All Things Gardening forum: Has anyone done container gardening?

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California, San Joaquin valley (Zone 9b)
RenaeC
May 26, 2017 4:01 PM CST
Has anyone done container gardening?Could you please post pics of your success from it? How much harvest do you get out of it? and what are the pros and cons you've had from it?

I may have some good news, but I'm not entirely sure about it yet...while we're still paying off some bills, I think I may be able to do container gardening and fit that into our budget. It's not exactly what I had planned to do and of course I still want my aquaponic system, but I'm just going to have to be a little more patient. I need to figure out how everything is going to work. It'll probably be quite a while before I have everything and can set it up, but it's looking promising. I just want to know what to expect from it before I make a commitment to start saving for it. Thanks everyone! I tip my hat to you.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
May 26, 2017 4:55 PM CST
Hi Renae,

I don't have any photos but can tell you a couple things that will help. You will need big pots: 5 gallons for smaller plants like peppers and 10 gallons for tomatoes and eggplants. They would grow in smaller pots but the biggest problem with container gardening in the Central Valley is heat. Plants hate hot roots. It doesn't matter how much you water, if the soil is hot, the plant will die.

You can build pots with salvaged lumber - around here, there is always a pile destined for landfill at construction sites. But, as you have to buy soil to fill your pots, just use the bags the soil comes in. Lay the full unopened sack down flat, cut the side out and plant away. Use large sacks of potting soil for this project.

I found a photo in case my explanaton didn't make sense. We used to do this all the time - it works great.

https://www.google.com/search?...:

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Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
May 26, 2017 5:02 PM CST
You might also poke around on the Containers forum, I'm sure there are plenty of good tips and lovely photos to drool over.
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California, San Joaquin valley (Zone 9b)
RenaeC
May 26, 2017 5:07 PM CST
Thanks for the info!
Name: Liz Shaw
Gilbert, AZ (Sunset Zone 13) (Zone 9a)
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LizDTM
May 26, 2017 10:26 PM CST
I'm doing all my vegetable gardening in containers, but this is my first summer. One piece of advice. Containers are expensive. Don't feel bad about planting in 5 gallon buckets and rubbermaid totes. Save your money for the potting mix.

I love to talk aquaponics. Take a look at my blog about my set ups here: http://www.sparkpeople.com/myp...

Also I'm working on converting my jacuzzi into a pond for aquaponics. I'm posting progress in a thread titled Water Gardens in the Desert here.
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. -Anaïs Nin
California, San Joaquin valley (Zone 9b)
RenaeC
May 26, 2017 11:02 PM CST
I actually found some containers and 5 gallon buckets for a couple bucks at the store. I'm just trying to figure out if I would benefit from it or not. You know like weight the ups and downs from it.
North Central TX (Zone 8a)
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tx_flower_child
May 26, 2017 11:06 PM CST
Although I hate to pay for something that is stamped with an advertisement, one year I gave in and bought some 5 gallon buckets at Lowe's. Home Depot has them also. Both are about $2 - 3 each. I, of course, asked for a bulk discount, even tho I only wanted 5. But the manager gave me a discount, and that was cool. Took the buckets home, drilled holes in the bottoms and boy were those suckers heavy once I filled them with soil. And wouldn't you just know it happened to be during one of our hottest summers in a long time. But anyway, if you want 5 gallon buckets, go to big box stores.
California, San Joaquin valley (Zone 9b)
RenaeC
May 26, 2017 11:19 PM CST
Thank you for the info! I'm not sure what exactly to save up for or what I'll need. I know some people have recommended I make my own soil mixture before I had to get rid of my greenhouse supplies, but now I'm just not sure what supplies to keep in mind when saving up for everything.
Ontario, Canada (Zone 6a)
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Phenolic
May 27, 2017 1:23 AM CST
I mainly grow leafy greens in troughs made from reclaimed pallets using sifted compost. Between the 10 containers I grow in I can harvest about 2 kg of salad greens every two weeks. Although I use pure compost and despite the large size of my containers (30 cm tall, 30 cm wide, by 100 cm long) I have problems with poor water retention in my containers. In the past I've tried growing tomatoes in my containers, but I had problems with blossom end rot (likely from inconsistent soil moisture).
[Last edited by Phenolic - May 27, 2017 1:26 AM (+)]
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Calgary Alberta (Zone 4a)
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j52
May 27, 2017 4:33 AM CST
I grow all my Tomatoes in large pots I bought from Lowes a couple years ago. Very rewarding and great crop of toms. I did some research and found that calcium is a must to prevent blossom end rot. So both fertilizers I use, one at planting time and one to top dress with has the calcium. I also grind calcium pills into powder and top dress with it. Here is a couple pictures of my pots and tomato crop.

Just planted up the toms in their big pots a few days ago. And a pic of last years toms.

Thumb of 2017-05-27/j52/2dee8f




Thumb of 2017-05-27/j52/22a950


Thumb of 2017-05-27/j52/27f1de

Ontario, Canada (Zone 6a)
Bulbs Seed Starter Native Plants and Wildflowers
Phenolic
May 27, 2017 6:28 AM CST
j52 said:So both fertilizers I use, one at planting time and one to top dress with has the calcium. I also grind calcium pills into powder and top dress with it.


Your tomatoes look great! What kind of fertilizer did you use to top dress (bone meal, slow release, limestone, dolomitic lime, etc.)? I usually amend the compost with powdered eggshell, but I suspect the calcium from eggshell isn't very bioavailable.
Calgary Alberta (Zone 4a)
Birds Annuals Aquaponics Seed Starter Greenhouse
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j52
May 27, 2017 8:52 AM CST
Hello Phenolic,
I use the GreenEarth 4-6-8 to top dress the pots. I apply 2Tbsp every few weeks. When I planted, 2Tbsp of Jobes organics bone meal went in the bottom of each pot.
Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Yardenman
May 31, 2017 5:37 AM CST
My container gardening days are so old the only pictures are on actual film! But I did it on a west-facing apartment balcony in my early days. Everything was in 5 gallon buckets of soil I dug for free from a woodland area. Hey, I was so broke, the 5 gallon buckets and a few seeds were a serious investment.

But I grew tomatoes, peppers, cukes, and bush beans. The hard part was watering them every evening when I got home from work without spilling water onto the neighbor below.

It worked though.
California, San Joaquin valley (Zone 9b)
RenaeC
May 31, 2017 11:29 AM CST
Thanks for the info! I don't live upstairs anymore thankfully. It would be hell moving our fridge again to an upstairs apartment. And, when we did live upstairs we didn't have a balcony. All the other apartments had one, but ours.

Right now in my kitchen, I have some trees growing and medicinal & regular plants growing. Though tbh, I may need to get rid of some trees and grow dwarf trees instead when I have the money to get them, especially if they're going to be growing inside my home as there isn't a place to put them outside without having to start over when we are able to up and move.
Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Yardenman
May 31, 2017 1:04 PM CST
RenaeC said:Thanks for the info! I don't live upstairs anymore thankfully. It would be hell moving our fridge again to an upstairs apartment. And, when we did live upstairs we didn't have a balcony. All the other apartments had one, but ours.

Right now in my kitchen, I have some trees growing and medicinal & regular plants growing. Though tbh, I may need to get rid of some trees and grow dwarf trees instead when I have the money to get them, especially if they're going to be growing inside my home as there isn't a place to put them outside without having to start over when we are able to up and move.


Good soil and afternoon sunlight makes up for a lot of container problems. I even grew bush beans from a laundry basket hung from the top beam of the balcony once. Because that was all I had for free. LOL!

Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
May 31, 2017 2:10 PM CST
I do container gardening not edibles though, just ornamentals, mostly succulents. My garden is oddly situated, so I do not have enough light..and even with some light during the warm months it really gets too toasty hot. So most of my plants are drought tolerant ones and succulents. In the previous years when we had Cali drought it was really good I had succulents, not too water needy.

Humidity levels so lousy here during the long, warm months, so with container gardening you really have to be attentive in the watering needs of your plants especially if you are growing edibles.

The good thing with containers, easy to reposition them as needed, as the seasons change.
[Last edited by tarev - May 31, 2017 2:11 PM (+)]
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California, San Joaquin valley (Zone 9b)
RenaeC
May 31, 2017 2:28 PM CST
I have 2 variety of trees that are edibles growing in pots right now. I'm a bit concerned for my jackfruit tree as it is a bit on the short side. I had to trim some leaves that had died on it. The plant is still green though, it just hasn't grown anymore. I was told jackfruit grows fast, but mine hasn't.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Cat Lover Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Region: California Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
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tarev
May 31, 2017 2:45 PM CST
Jackfruit trees are quite big trees best grown in ground, in full sun, lots of rain and humidity. Its fruits are really huge too.
California, San Joaquin valley (Zone 9b)
RenaeC
Jun 1, 2017 10:13 PM CST
I know the fruit gets huge. It also sucks cutting them open. I still have some jackfruit I saved in my freezer. I also can't put my plants in full sun here or they'll die. I've tried to put that jackfruit outside before and it was too hot for it and it's leaves drooped. I was worried it wasn't going to make it and it was only out there for 15-20 minutes. Once I brought it back inside and placed it by the AC it perked back up.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Cat Lover Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Region: California Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Composter Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener
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tarev
Jun 2, 2017 11:31 AM CST
Yes, our humidity here in San Joaquin really sucks big time. That is why I really do not try the plants that I know are too humidity needy, some I can get away with but really demands very frequent watering and some shade for protection with the intense heat. So thankful for the shade from the city trees, really helps my plants endure the long dry, hot months.

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