Monday, July 7, 2014

Goodbye garden plot - hello containers

My favorite container - a mix of annual flowers and veggies.

  This year the only vegetable gardening I'm doing is in containers on the deck. For the last two years I've had a plot at the community garden, and blogged quite a bit about it. (See the tabs at the top of the page). This year I decided to try container gardening only.

I enjoyed the community garden, but the soil in my plot contained flea beetle larvae. I spent more time (and money) spraying bugs than anything else. It felt like a losing battle, so I decided to stick with my original plan to grow veggies in containers here at home.

One book that has inspired me to mix flowers and veggies is Edible Landscaping by Rosalind Creasy (you can visit Amazon using the widget on the right - it has links to may favorite books). She popularized the idea of using vegetables as ornamentals rather than only in rows in a vegetable garden. I decided that this year my only goal was to try mixing veggies and flowers in as many containers as possible.

I learned at the community garden to plant veggies I would eat and only a few of them. Last year we had so many green beans that I'm still a little sick of them. My plan for bush beans in hanging baskets this year hasn't happened, because I just don't want to eat them - yet.

 I took my list of good container vegetables to the nursery, then chose some that looked interesting. I tried to only select compact plants, the one exception was the Tomatillo. I'd seen them grown in the garden and wanted one because they are so attractive. But, I may have to move it downstairs if it grows much fuller.

Cucumber (3 plants for my cat)

Cherry tomato & another cucumber

"Magic 8 ball" zucchini

I bought this Lobelia for a railing planter, thinking it was a 
trailing variety. I moved it to this planter and really like the way it has filled out.

The Tomatillo looks a little awkward in the tomato cage.
But the Nasturtium and Lobelia mix look nice.

This container is the biggest, and gets the most sun. It's at an in between stage of spring plants - kale and peas - and newly planted veggies - tomato and cucumber. I've also got a perennial, small shrub, and some vines in there. I'll get a picture after the peas come down (I was about to take them down when they decided to produce more peas). The peas loved it here, but the kale did not. Same for the cucumber which should be spilling over the sides but remain puny.

 I'm trying to experiment with what plants grow well together and in which container. Planting only container veggies has required that I try different plants. I would not have planted Zucchini, but the compact, round "Magic 8 Ball" seemed like it might work.

My word of the year: Gratitude

If you scroll all the way down to the bottom of this page you will come across this quote.

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.Marcel Proust

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