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Monday, March 29, 2010

The Buena Vista Garden, by Yarddawg

Esbee note: Wait! Wait! Before we get to the BVG, let me show you what was left on my doorstep like an abandoned waif the day after I posted about burgling everyone's garden animals. It took me a few days to track down the party responsible for this enormous and magnificent fish, but I did. Thank you to DK, one of the very first LiF readers ever.

And now, Yarddawg...

ATTN: Local Potheads

Miss Esbee suggested I write something on growing vegetables in pots. Her wish is granted. The bottom line is this: any vegetable which grows in the ground will also grow in containers. The container can be anything available. Containers work for herbs too. I have used large coffee cans, vegetable cans, chimney tiles, plastic pots, clay, wood, and ceramic. You can even - Check This Out - grow potatoes in a garbage can.

Container grown vegetables are an excellent option for those living in condos, apartments, or anywhere yard space is limited. One important consideration you'll need is plenty of direct sunshine -- the more the better.

Hint: Eggplant is both ornamental and tasty and especially cool in pots. (Five gallon minimum)

Here are a few other essentials that come to mind to help with container vegetable success:
  1. The larger the vegetable, the larger the pot.
  2. The container must have multiple drainage holes in the bottom.
  3. Only use a good quality potting soil. Never use regular dirt from your yard. I always mix in good compost with the potting soil. This can be store bought or homemade.
  4. If you are hard headed and insist on using regular dirt, here's what you can do, but it is a pain in the butt! The my way is better, do-it-yourself individual can make a planting medium by mixing equal parts of sand, loamy garden soil, and peat moss. The mix should be heated in an oven for 1 hour at 210o F to kill any bacteria, fungi, insects,or weed seeds.
  5. Check the potting soil to see if it contains fertilizer. If not, a balanced fertilizer needs to be added.
  6. Container moisture should be consistent.
  7. When summer heat arrives the pot must be watered and probably daily. At extreme high temperatures this could mean twice daily.
  8. And please make sure to plant warm season crops after the risk of frost is over... like in May. Cool season crops like lettuce, cabbage, broccoli etc. are OK now.
  9. Long weekends away and summer vacations without water will mean certain death.
Long weekends away and summer vacations without water will mean certain death.
Long weekends away and summer vacations without water will mean certain death.
Did you get that?

Here are some links I recommend reading thoroughly from the folks at NC Cooperative Extension that will get you started and ensure success:

Container Vegetable Gardening and Growing Vegetables in Containers and general web links for various Vegetables and Techniques too numerous to mention.

On a personal note. I just wish these folks could come up with more imaginative, more awesomer, groovy, titles for this fine information.

Go on now and play in the dirt. When in doubt call a Master Gardener.
- Yarddawg
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