Lola's Victory Garden

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Container Gardening

Martha at Stir, Laugh, Repeat asked about container gardening because she lives in a condo and gardening is not allowed in the common area.

First off, I would start out by either starting the seeds indoors or purchasing healthy seedlings when they become available. Tomatoes and Green Peppers are well suited to starting indoors. No special grow lights are needed. A florescent light will do just fine and is much less expensive.

My second apartment in Chicago was on the 3rd floor and had a porch. I attached several resin boxes, using Deck Railing Brackets. I grew herbs, green peppers, and beans in long planter boxes. Here is one kind of Deck Railing Bracket:

I actually have planter boxes on my front porch here in the suburbs with more decorative deck railing brackets. I got them from a local nursery. There is no installation required. (No screwing into the deck.)

I grew tomato plants in larger square planter boxes. I also planted Basil with the tomato plants. This is something I always do because Basil keeps pests away from the plants. Basil is also good planted next to asparagus and eggplant. You can also plant them around pepper plants and they act as a ground cover and keep humidity high. See E-How - Basil Companion Planting.

If you are handy, or know someone who is, you can build your own planter box. See E-How - How To Build A Planter Box.

When starting my seeds, I use a seed starter mix. You could make your own mix, but I prefer to go with the mix because I figure it's less mess.

When transplanting outside, in the past I've used a Hyponex Potting Soil Mix and had good success with that. It's a nice airy, light soil mix. Last year I purchased a generic potting soil and mixed it with Hummus. I wasn't particularly pleased with my yield last year. I may go back to the Hyponex Potting Soil Mix if I can fit it into my budget.

In the past I've used one application of Miracle Gro, but this year I'm going to look toward going more organic. I'll be posting more on that at a later date.

Lola's Victory Garden


I am Harriet said...

Hey Lola-
Check out my new weekend gardener meme at iamharriet

Babette said...

Thanks for the tip about basil. I always have some kind of insects eating the tomato leaves. I'll plant basil next to it.

Lin said...

Do you have a rain barrel? I was thinking of getting one of those to water my plants this year.

Lola said...

@ Harriet - I did, thanks for the tip.

@ Babette - Last year I planted basil heavily around the border of my tomatoes and I had no problem with pets.

@ Lin - I am seriously thinking of getting one. If I can get one locally (who wants to pay shipping for something that heavy) I will get one with part of my tax refund. I just need to figure out where it is feasible to put it. I don't want to make it into a huge project.

Cromely said...

Interesting comment about the Basil. In the past, my biggest problem with pests has been keeping them off the Basil. How those aphids got inside my 6th floor APT, I have no idea.

I'm planting Basil out doors on the deck this year, so I'll seem what happens.

I don't want to share my Basil with the bugs.