Container Vegetable Gardening and Compost?

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by noahsmom, Mar 9, 2013.

  1. noahsmom

    noahsmom Songster

    Jan 11, 2013
    North Eastern, Ky
    So yesterday I got some organic tomato, bell pepper, onion and cucumber seeds started in some small seed pots with organic soil. We plan on a garden but right now we are focusing on the chickens and this year I just plan to do a container garden. I need some tips, I honestly don't have a green thumb and even though I helped my dad in his own raised bed gardens growing up, It still just doesn't come naturally to me. I also have started a litle herb garden and have cactus and a aloe plant that are doing well :) Anyway, back to the vegetable container garden, do you have any tips or suggestions for me? I will probably just buy several 5gallon buckets and replant into these but I might look around for more attractive containers.

    I also would love some tips on how to get started with our own compost? My father just digs a hole into the ground and throws in his raw left over foods and uses this, but is their a better way or just other ways I would love to learn! I hope by next year we can actually plant our own garden, I've already picked out a spot and a friend told me of a tip of buying wild bird see and throwing it in this area so the birds will stay around and poop on it and help it along?

    Would love to see pics of others container gardens, compost bins/piles and any help or suggestions you can offer to a complete newbie! :) I would also love to start some flowers to replant out front, we have only been here since November of 2012 so I look forward to making use of the land we have and making our outside look nice.

  2. kaybee123

    kaybee123 Songster

    Feb 16, 2013
    Tomatoes (determinate varieties) would be good in the buckets. Remember to drill holes in the bottom for drainage. Google corn and potatoes in tubs. I'm trying both of these this year. I bought Christmas storage tubs after Christmas on clearance and I'm using those.

    I've seen pics of people growing pole beans, peas, cukes, etc in 5 gallon tubs with things they can climb and grow on.

    Good luck!
  3. erinszoo

    erinszoo Songster

    Jun 28, 2011
    North Central Oklahoma
    We do a combination of raised beds and container growing. There are lots of different things that can be used for containers. You can even plant in a straw bale, which we are trying for the first time this year. Five gallon buckets are fine to use but you can only grow one tomato or two peppers in each of them. Our favorite containers are used feed tubs that ranchers get a mineral supplement in for their cows. They are about 15 gallons which is big enough to even grow potatoes in.

    The biggest trick with containers is not to let them get too dry. They will dry out quicker than a normal garden bed, so you'll probably have to water every day depending on the temps outside. Make sure you drill a couple of holes near the bottom in the sides so water can drain out and not swamp your plants. Shallow containers can be used to grow onions, strawberries, lettuce, and spinach because their roots are shallow. We built a hanging planter out of gutters like this.
    This one has strawberries planted in it and it's hanging from the eaves of the back porch. Lettuce and onions could be easily grown in a system like this too for very little money.

    Our biggest struggle with gardening is keeping the critters out of it. Our chickens are usually contained in their own yard but at times escape and have devastated my crops in the past. This year they wiped out most of my artichokes that I spent a lot of time and effort on. Last year the geese ate my strawberries and the cats dug up my lettuce as it was coming up. It really is a balancing act some days.

    We've grown many many things in containers. Squash, carrots, cucumbers, herbs, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, potatoes, etc. all grow well as long as they have the right amount of soil depth for their roots. Things that vine need a trellis to support them like cucumbers and squash. We've also done beans many times. You might look up square foot gardening. We use their plant spacing when we plant in containers.

    Oh and don't use potting soil. Look for a garden soil with a moisture retainer in it. Potting soil will just dry out and doesn't have the nutrients and density you need for veggies and fruit.
    1 person likes this.
  4. noahsmom

    noahsmom Songster

    Jan 11, 2013
    North Eastern, Ky
    Fantastic, I still have so much to learn about gardening period! I really like your hanging container set up, that's a great idea. I will check on square foot gardening and see what else I can find out. We have a couple of those under bed flat storage containers we don't use at all, these might be great for some strawberries and the onions I have started. Thanks both of you for the help!
  5. EggsnQuackers

    EggsnQuackers In the Brooder

    Dec 12, 2012
    NW Minnesota
    We've had excellet luck using a barrel garden. We took a 50 gallon plastic drum and cut some slits in the side then using a heat gun and some wooden wedges created cups on the sides of the drum. Think strawberry pot on steroids. I bought the instructions online. Google 3-D Barrel Garden. It was pretty easy and very cheap.
    We built a pallet for the drum so we can move it about the yard with the tractor, or bring it into the garage when it's frosty. We've extended our growing season by several weeks doing this. Last year we affixed some long dowels to the corners of the pallet and then put up chicken wire to keep the birds out. The whole unit is easily moved with the tractor. Before we strung up the fence I made a temporary one using step in T-posts and chicken wire. The birds were able to jump and reach low hanging cucumbers but we didn't lose too many.
    This will be our third year using the barrel garden. I've planted cukes, tomatoes, beans, lettuce, radishes, and carrots. I don't recommend radishes and carrots for the sides of the barrel but they're ok on the top.
    1 person likes this.

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