back on for another 30 seconds. This repeats itself until tray is near full... then the system turns OFF until tray is dry again.


Name: Zoë
Albuquerque NM, Elev 5310 ft (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Herbs Salvias Composter Bee Lover Container Gardener
Bookworm Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers
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NMoasis
Aug 23, 2020 9:38 PM CST
Peter, Ha! So you're getting ready for spring planting. Sounds like a pleasant temperate climate. As for your choices, if you're a basil lover, there are many different varieties you might want to look into, each with slightly different flavors. They do best when planted in early summer. There are also a few different types of chives. I grow the common one and snip it almost daily. I plan to try garlic chives next year.

I'm not familiar with misting outdoor herbs. Please drop in again and let us know how that works out!
For me, gardening is really just an excuse for playing in the dirt. Admittedly, plants are a satisfying by-product.
Name: Kat
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Container Gardener Herbs Moon Gardener Enjoys or suffers hot summers Heirlooms
Vegetable Grower Bookworm
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kittriana
Aug 23, 2020 9:57 PM CST
Peter- parsley has a root like a carrot and basil has long tap roots- they need a bit more depth than 12" pot. I grow lemon thyme as we do like it on chicken around here. Parsley also has a 2 yr life span, tho most folks dump it after it gets grown as it can get bitter. I prefer onion chives to garlic chives (tough flat leaves not as tasty as the onion chives). Try to keep the mist off the leaves on all the plants- some basils in your humidity can be prone (at least here in Houston, Tx area to Downy mildew). Our humidity does run at least as low as your avg and higher. I also get no airflo and that hurts my herbs. It is curious how the misters may affect your plants- we would love to know.
Lots of different oreganoes and they like heat as well, get one you like the smell of. My rosemary (Tuscan Blue and a prostate rosemary ) DON'T like our full sun and live in a 19"deep and 19" wide pot under the pine trees on the north side of our house- the shade is morning and partial. Welcome!
So many roads to take, choices to make, and laughs to share!
Name: Peter
Australia, north-east NSW. (Zone 10a)
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PeterHausamann
Aug 24, 2020 12:20 AM CST
Thank you @nmoasis for the added info. will keep you updated.
Name: Peter
Australia, north-east NSW. (Zone 10a)
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PeterHausamann
Aug 24, 2020 12:26 AM CST
Thank you @Kittraina for the welcome and lots of tips to keep in mind. Will see how I go with the 12" pots at first, especially for the parsley. Will first try lemon thyme (if I can find it at supermarket) on my chicken dishes...I'll let you know.
Name: Peter
Australia, north-east NSW. (Zone 10a)
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PeterHausamann
Aug 24, 2020 12:34 AM CST
UPDATE:
My old scanner got locked out of my computer, so I have to take photos of my design plans and drawings.

Here is the general frame layout of the trolley-shelves. The top tray is nearly 8 feet long by nearly 1.5 feet wide. It will be 3' 4" off the ground. The bottom tray will be 5 feet long.

Thumb of 2020-08-24/PeterHausamann/2dd8cd
Drawing not to scale

[Last edited by PeterHausamann - Aug 24, 2020 12:35 AM (+)]
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Name: Kat
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Container Gardener Herbs Moon Gardener Enjoys or suffers hot summers Heirlooms
Vegetable Grower Bookworm
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kittriana
Aug 24, 2020 11:09 AM CST
Looks better than my plans I have snagged into my head, chuckl, I planted Purple Wave mustard seeds day before yesterday and they are up this morning
Thumb of 2020-08-24/kittriana/491abb

So many roads to take, choices to make, and laughs to share!
Name: Peter
Australia, north-east NSW. (Zone 10a)
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PeterHausamann
Aug 24, 2020 2:15 PM CST
kittriana said:...I planted Purple Wave mustard seeds day before yesterday and they are up this morning
Thumb of 2020-08-24/kittriana/491abb

That was quick!

Very soon I will be sowing some herb seeds. We recently been experiencing a cold snap with winds coming off the highlands. The seedlings will need to be inside, by the window, for the time being.

Name: Zoë
Albuquerque NM, Elev 5310 ft (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Herbs Salvias Composter Bee Lover Container Gardener
Bookworm Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers
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NMoasis
Aug 24, 2020 5:58 PM CST
Looks like an efficient space. Love the birdbath area! Thumbs up
For me, gardening is really just an excuse for playing in the dirt. Admittedly, plants are a satisfying by-product.
Name: Peter
Australia, north-east NSW. (Zone 10a)
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PeterHausamann
Aug 24, 2020 6:29 PM CST
The starting point of my herb garden:
Here are two of my herbs while they wait for me to build a community home for them Smiling
Thumb of 2020-08-25/PeterHausamann/bc346e
Thumb of 2020-08-25/PeterHausamann/dbb24d

Name: Kat
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Container Gardener Herbs Moon Gardener Enjoys or suffers hot summers Heirlooms
Vegetable Grower Bookworm
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kittriana
Aug 24, 2020 9:21 PM CST
Mint needs taxed, I have 3 types( peppermint, Kentucky Colonel spearmint and Mojito mint) I have noticed they tend to run away from my western sun and grow east- as do my catnips also in that family, chuckl. We eat a lot of baked russets in the winter, so it takes me about 6 (cups) of started seeds, but they died in our July summer heat, will be replanting them by Oct/Nov this year, along with repurposed green onions. Our heat is intense still here, but the storms are going to make landfall east of me- I will get no water again. So very dry and hot still. Your plants are looking really healthy.
So many roads to take, choices to make, and laughs to share!
Name: Peter
Australia, north-east NSW. (Zone 10a)
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PeterHausamann
Aug 25, 2020 1:02 AM CST
Thank you @kittriana for the interesting info. Never knew what a russet was until now. Have no idea what type of mint I have, but it's minty. It's not my favourite herb, but my neighbour likes to have it with boiling water - like a tea. So now the mint will get taxed more by her than by me. Smiling
Name: Kat
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Container Gardener Herbs Moon Gardener Enjoys or suffers hot summers Heirlooms
Vegetable Grower Bookworm
Image
kittriana
Aug 25, 2020 9:23 AM CST
If you have Spearmint, it smells like the gum. Peppermint has strong peppermint flavors. 600 flavors of mints that I know of. Ask your neighbor what kind she thinks it is...
Peter, on this site, go to the little people icon and click it down- same place you did your avatar. There is a place to add in your location and zone area. I honestly have no clue how to pull up Australian zones, but I would bet there is a way.
So many roads to take, choices to make, and laughs to share!
[Last edited by kittriana - Aug 25, 2020 9:25 AM (+)]
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Name: Peter
Australia, north-east NSW. (Zone 10a)
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PeterHausamann
Aug 25, 2020 2:30 PM CST
@kittriana, I cannot find Australian zone, but have asked the question to the forum. Hopefully I will find out soon.
Name: Zoë
Albuquerque NM, Elev 5310 ft (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Herbs Salvias Composter Bee Lover Container Gardener
Bookworm Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Image
NMoasis
Aug 25, 2020 3:04 PM CST
You already gave us your av temps a 15-24C, or 59-75F with humidity 55-68%, so that's sub-tropical, I think.
Here is one site for determining your USDA zone based on your average low temps; looks like you're 12b or 13a, but there are so many ads on the page it's tough to navigate:

https://www.plantmaps.com/inte...

Here's another that might be helpful, also:

https://www.igarden.com.au/env...
For me, gardening is really just an excuse for playing in the dirt. Admittedly, plants are a satisfying by-product.
Name: Peter
Australia, north-east NSW. (Zone 10a)
Image
PeterHausamann
Aug 26, 2020 12:58 AM CST
@nmoasis, I have found my zones. Thanks for the valuable info. Here is a link to the forum question page...
https://garden.org/thread/view...

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