Container gardening is not something I thought I would end up doing. Growing up I’d always had a plot of land to grow food and flowers. This continued through my adult life until recently when I moved to a new town and rented an apartment. So far I haven’t found anywhere to live that has space for a garden, so I decided to try out having a porch vegetable garden with flowers.
The apartment has a small, west-facing porch with a pretty window box across the front.The porch gets really warm in summer, over 100℉ on some days in August. I knew there would be challenges and that I might need to come up with work arounds.
In my research I read that aside from leafy vegetables, most vegetable plants need to grow in a container about the size of a 5 gallon bucket. I’ve accumulated several types of containers over the past few years, including some plastic tubs found by the apartment dumpster, pots friends didn’t want, as well as pots found at thrift shops and hardware stores. Unfortunately, most of the containers hold maybe two gallons of soil, so it’s possible some of the plants may not make it through the summer heat. I do grow leafy greens but only in fall and spring.
In case some of the containers failed, I decided to splurge on a CedarCraft elevated planter I found on Groupon, which was not as expensive as I would have expected. The planter holds 4 cubic feet of soil and has space for quite a few plants.
I filled the containers and planter with a basic potting mix. Potting mixes that contain fertilizer can be a bit expensive and since I needed several cubic feet, I opted for the cheaper route. As time goes on and the potting mix begins to break down, I will probably add a higher quality potting mix.
I chose vegetables that I like to eat, which makes sense but apparently not everyone does this? (or so I’ve heard). I planted several varieties of cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, pepper, eggplant, pumpkins, squash, beans, basil, thyme, sage, watermelon and some zinnias. I’m a huge eggplant fan so I planted three varieties, among them ‘Kermit’ and ‘Bambino’.
I planted my garden in late April, which in the Central Valley of CA is a good time to plant. Any earlier and the plants just sort of “chill” for a while (as in not growing kind of chill). Most warm season vegetables do not begin to grow until soil temperatures warm up to about 60℉.
After about a month, I noticed the leaves of some of my plants were turning yellow. Stay tuned to find out why! Next blog post coming soon. Please feel free to post your experiences, advice and any questions you may have so all of us gardeners can “grow” together!
June 16, 2015 at 6:06 pm
I would be one of those people who plant things I don’t like, but cause they look pretty. *coughcoughEggplantahem
June 19, 2015 at 8:28 pm
Yes Holly, I WAS talking about you. Looking forward to featuring your CedarCraft planter sometime next month. 🙂 No pressure.
June 23, 2015 at 10:48 pm
Last fall I decided to make a couple of portable beds for herbs etc
We replaced the wooden fence.I saved many of the 6 foot boards…I took two of them and then one extra.that I sawed in half..
Thus I had a box,I bought hinches for the corners..4 plus 4 to have them high and low…Now I have a movable box.. ican fold it and move it or remove it..only thing..i have to move the soil by spade and bucket!!!So dear gardeners..just don’t throw away old fence boards..they come in handy for movable plant boxes! they fold up!!!
August 19, 2015 at 8:59 am
Especially in urban sector due to lack of space for gardening we used to grow plants in pots and containers; these types of gardening we mostly grow on terrace and kitchen garden. From here we learn something better regarding gardening especially in urban sector; where people are getting less space for gardening. I would like to pick some of the beneficial points from here in case of container gardening.
August 20, 2015 at 2:09 am
Ian, great points! Urban gardening in containers makes sense.