Containers forum: Vertical vegetables

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Name: Preston
Myrtle Beach, SC (Zone 8b)
theprynce
Dec 30, 2015 4:14 PM CST
Hi, all!

I'm looking to clean up my deck act this year by severely limiting the amount of planters coming into contact with the surface of my deck. I will be utilizing a 4 level grow box for herbs and things not requiring lots of root space and a hydroponics rail system for similar items.

I'm addition to these, I'll be building a box roughly 4ft high, 4 square feet with multiple planting sites that will sit on casters.

Now, for my larger vegetables (peppers, okra, tomatillos, etc) I'm in a pickle. My deck has previously been littered with an assortment of 5 - 7 gallon pots housing these slightly larger plants. This year, my goal is to hang them from the sides or rails of my balcony. I have vertical 'beams' below the railing that are roughly 2 inches wide spaced also about 2 inches. My goal is to have hanging planters from this large enough to have some more vegetable plants.

I have put in too many options including the grow bags that are similar to and included be reusable shopping bags. However, I use a few small bags like this last year and apart from the natural deterioration that occurs, I noticed that they are in no way intended to hang with any amount of weight in them.

My question is, do any of you lovely folks have any potential solutions for me? I looked into pallet planters, traditional hanging planters, etc and not seem to be exactly what I'm looking for to get the root space the plants will require. So far I think my best bet will be a traditional hanging baskets that I would need to hang hooks in order to hang them and keep them off of the edge of the railing. Does anyone have a better, more exciting answer for me? Also in consideration is doing a fewer plant sites
In my larger group box with casters. Help!! Please :-)
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Dec 30, 2015 5:39 PM CST
I do believe there's a book called Vertical Gardening that might have some tips and might recommend what plants can co-exist in a shared pot. I know I saw a segment on a tv program called "Growing a Greener World". You might check that out as well.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
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valleylynn
Jan 4, 2016 4:52 PM CST

Moderator

Preston that sounds like a very interesting project. Can you give us a photo of the deck site you will be working with?
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
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greene
Jan 7, 2016 11:51 AM CST
Photographs would help. Is this your own house and deck or are your renting? Is the deck close to the ground or high up?
I have a few ideas but would like to see photos of the deck from different angles at different times of day to get an idea of sun/shade, etc.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Jan 7, 2016 5:58 PM CST

Moderator

@theprynce Prestion sure hope you are still with us?
Name: Preston
Myrtle Beach, SC (Zone 8b)
theprynce
Jan 22, 2016 5:56 PM CST
I fell off of the planet but gravity always wins! Smiling
The reality is, it's time to finalize my garden plans and only saw that I got responses once I logged in. *Blush*

I'll snap a few pictures when the weather clears up. But this is a a second floor condo that we own. Our deck is only a few months old at this point so I'm trying to not put any more holes in it than I have to, but I'm counting on having to attach something. If I had to guess at the size, I would say roughly 25'x7' with a variety of sun and shade available that I'll detail with my follow-up photos.
Thank You! Thumbs up
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Jan 22, 2016 6:19 PM CST

Moderator

Whew, Preston I am relieved to know all is well. Can't wait to see what you come up with. Hurray!
Name: Preston
Myrtle Beach, SC (Zone 8b)
theprynce
Jan 28, 2016 8:29 AM CST
Thumb of 2016-01-28/theprynce/bd4b82

Okay, my dimensions are 9' x 25' (rounding).

As the sun seems to be avoiding me and isn't as high as it'll be when producing, I'll do my best to paint a picture with my words. Smiling

If you folded the deck lengthwise, the half nearest the banister would be the portion that receives the most summer sunlight. Roughly 6-8 hours. There is a pine bough roughly 35-45' above the 1/4 end nearest the camera that provides shade for a short period of time in the afternoon, but it's still able to get lots of sun.
The far end nearest the slanted wall doesn't get much morning or later afternoon sun but does get evening sun.

The best and most sunlight hits roughly the middle third of the deck lengthwise. I have a 5'x9" or so wood grow box that I will be using for herbs. I am going to try just hanging my baskets for any traditional hanging baskets I may end up having on a rope loop. Basically, I loop a loop of rope around the rail, between the posts and hang the hook on the loop. (I have one done this way sort of visible in left corner nearest the camera)

Thumb of 2016-01-28/theprynce/af490c
This is an areal shot from Google Maps. The top is North.

Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Jan 28, 2016 9:50 AM CST

Moderator

Great deck Preston. You should be able to grow lots of veggie in that space.
You already know that the plants like your tomatillos and such will need the most sun, every little bit they can get. Things like lettuce, etc. can take a lot more shade and grow well.
I can't wait to see how you set it up. I love your idea about using casters, easy to follow the sun for the sun lovers. I really like this type of planters, as it keeps the container and water off of the railing. You could probably come up with a homemade/recycled idea?
http://shop.flowerwindowboxes.com/product.sc?productId=228&c...
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Jan 28, 2016 10:08 AM CST
What about building a sort of scaffolding that you could hang baskets from?
Or perhaps you could build something like this:
http://www.gardeners.com/buy/apex-elevated-cedar-planter-box...
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Jan 28, 2016 10:26 AM CST

Moderator

Great idea woofie.

Preston do you know how much weight your deck can handle?
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Jan 28, 2016 10:34 AM CST
Have you thought of getting Earth Boxes? They are a sort of semi-hydroponic system, the boxes are made of recycled plastic, and come with casters and they are extremely water-efficient. (you're going to have to consider the water from your plants dripping down onto your downstairs neighbors, right?) I can grow 3 or 4 tomato plants or 4 broccoli plants in each one. Once you get them properly set up according to the directions, all you have to do to grow awesome plants is make sure you keep their water reservoirs full and keep them in the sun.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Preston
Myrtle Beach, SC (Zone 8b)
theprynce
Jan 29, 2016 5:24 PM CST
[quote="valleylynn"]I really like this type of planters, as it keeps the container and water off of the railing. You could probably come up with a homemade/recycled idea?
]http://shop.flowerwindowboxes.com/product.sc?productId=228&c...

This is sort of the basic idea I'm looking for. Everything I can find that is ready-made is not large enough for vegetables, unsightly or huge. I think this will be a DIY project if it's going to be everything I want it to be which I'm okay with! Big Grin
Name: Preston
Myrtle Beach, SC (Zone 8b)
theprynce
Jan 29, 2016 5:26 PM CST
[quote="woofie"]What about building a sort of scaffolding that you could hang baskets from?
Or perhaps you could build something like this:
]http://www.gardeners.com/buy/apex-elevated-cedar-planter-box...

Hmmm... I like the thought of a hanging basket scaffold. And that's a great looking box! I dig the trellis. Thumbs up
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
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RickCorey
Jan 29, 2016 5:29 PM CST
One way to reduce the number of holes is to attach ONE beam with 2-4 bolts. Then screw every hook into that beam.

I think you said "second story deck. And hanging vines off the deck?

Would you pick them from below (ground level), or by hanging over the deck?

You might use plastic to keep water off the deck. But it still has to run off somewhere, and dripping onto the deck below yours might still be a bad thing.

Good luck! I also have limited sunny space.
[Last edited by RickCorey - Jan 29, 2016 5:31 PM (+)]
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Name: Preston
Myrtle Beach, SC (Zone 8b)
theprynce
Jan 29, 2016 5:41 PM CST
valleylynn said:Great idea woofie.

Preston do you know how much weight your deck can handle?


Can't say. I don't want to stress it out too much, but I'm a mile from the ocean and it's a new deck so I'm assuming it's pretty sound. I think I would probably rest the bulk of the weight of a scaffold on the deck surface and use the railing just to help keep it upright. Hmmm... Hmmmmmmmm... You guys have provided my brain with great kindling. Thumbs up Thumbs up
Name: Preston
Myrtle Beach, SC (Zone 8b)
theprynce
Jan 29, 2016 5:47 PM CST
dyzzypyxxy said:Have you thought of getting Earth Boxes? They are a sort of semi-hydroponic system, the boxes are made of recycled plastic, and come with casters and they are extremely water-efficient. (you're going to have to consider the water from your plants dripping down onto your downstairs neighbors, right?) I can grow 3 or 4 tomato plants or 4 broccoli plants in each one. Once you get them properly set up according to the directions, all you have to do to grow awesome plants is make sure you keep their water reservoirs full and keep them in the sun.


I love the idea of Earth Boxes. I wasn't aware they came with casters! That could change everything. Thanks!
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Jan 29, 2016 6:18 PM CST

Moderator

Is that smoke I smell? Blinking
The kindling must have caught on fire. Can't wait to see what the brain kindling comes up with. Hurray!
Name: Preston
Myrtle Beach, SC (Zone 8b)
theprynce
Feb 5, 2016 10:01 AM CST
RickCorey said:One way to reduce the number of holes is to attach ONE beam with 2-4 bolts. Then screw every hook into that beam.

This is something to consider! Thanks!

RickCorey said:
I think you said "second story deck. And hanging vines off the deck?

Would you pick them from below (ground level), or by hanging over the deck?

I would be picking them from the deck. I don't have any intentions of growing edibles on a vine this year, probably just flowers. In years past I have and may again in the future, so if you have ideas, I'd love to hear them!

RickCorey said:

You might use plastic to keep water off the deck. But it still has to run off somewhere, and dripping onto the deck below yours might still be a bad thing.

Good luck! I also have limited sunny space.


I'm not too concerned about water running off of the deck. With plastic, my concern is that rain water would get trapped under it and make matters worse.
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
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RickCorey
Feb 5, 2016 2:09 PM CST
>> my concern is that rain water would get trapped under it and make matters worse.

True! There would need to be air space under the plastic, and even so, I think you're right that it would make things worse.

>> and may again in the future, so if you have ideas, I'd love to hear them!

Only one thing based on my own shakiness on ladders lately. Think twice before you plan to climb up and down ladders repeatedly with your hands full of melons and fruit!

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