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Topic: Container Gardening

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Subject: Container Gardening
Date Posted: 2/19/2008 12:29 PM ET
Member Since: 7/5/2006
Posts: 4,669
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I'm trying my hand at gardening for the first time ever this year.. woohoo!  As a known "black thumb", I'm a littel nervous. SInce we live in an apartment with a small deck I'm starting out with just 2-3 small containters... any suggestions as to what is easy to maintain and likes to grow even if I inadvertently commit planticide??

I'm thinking of doing lettuce, strawberries, and tomatoes.

words of wisdom always welcome! :)

Date Posted: 2/19/2008 1:50 PM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2006
Posts: 724
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You might try planting a mint or two, they love containers and are easy to care for. There are lots of varieties, I grow peppermint, applemint, orang mint and my favorite chocolate mint (which smells exactly like a peppermint patty, lol!).

Date Posted: 2/19/2008 2:01 PM ET
Member Since: 9/23/2006
Posts: 6,362
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I don't know anything about it, but the one "Sweet Million" cherry tomato packet suggests using a tomato cage.  My daughter has to use containers so we were discussing what I might have to share. 

The seed catalogs sometimes will give you ideas on tomato varieties that are suited for containers - there are lots of the small types now.  Maybe something like basil would be nice if you use that to cook?  It's attractive.

At one time I recall "strawberry pots" so I'll take a wild guess and say perhaps strawberries were grown in those at some point?  I recall growing "alpine strawberries" years ago, but not in containers.

Subject: need more info
Date Posted: 2/22/2008 7:10 PM ET
Member Since: 6/24/2006
Posts: 786
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How many hours of light does the balcony get?

Are you interested mostly in things to eat?

How big of a pot are you talking about?


The secret of a green thumb is to start over, again and again and again and again and again and again. That's why I invest in tiny plants and stick them into big pots, them rip them out if they don't work. I'm ruthless, but people think I've got a green thumb.......another trick is to by a no fail plant in a big pot and keep that as your main piece, then when you change out smaller pots, you've keep something a long time and are still keeping it interesting by changing it out.

Date Posted: 2/24/2008 7:50 AM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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Last Edited on: 1/14/14 6:37 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/25/2008 9:59 AM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2007
Posts: 5,613
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I have great luck every time I grow bush green beans in my container garden.  They take only the basic care (some light and water every day), and the beans keep coming after I think I've picked them all.  Plus they taste great!! 

Date Posted: 3/13/2008 11:19 PM ET
Member Since: 3/9/2008
Posts: 3
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I also just started an apartment garden.  I probably started with too much.  I've never tried to grow anything before.  I planted several herbs from a kit I got at the grocery store.   Then I went to the nursery and started to get into trouble.  I bought two more starters.  Then, I went back and got spinach and lettuce.  Then, I went back and got catgrass to keep my cats entertained.  So far, the starters are still alive and none of the seeds have come up.  However, it's only day 4 or so.  I sure hope they start to sprout...I will be so disappointed if they just sit there!  I've been loving them and sending good thoughts!

Date Posted: 3/14/2008 6:41 AM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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I have trouble with containers because it gets so hot where I live (Houston area) but I keep trying! so far the aloe vera has lived...and the elephant ears thrived..and a few other assorted plants ( of course 1 plant in each container so I can't remove or replant the whole thing!)

Date Posted: 3/14/2008 4:57 PM ET
Member Since: 4/2/2006
Posts: 1,443
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In order to make more room in my large garden I am going to try planting my peas and string beans in pots and placing them 1, next to the deck so they can grow up on the railings and 2, on the edges of the garden to grow on the fence.  I am also going to attemp to grow potatoes in a garbage can......we will see how that works out.


Date Posted: 3/17/2008 1:31 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2006
Posts: 2,433
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A note for containers: make sure to use a soilless mixture or you can end up with a smelly, buggy mess. They're potting mixes, rather than potting soils, and usually have peat, perlite, pine bark, but no 'dirt' or compost.

I've had good luck with herbs in containers. I also have a few things of pansies going over the winter and a few tomatoes. The only thing I've had trouble with is watering too much!

Date Posted: 4/1/2008 12:29 AM ET
Member Since: 2/20/2008
Posts: 6
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I use packing peanuts at the bottom of my containers before I put the soil mix in.  Makes it lighter than putting in rocks at the bottom for drainage.

l'll second the herbs, especially perennials.  Compost tea works great for containers, too. And you can solve the over watering problem by wicking the container(s) to a bucket that you just keep refilling.  Plants will only pull out what water they need, so you don't drown them. 

Date Posted: 4/5/2008 10:59 PM ET
Member Since: 8/21/2006
Posts: 4,790
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Last Edited on: 1/31/09 6:41 PM ET - Total times edited: 1