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Container Gardening: I've lost my container garden! Need ideas

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revclaus
(Judith) Denver, CO
(Zone 5b)

December 5, 2009
11:28 PM

Post #7339518

I had to move to a much smaller place, and they only allow 4 containers. I have a different exposure than I've been used to for the last 10 years. Instead of shade it's sun -- faces south. Here's a picture of my space. I thiink these two have bit the dust since it's been way below freezing for the last few days and we're having more snow and cold off and on for the next week. I'd love to have some ideas about what I can do here, probably three pots since three is always a better number than four for better symmetry.

Judith

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3jsmom31
zone 6a, KY

December 6, 2009
1:57 AM

Post #7340077

Hmmm. My first thought is... Did they say how big the containers could be? Hibiscus are nice, and bougainvillea, for summer planters. If you want something hardy, well get an evergreen, a clematis, and a tophat blueberry :).
revclaus
(Judith) Denver, CO
(Zone 5b)

December 6, 2009
2:13 AM

Post #7340139

Thanks 3jsmom. No limitations on dimensions. Here's a photo of my view of the courtyard from my front door. The office (which is across the courtyard from me) has a gigantic hibiscus indoors which is blooming beautifully now. It feels great in our sub-zero weather. That's a thought.

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3jsmom31
zone 6a, KY

December 6, 2009
2:27 AM

Post #7340180

Are you looking for cold hardy plants for now, or just planning ahead for some really big beautiful patio plants?
revclaus
(Judith) Denver, CO
(Zone 5b)

December 6, 2009
6:20 AM

Post #7340686

The latter, and perennials would be okay too. But, of course, they need to be for full sun. Neither of the two I currently have have to stay. I can start from scratch.
joannabanana
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

December 6, 2009
4:25 PM

Post #7341469

Are you limited to where the pots are allowed? Would you be able to put a pot beside your door?

How about a very large container, 1/2 barrel size with a obelisk in the middle for height. Or a climbing rose with annuals around the edge to drape over.
joannabanana
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

December 6, 2009
4:32 PM

Post #7341489

Here's a link to my containers last summer. We have a cold wet spring with snow on June 6th, so you may want to skip over the pictures at the beginning. What ever you choose to do, I think matching the pots (all the same color) would look great; have 3 different sized pots; go big with the plant material chosen to compliment (ie purple & orange) and also try to echo the colors in the pots.

oops, forgot the link

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1009136/


This message was edited Dec 6, 2009 9:32 AM
revclaus
(Judith) Denver, CO
(Zone 5b)

December 6, 2009
5:37 PM

Post #7341696

Good ideas Joanna. I do plan to start over with pots and will get matching ones, maybe a rust color to mirror the rust under the windows, then maybe yellow and blue or something, yellow and orange. Lots to think about. Maybe different sized pots, all big enough to hold lots of flowers. There are garden beds around here too.
KatG
Port Charlotte, FL
(Zone 10a)

December 7, 2009
5:33 AM

Post #7343826

Hey Rev?

How about a container like this? I bought one of these off of the Marketplace and it can hold so much and I think would be classified as 1!

Kat

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3jsmom31
zone 6a, KY

December 7, 2009
11:48 AM

Post #7344092

Now that is an excellent idea! Nice plantings in them, too.
revclaus
(Judith) Denver, CO
(Zone 5b)

December 7, 2009
9:39 PM

Post #7346134

That's an idea! How big is each individual pot? My concern is watering. I live in high desert, almost non-existent humidity and high summer temps. That's why I've always chosen bigger pots. But with this one I could at least have a big variety of things if I wanted to.
KatG
Port Charlotte, FL
(Zone 10a)

December 7, 2009
11:04 PM

Post #7346414

Rev:

These are sold as self-watering. I think they work as I've had one for about 3 years now and they do take less water than any of my other containters. They have a reservoir system and I have to say that anything I put in them does quite well. Right now, I'm growing herbs/flowers, but in the past I've done different combo's. You can stack them about 4 high. The ones I have are 24" wide, but you can get them in different sizes.

Here's the website with all the information and it looks like they've got a nice sale on...

http://www.gardentogrow.com/naja24insttu.html

Here's one of my past combinations...

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KatG
Port Charlotte, FL
(Zone 10a)

December 7, 2009
11:08 PM

Post #7346430

Another look...

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joannabanana
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

December 7, 2009
11:40 PM

Post #7346555

KatG,

Those are beautiful
3jsmom31
zone 6a, KY

December 7, 2009
11:46 PM

Post #7346578

Beautiful plantings and what a great growing system. If you put that in your courtyard, padlock it or it could roll off to someone else's door!!!!!
revclaus
(Judith) Denver, CO
(Zone 5b)

December 11, 2009
3:37 AM

Post #7357701

Good thing we don't have any crime around here! I'm probably the most able bodied person in the community - lol

How wide is each individual pot, Kat? I've seen these, I think at Gardener's Supply. I'd want something that cascades and covers the pots. That would be awesome!
KatG
Port Charlotte, FL
(Zone 10a)

December 11, 2009
6:22 AM

Post #7357997

Each Individual layer is 24" wide, so there's lots of room! Check out that link I posted Dec 07 - they're on sale! Also, BobaBob sells them on the Marketplace...I bet you he would give you a deal!

Talk about cascading - the Vinca in this one got a little out of hand...It was pretty though and I didn't have the heart to yank it!

Kat

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ge1836

ge1836
Pittsford, NY
(Zone 6a)

December 11, 2009
6:37 PM

Post #7359203

these are mostly coleus.
Use any combo you want
http://picasaweb.google.com/jgentle4/DECKGARDEN2009
revclaus
(Judith) Denver, CO
(Zone 5b)

December 11, 2009
8:35 PM

Post #7359519

Kat, I'm still confused. How wide is each inidividual POT, in other words, how much planting space do I have in just one pot. I'll need to know that to know what size root system I need to plan for. Thanks! The vinca is stunning. Why would you want to yank it??

Ge1836, are those sun coleus? I planted tons of coleus in my former garden, but I had mostly shade there. Now I have full sun. I don't know how the sun coleus would do in our very hot, dry climate, but I'd love to try them. I LOVE coleus!

Judith

ge1836

ge1836
Pittsford, NY
(Zone 6a)

December 11, 2009
8:46 PM

Post #7359555

Those are in most sun.The pale greens turn yellow but are great.
KatG
Port Charlotte, FL
(Zone 10a)

December 13, 2009
5:28 PM

Post #7364735

Rev: Each planting pocket is about 10" deep by about 8" wide - 3 to a layer. You can put a dowel down the center to keep them together, if you really want to stack them higher than 3 layers. Hope this helps.

Kat
revclaus
(Judith) Denver, CO
(Zone 5b)

December 14, 2009
4:17 AM

Post #7366569

Yes, that's what I needed. The root debth is pretty good. And as long as they're self-watering the width doesn't make a lot of difference. I can see a whole container with supertunias and bacopa or baby's breath, something simple. Thanks!
KatG
Port Charlotte, FL
(Zone 10a)

December 14, 2009
1:46 PM

Post #7367284

Rev: You can also build these with a 12" sitting on top of a 24" - Sounds kind of interesting...

http://www.gardentogrow.com/plantersubuild.html
annabell52
Edmonton, AB
(Zone 3a)

December 14, 2009
10:40 PM

Post #7368792

Rev I think only one person has said a climbing thing , you have that wonderful post or two! I would take advantage of the post and go up and down with it. If you plant a clematis and then a pot in front to shade the roots you could do a an up and down thing.
If you pick a hardy one it just may overwinter with some help. I like your go big idea as you will have a good chance of making a room out of your space with a bit of a block/privacy fence idea for your patio.
Let us know how you do, you've got time to dream about it till it needs to get started.
Ann
joannabanana
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

December 15, 2009
1:09 AM

Post #7369191

Rev, are you limited to pots on the ground only? Are you aloud to have a hanging basket off the post or the roof in the pic?
revclaus
(Judith) Denver, CO
(Zone 5b)

December 15, 2009
4:35 PM

Post #7371096

Good ideas. I've thought about a clematis. I've grown them here for years and had to give them away when I moved. Wish I hadn't given away my big crock that held my jackmanii! I'll have to inquire about using the posts area, and about using a hanging basket. That'a great idea. Thanks for all your help, everybody! Maybe it's not as bleak as I thought it might be...
vossner
Richmond, TX
(Zone 9a)

December 15, 2009
4:53 PM

Post #7371141

Hiya Judith. One thing worth exploring: They probably have the 4 pot rule b/c so many non-gardeners start w/ the best of intentions and over time neglect, weather, etc. makes for pretty sad pots. Four ignored pots per resident is probably all that property can handle, lol. Too depressing if more. Since you are an experienced and accomplished container gardener, you might be able to bend the rules by planting clematis trailing the poles and maybe even a couple of hanging baskets. By bending rules, I mean organizing a mini-gardening club to get your neighbors and management excited and willing to expand the limit. And of course, comitting to upkeep.

If easing your way into over 4 pots is not feasible, I envision 4 HUGE pots. the biggest "lite" pots you can find and then making combos suited for your area. KatG and others have posted so many inspiring photos, you will be able to do all kind of fun stuff.

As to contents of big pots, you'd have to have at least one evergreen, so that in your winter months, your big pots don't look desolate. Then again, they could be decorated w/ christmas stuff, so really, winter bareness can be reduced to a min.

This could be a fun challenge with the square inch gardening with which you're faced and also teaching others who might have thought it wasn't possible. You can do it!
GAgirl1066
Blackshear, GA

December 15, 2009
7:35 PM

Post #7371577

Or, how about this, if you have neighbors on both sides of you, ask them if you could use their space (4 more pots ea) and that would give you more gardening, and maybe help someone else enjoy the beauty of the plants that may not be able to tend to them.
Or they may be willing to buy the pots if you get the plants and tend to them.
annabell52
Edmonton, AB
(Zone 3a)

December 15, 2009
9:58 PM

Post #7372023

ooohhh Revclaus, you are at 12 pots now!
Yahoo!!
Ann
KatG
Port Charlotte, FL
(Zone 10a)

December 16, 2009
5:08 AM

Post #7373193

Now GAgirl...that's a great idea!!!

(Oh Oh...got to stop somewhere though...I wonder how many units are in the complex...We'll have poor Rev tending 400 pots! haha)

Kat
vossner
Richmond, TX
(Zone 9a)

December 16, 2009
3:50 PM

Post #7374042

GAgirl, ditto what katG said. I think it's a great idea. Judith used to post pics of her balcony garden and it was quite the collection. I bet she'd be up to the task, lol.
GAgirl1066
Blackshear, GA

December 16, 2009
5:39 PM

Post #7374305

May be a great way to 'spruce' up the place. If you have the time, maybe you could talk to the owner and they would be willing to buy the planters and plants for each apt. and you could take care of them. I don't know how big the place is or if that is something you would want to do. Me, I would probably try to talk them into letting me plant the whole courtyard.!! LOL
revclaus
(Judith) Denver, CO
(Zone 5b)

December 17, 2009
6:21 PM

Post #7377342

Here's the whole story. This place is owned and operated by my church. It has a bunch of row houses with 4 units in each one. Everybody can garden there, and some do. There's roses all over and other things too. The setting where I am is a fairly new buildm and the rules are different. I think they opened it in 2001. Altogether there are 171 units, so it's pretty big. The courtyard buildings house about 50. I'll post some pics so you can see. They do have pots around the couryard, they're about 20" to 24" wide. The administrator is very friendly and helpful, so I'll check with her about just what I can do. They have a lot of picnic tables around for everybody to us. There's one right out my front door. I'm right across from the administration building.

I can get big pots just like the ones that are in the courtyard and maintained by the administration. I'm pretty sure I could put a clematis in a big pot between the two pillars in front of my unit. Beyond that I can probably put some in front on either side. But I'll have to check. One of the units here in the courtyard has a large pot like the ones the administration has out there.

As for organizing a gardening club around here, forget it. I'm way too busy to take on another thing. Maybe when I can stop working for a living I'll have time to do that, and I will have been here long enough to see how things work and work something out.

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revclaus
(Judith) Denver, CO
(Zone 5b)

December 17, 2009
6:21 PM

Post #7377344

This is the view from my front door.

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revclaus
(Judith) Denver, CO
(Zone 5b)

December 17, 2009
6:23 PM

Post #7377345

Here's a view of the pots -- empty now because of winter. I had an Alberta spruce once in a pot. I got tired of it, but I can have another evergreen, maybe a globe blue spruce or something like that. I'm allergic to junipers, so none of that class of plants.

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revclaus
(Judith) Denver, CO
(Zone 5b)

December 17, 2009
6:23 PM

Post #7377346

This is where the two pots are. There are more around the courtyard.

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revclaus
(Judith) Denver, CO
(Zone 5b)

December 17, 2009
6:25 PM

Post #7377350

This is looking toward my front door. The deer are lit up at night. The whole place is beautifully decorated with garlands around the corner posts and big red bows around the old fashioned lights in the courtyard. The administration has two huge lit Christmas trees, a huge red flowering hibiscus and lots of plants, and I can see it all when I walk by.

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revclaus
(Judith) Denver, CO
(Zone 5b)

December 17, 2009
6:31 PM

Post #7377358

And here's a picture of one of my clematises that I had to give away. Sad...

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vossner
Richmond, TX
(Zone 9a)

December 17, 2009
7:02 PM

Post #7377423

Judith, I hope are approved for up to 4 of the 20 -24" pots. It could be fun to mix one evergreen (no juniper, lol), with seasonal annuals and some trailers. It would look beautiful.

Forget about a garden club for now, but when your neighbors see what you can do, they'll all be coming to you asking for tips.
3jsmom31
zone 6a, KY

December 17, 2009
9:29 PM

Post #7377813

Sorry for your loss of the pretty clematis. Really, it looks like you live in a wonderful place, and the planters will only make if more of a retreat :). Best of luck and I'd be interested in seeing what you come up with when you plant them.
KatG
Port Charlotte, FL
(Zone 10a)

December 17, 2009
10:09 PM

Post #7377926

Rev...That sure is a beautiful Clematis!

Will they allow you to place your pots against the wall? 2 nice big pots with trellises would really give you some impact...

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vossner
Richmond, TX
(Zone 9a)

December 17, 2009
10:15 PM

Post #7377935

OMG, kat, that is so cool, lol. But you forgot the hanging baskets and the clematis up the poles, lol.
3jsmom31
zone 6a, KY

December 17, 2009
11:29 PM

Post #7378148

Neato!!
revclaus
(Judith) Denver, CO
(Zone 5b)

December 18, 2009
1:33 AM

Post #7378448

Nope, can't put anything on the sidewalk because fire code prohibits it. But it would have looked great! I can put a gynormous pot in betwen the pillars with a container trellis and then two pots on either side.
KatG
Port Charlotte, FL
(Zone 10a)

December 18, 2009
4:22 AM

Post #7378927

Voss and 3J! HAHA! I know...it's a little cheesy but it does give you a bit of an idea on how things might look!

Okay, here's another view...with some beautiful Clematis in the middle of the posts and some stackers on the sides. If I was limited to 4 pots I would really have a hard time...However, the stackers would really give you a great variety of plants. This is only showing 2 levels...you could stack them up to 8!

Kat

(Thanks Judith...this is fun!)

Beautiful Clematis you have there Lady! hehe

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3jsmom31
zone 6a, KY

December 18, 2009
4:40 AM

Post #7378964

I don't think it's cheesy. It would be quite an investment to get all the pots, soil, plants and whatnot. It's great to have a decent idea of how it will look. Plus we get to help her plant them, lol... well, kinda.
revclaus
(Judith) Denver, CO
(Zone 5b)

December 18, 2009
5:24 AM

Post #7379072

Gee, I'm tempted. Looks great!

Hey, 3jsmom, it isn't THAT far from Kentucky to Denver, hint, hint!

Judith
3jsmom31
zone 6a, KY

December 18, 2009
1:16 PM

Post #7379474

With 4 kids, it would be very far, lol.
revclaus
(Judith) Denver, CO
(Zone 5b)

December 19, 2009
12:34 AM

Post #7381069

LOL!
beckygardener
(Becky) in Sebastian, FL
(Zone 10a)

December 19, 2009
11:18 PM

Post #7383123

Judith - Don't forget about MGs! Since they are annuals and have a short life span, you could grow a different cultivar every few months. :-) Mine are all grown in pots with a teepee made of poles.

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revclaus
(Judith) Denver, CO
(Zone 5b)

December 20, 2009
12:41 AM

Post #7383389

Maybe that's what I should do the first year until I get on my gardening "feet." I love growing MGs, but haven't really had enough sun for them. And Becky has tons of seeds, wink, wink!! LOL
beckygardener
(Becky) in Sebastian, FL
(Zone 10a)

December 20, 2009
3:45 AM

Post #7383818

You'll have some for sure, Judith!!! :-)
3jsmom31
zone 6a, KY

December 20, 2009
1:07 PM

Post #7384537

beckygardener: That is a pretty morning glory. I haven't grown them but have some wild ones that come up in my blueberries and raspberries. I think it would be a hard decision to pull if they looked like that beauty :). Do the morning glories grow up a net? I thought about making a net and getting an annual climber to shade the porch. I think my gran used some kind of bean or peas for it when I was a kid.
beckygardener
(Becky) in Sebastian, FL
(Zone 10a)

December 20, 2009
5:23 PM

Post #7385078

Hi 3jsmom31 - Morning glories come in many cultivars and species. The wild ones are usually invasive in my zone (10a), so I refrain from growing them here. But the Japanese I. nils are very well-behaved and have HUGE blooms. The only down side is that they usually wilt by noon (hence their name "morning" glories! lol) They will grow up just about anything your provide for them. The Japanese use string and nets to shade entire sides of buildings and it looks amazing! The I. nil species don't get overly invasive in growth and don't usually come back as volunteers since the seeds don't survive in freezing temps. They thrive best in the heat of summer as they prefer the longer days of sun and the heat of summer months. The majority of MGs are annuals, though there are some perennial vines as well. The Japanese cultivars like rich and fertile soil and like to be keep watered regularly in well-drained soil. So in other words, they do like a bit of royal treatment, which is why I grow them in pots. They are very easy to grow in ideal conditions. They are my favorite plant family out of all the plants I grow. And color combos on the blooms are infinite. New ones are created every year by Japanese and American gardeners. I just love them! (Can you tell? LOL!) I use 3 poles in each 5 gallon pot to form a teepee for them to climb. Usually 6' poles that I shove right down inside the pots. When the vines reach the top of the poles, I just wrap them around and around. They are gorgeous in bloom!

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lonejack
Longview, WA
(Zone 8b)

December 20, 2009
5:25 PM

Post #7385082

Hey, I have a great Idea to get your new Year started!! I am going to call it a Garden Care Crow.
I am going to start with a sturdy wood frame, Old Jeans, an Old Denim Jacket, Old Boots, a Small Bucket, Gloves and a Hat. I am going to assemble the frame as an
A frame and screw the old boots to the bottom of the A frame through the backs of the boots.
Then fasten the jeans and denim jacket together with gloves attached to the arms like hands. Then attach this whole thing to the A frame, tying the legs closed with the old boot laces and attaching the legs to the boots.
Lean the whole thing against the fence, or a good sunny place, fill the whole thing with good growing dirt. then Cut slots for plants in various places up the legs, arms, torso and shoulders. Plant my favorite flowers and veggies. Place a short pipe in the bottom of the bucket and stick it where the head should be and put a hat on the bucket.
I can remove the hat to water, then replace it to cover the whole thing.
How about that, Pictures to follow.
Actually, I am thinking of doing this as a fundraiser for our Haiti, Hope for Kids School Scholarship Program. It costs just $250 to sponsor a kid for a year in school; no school in Haiti is public. Everyone pays to go to school.
I will charge $300 for each Care Crow, and you will sponsor a Haitian kid in school for a year Plus have a neat conversation piece to boot.
What is your opinion?
Have a Very Great Sunday!! Paul


This message was edited Dec 20, 2009 9:28 AM
beckygardener
(Becky) in Sebastian, FL
(Zone 10a)

December 20, 2009
5:42 PM

Post #7385127

Nice fundraiser! Wishing you much success. I've sponsored a boy in Haiti through World Vision for almost 5 years now. He's getting an education and has grown into a fine young man. I am very proud of him and all his accomplishments. His family has been affected by AIDS. Father died from it and his mother has it. Not sure about the children in the family. I know my sponsorship means the difference between life and death for this family in one of the poorest countries in the world. Even after my family and I continue to experience our own financial hardships from this terrible recession, I refused to give up sponsoring this child. I consider him part of my extended family and will continue to support him. :-)
revclaus
(Judith) Denver, CO
(Zone 5b)

December 20, 2009
8:46 PM

Post #7385549

I give to sponsor children in Rwanda. My church has a partner relationship with a group there and we hear from them regularly. They hear from us too. We have their pictures on the wall at church. If you happened to see "Hotel Rwanda" you'll know what a devastated country it is and how much it means to support these children.

lonejack, wish I had enough room to use your idea. But obviously I'm limited.

Becky, do you use bamboo and tie them at the top to form a tepee? I used to use bamboo to shore up my clematis in pots.

Here's an idea! Maybe I can send out Christmas gift hints to my two boys - lol. Costs too much for me.
revclaus
(Judith) Denver, CO
(Zone 5b)

December 20, 2009
8:46 PM

Post #7385550

Oops! Forgot the pic...
revclaus
(Judith) Denver, CO
(Zone 5b)

December 20, 2009
8:48 PM

Post #7385554

Forgot to save it in jpg. Here it is.
revclaus
(Judith) Denver, CO
(Zone 5b)

December 20, 2009
8:49 PM

Post #7385560

Third try and I'm out - lol!

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beckygardener
(Becky) in Sebastian, FL
(Zone 10a)

December 20, 2009
11:38 PM

Post #7386093

Judith - Nice planters! Yes! I would definitely hint around to your children for nice planters for Christmas. I was also going to suggest growing veggie plants. This year I am determined to try growing veggies and fruits in containers. Strawberries and watermelon and cantalope, as well as tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, snap peas, sweet potatoes, etc. I figure I might as well provide some fresh fruit and veggies for my family and save some grocery money in the process. If you grow edibles, hopefully your neighbors won't pick them before you do! LOL!

I do use bamboo and also the plastic coated rebar poles that are sold at Home Depot. I do tie them off at the top to make a teepee shape for the vines to grow up. This works out great so far for me. This year I am going to try growing veggies vines up the teepee poles in containers as well. :-) I love a challenge and trying something new! :-)

I get my 5 gallon plastic white containers for free from a fast food restraurant that just throws them away. The containers are originally used to transport pickles in. So I just clean them out and drill a few holes in the bottom of each bucket/container. They even have handles on them. Love them! Perfect size for container gardening and the white color helps keep the roots of my plants from absorbing too much heat and frying from the intense sunlight here in summertime. :-)
lonejack
Longview, WA
(Zone 8b)

December 21, 2009
6:22 AM

Post #7387042

Hi all,
revclaus, here is a container that you can build for less than $15.
Paul.

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3jsmom31
zone 6a, KY

December 21, 2009
4:55 PM

Post #7388066

I like your use of the tubs. I have to move a big plant into a bigger container and that will work really well for it. Thanks :)
revclaus
(Judith) Denver, CO
(Zone 5b)

December 22, 2009
12:32 AM

Post #7389108

Becky, my son is a catering chef and has access to those 5 gal. buckets. I could always ask him. I'd rather grow flowers than veggies. Been there, done that.

Paul, the tubs are a great idea. I remember seeing them somewhere.
beckygardener
(Becky) in Sebastian, FL
(Zone 10a)

December 22, 2009
3:14 AM

Post #7389558

revclaus - Those 5 gallon buckets worked great for me this year! You might consider trying one to see if they would be a good container for you as well. :-) If so, you'll have an endless supply from your Chef son whenever you need one! :-) Sorry to hear that you can only have 4 containers per the apartment rules. You will definitely need to have LARGE containers so that you can do mixed plantings so you'll have lots of different plants growing and blooming! :-) That would be tough for me as I have been so fortunate to have expanded my garden beds instead of condense them. Though I am using containers more and more. My garden soil here is awful.

So ... you've done veggies before? Any helpful hints you could share? Did you grow any in containers? That's what I am having to do because my ground soil is horrible. This will be a first for me to growing veggies and fruit. Something new to try to grow! LOL! I love a challenge! :-)

3jsmom31
zone 6a, KY

December 22, 2009
3:53 PM

Post #7390582

Becky, start a thread on soil improvement, it may be cheaper/easier to amend your soil than to buy bags of miracle grow each year or 2.
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

December 24, 2009
2:31 AM

Post #7394547

I like those tall blue tubs for flowers. I like the idea of clematis and morning glories -- not in the same pots, of course. Do you think if it worked out that some of the other residents might want you to put some planted tubs in front of their houses? Just thinking. You can't be the only one there who loves flowers, but you may be one of the few with patience and knowledge to grow them.
lonejack
Longview, WA
(Zone 8b)

December 24, 2009
4:42 AM

Post #7394866

Hi all,
If someone doesn't want blue tubs, they come in other colors, Light green, Yellow and Red. You can also paint them with a plastic paint any color you want.
I have seen some people use some of the lattice around their tubs. You could buy some
burlap or other cloth and drape it down to the ground around the tub.
These are just some ideas.
I used the same idea and used 1/2 wine barrels set in notches in my front fence.
I grow flowers, tomatoes, and blueberries in the barrels.
Paul.
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

December 24, 2009
5:05 AM

Post #7394932

Great idea, Paul!
beckygardener
(Becky) in Sebastian, FL
(Zone 10a)

December 24, 2009
3:38 PM

Post #7395780

That is a neat idea, Paul! I am a lazy gardener. Well, not really, but I hate assembling things! I am dangerous with a drill! LOL! I was at HD recently and decided to price some of the items you listed to build your blue container. A bit more expensive here in Florida (which I suspected). It would run about $20 - 25 to build it here. Florida has been hard hit by this recession, so that is out of my budget right now. But ... I have been getting FREE pickle container/buckets from the fast food places. (They just throw them away!) I have my dh drill holes in the bottoms and they are good to go! They are also white, so reflect the intense heat here. I may just fill (recycle) disposable 1 pint water bottles, fill with water and a liquid fertilizer mix, and turn upside down in each container to water my plants. :-)

Here is a photo of some of the containers that I had placed temporarily in a 3-tiered raised bed. But they can be placed strategically behind shrubs, fences, next to a shed or an entrance. And you are right, they can be painted with a spray paint designed specifically for plastic. :-)

Thumbnail by beckygardener
Click the image for an enlarged view.

pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

December 24, 2009
4:01 PM

Post #7395843

Say. I like those pickle buckets. Which fast food places do you get them from?
beckygardener
(Becky) in Sebastian, FL
(Zone 10a)

December 24, 2009
4:58 PM

Post #7395988

pajaritomt - Any place that sells pickles on their sandwiches or as a sliced piece with their meals. Any restaurant in fact, not just fast foods. Just go in and introduce yourself and tell them what you are looking for. Most should be pretty nice about it. Ask them to save them for you and you will pick up once or twice a week. They will not hold them indefinitely for you because they have to keep their restaurant clean and clutter free. But ask when they get shipments and when they dispose of the containers and tell them you will come by to pick up the empty containers. Or give them your name and phone# to call you to come get them. My dh was bringing home 1-2 a week, and he works at a busy fast food restaurant. Be sure to put a tarp down in your vehicle so that the pickle juice doesn't get all over your vehicle carpet or all over the inside of your trunk. You don't want that smell in your car. LOL! Then just drill several holes in the bottom. My dh uses a 1/2" diameter drill bit to make a fairly large hole each time he drills. You want plenty of drainage to prevent root rot. It has also been suggested to drill on the side of the bucket about an 1" up from the bottom. That might be a good idea too since any holes on the bottom might get stopped up or clogged from sitting on the ground. Just some suggestions. :-) It's a good way to recycle instead of these containers winding up in a landfill. :-) They also have nice, sturdy handles on them to make them easy to move. :-) I love mine! Over several months, I have acquired about 30 of them. I am also planning to put some inside each other to further insulate the roots from the heat in August/September here. They are a nice, sturdy 5 gallon container that doesn't tip over when filled with dirt. I love them! And the best part - They are FREE!!!!

This message was edited Dec 24, 2009 11:59 AM
3jsmom31
zone 6a, KY

December 25, 2009
2:11 AM

Post #7396907

Drywallers use tons of mud and it comes in buckets, too.
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

December 25, 2009
4:02 AM

Post #7397057

Thanks for the tips, guys. I am on to it. I will talk to the local fast food places and the plasterers as well.
beckygardener
(Becky) in Sebastian, FL
(Zone 10a)

December 27, 2009
9:18 PM

Post #7402325

I was looking into Earthbox/self-watering containers after Paul posted his instructions and came across this great pdf article:

http://www.green-trust.org/freebooks/Earthbox.pdf

I was particularly thrilled that the instructions included making a self-watering container using the very buckets that I have been collecting! Looks like a great idea to try and I will be making a few of them this week to transplant my sprouts in when they are ready in another week or so! :-)

Note added: No longer recommended to use PVC in any of the homemade boxes. PVCs have been demonstrated to leach plasticizers and harmful chemicals, including endocrine disruptors. There are plenty of alternatives, so there's no good reason to use PVC and risk putting these chemicals in your homegrown fruits and vegetables. It was suggested to use vinyl tubing or even better and sturdier - Large Bamboo stakes. You can cut the bottom of the Bamboo at an angle for quicker watering, too!

This message was edited Dec 27, 2009 5:07 PM
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

December 28, 2009
3:47 AM

Post #7403085

But do the buckets contain PVC's? Seems as if they might.
beckygardener
(Becky) in Sebastian, FL
(Zone 10a)

December 28, 2009
4:25 AM

Post #7403142

pajaritomt - I, too, thought about that. The HDPE number on the buckets I am using say "2", which if I read correctly means they are not consider as toxic. (HIGH-DENSITY POLYETHYLENE (HDPE) resin is produced from the chemical compound ethylene.) The kinds of plastics we generally regard as safe are those with the numbers 1, 2, 4, or 5 (these numbers are usually found inside the recycling symbol). The ones we seek to avoid are 3 (Polyvinyl Chloride/Vinyl), 6 (Polysterene/Styrofoam), and 7 (Polycarbonate and others).
I would think that these containers using #2 would be safer because they are used to transport food products (pickles). But who knows? Though being considered safer to use, I want to think they would be even safer to use filled up with soil. At least I hope so. If not, then not sure what to use. I can't afford the Earthboxes at over $50 a container. :-(

Ethylene - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethylene
http://www.chej.org/BESAFE/pvc/about.htm
http://www.chej.org/BESAFE/pvc/documents/2009/Fact-Sheets/110909%20Our%20Health%20and%20PVC.pdf
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

December 28, 2009
5:27 AM

Post #7403226

Yes, I agree, that for now, #2, i.e. HDPE is considered safe. Thanks for the breakdown of what is safe and what isn't. I bought some commercial planters, not Earthboxes, but they were expensive enough, and didn't find that they worked very well. I would be willing to try the pickle containers though. I can probably fix them up so they work i.e. with holes in the bottom which the pseudo Earthboxes didn't have.
I have never had trouble growing things in containers until I bought these pseudo Earthboxes which were way to fancy, as far as I am concerned. Look forward to trying pickle containers, now that I know how to get them.
Soferdig
Kalispell, MT
(Zone 4b)

December 31, 2009
12:43 AM

Post #7411336

I have missed this Rev. I am so sorry that I cannot see you beautiful deck with all of its adornments. If I were you I would start looking for a neighbor nearby that you can "take care" of their garden and visit them with your plantings. Look for a house neglected and I'm sure they would welcome you. Just a thought. If none are available I would find a small city ground and add (at night) your plantings. If you get arrested just tell them they need community garden space to make the world a better place for your kind of person.
I once planted a tree in Bellevue WA on a new street intersection where I removed the origional tree, an ugly maple and replaced it with a Styrax Japonica. It is still there and I visit it every year to see and talk to it. It is outstanding and has become a unique change to the poor decisions of city planning. It is located in the location of an old vet building I worked at in Bellevue.
beckygardener
(Becky) in Sebastian, FL
(Zone 10a)

December 31, 2009
2:20 AM

Post #7411622

Soferdig - You are on to something ... maybe Judith could talk to the neighbors on both sides of her apartment and ask them if they would mind having some of her pots in front of their porch/patio area. Let's see ... 4 pots x 3 residents = 12 pots full of flowers! Hmmmm ... time to meet the neighbors! :-)

I just had my dh drill the 5 gallon buckets to make the self-watering containers. Tomorrow I get to try it out with Al's (tapala) magic container mix. I managed to find all the ingredients quite cheap, so we shall see how my first attempt at veggie growing goes! I am excited!
beckygardener
(Becky) in Sebastian, FL
(Zone 10a)

December 31, 2009
4:25 AM

Post #7412027

pajaritomt - I buckled and bought PVC for use in my 5 gallon buckets. Right on the PVC it said "Drinking Water", so I am being optimistic and hoping that they no longer put toxins in the PVC. The PVC manufacturer has a website: http://www.charlottepipe.com . It appears to be produced in Florida. I will be checking their website to learn more about the safety of their PVC products.
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

December 31, 2009
4:31 AM

Post #7412053

I will be interested in what you learn. I suspect if they are labeled "Drinking Water" that they are okay.
beckygardener
(Becky) in Sebastian, FL
(Zone 10a)

December 31, 2009
4:38 AM

Post #7412074

Here is a photo of the self-watering container my dh and I made. Very, very simple and CHEAP!!! (That's my favorite part!) :-)

Thumbnail by beckygardener
Click the image for an enlarged view.

beckygardener
(Becky) in Sebastian, FL
(Zone 10a)

December 31, 2009
4:40 AM

Post #7412085

I'll fill it with a potting mix recipe from Al (tapala): http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/p.php?pid=1608726 I got the ingredients locally and it was quite cheap vs. potting mixes I've been buying. This mix should work very well with the self-watering container I built. We shall see ...

I did use PVC for the pipe sticking up in the planter for filling with water. I will be making up a couple of the self-watering containers and adding in some of my veggie plants tomorrow. Looks like it is going to work rather nicely. Fingers crossed!!!
I'm attempting something completely new here:

1) Making up my own container soil mix
2) Making and using self-watering containers for the first time
3) Growing veggies for the first time. And growing flowers in self-watering containers, too! I hope this works! Would sure be a blessing here in the heat of the Florida sun in the summertime! :-)
This is going to be an interesting experiment! I've still got a few other things up my sleeve with this project as well! LOL!

This message was edited Dec 30, 2009 11:43 PM
lonejack
Longview, WA
(Zone 8b)

December 31, 2009
5:10 AM

Post #7412165

Hi All,
I went to Charlotte Pipe and asked the following question:

I am a missionary to Haiti. I am doing three seminars here in the States on small plot and bucket gardens. Part of the design of my buckets and grow boxes uses PVC pipe. I am studying the so called, "Scientific Data," put out by some of the Groups that Claim to Speak for Our interests, and cannot get a strait answer on the facts.
How Safe is PVC when I use it?
I read where some municipalities have baned it's use. The military is looking at alternative sources for pipe.
My Grow Buckets and Boxes use the PVC in a manner EXPOSED TO THE SUNLITE as a watering tube and support for the plants. I would be more than willing to send you a photo attachment if that is necessary.
The easy thing would be to use some other material such as bamboo or another plastic material. The reason why I don't is because when I do the seminar in Haiti, I won't have the luxury of using another material. PVC is the material that is readily available. Another reason I am writing you this query is, to find out the answer from a manufacturer that stands to lose by the adverse publicity floating around out there.
Thanks for your time.

I will post their answer when I receive it. I want to try to clear up the question in my own mind before I give it to others in my seminars.
Good Gardening in the South, I will begin very soon.
Paul.
beckygardener
(Becky) in Sebastian, FL
(Zone 10a)

December 31, 2009
5:16 AM

Post #7412181

This is from their website:

"Freedom from Toxicity, Odors, Tastes

ABS and PVC pipe and fittings systems are non-toxic, odorless, and tasteless. The National Sanitation Foundation lists PVC for use with drinking water."

Pretty vague, if you ask me ...

So let's see what the National Sanitation Foundation says:

10.What is NSF/ANSI Standard 61?
NSF/ANSI Standard 61 Drinking Water System Components-Health Effects is a consensus standard promulgated by NSF International. This standard enables in-depth assessment of a variety of drinking water system products and materials for health effects. This standard is used to evaluate a product for health effect concerns only. NSF/ANSI Standard 61 is narrow in its scope when compared to NSF/ANSI Standard 14 in respect to quality and performance. NSF conducts its own testing, review, and facility inspections when certifying products like PE and PEX. NSF/ANSI Standard 14 addresses health and performance, NSF/ANSI Standard 61 only addresses health effect concerns.
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

December 31, 2009
5:06 PM

Post #7413366

Well, let us hope that PVC is safe because almost all plumbing done in the US these days uses it. My house is 20 years old and is loaded with PVC pipe, some of which is in the concrete foundation of the house!
Let's hope that PVC doesn't turn out to be as dangerous as the old lead pipes turned out to be.
I love your self-watering container, becky, but what is the little cup in the bottom for? Does it stay in when you fill it up with dirt?
beckygardener
(Becky) in Sebastian, FL
(Zone 10a)

December 31, 2009
5:32 PM

Post #7413435

pajaritomt - My home, too, is loaded with underground PVC pipes for our well water. We don't have city water. No copper that I am aware of. :-(

Yes, the cup is used for the wicking of water to the top container to keep the soil hydrated. I made numerous slits in the cup vertically to allow water to wick into the soil that will be pushed down into the cup with all the other container soil added on top of it. :-)

I am probably going to use Dynamite Flower and Vegetable slow release fertilizer pellets added into my homemade potting mix. Not totally organic, but at this point ... it's more about seeing if my self-watering containers will actually work and if so ... how good will they grow veggies (and also flowers). For now, I am just going to try the 5 gallon buckets. I think the bottom water container will only hold about a gallon of water. And the top container will only hold about 4 gallons of potting mix. I consider that an average sized container. So we'll see. The potting mix doesn't seem to be too expensive to make. (Far cheaper than the commercial mixes.) And the pots are free. The only other cost is the PVC 1" diameter pipe, which is also very cheap. I think I paid less than $2 for 10 ft. of PVC. 16 oz. cups were less than $1.50. So the container actually is costing me about $3.50 to make using the free buckets. I am also thinking of using half of a heavy duty plastic trash bag barrier over the top of the pot and just cutting an X where I want to plant my baby plants started from seeds. I will probably use large rubber bands to secure the bag since the bucket has a top lip or use the O-ring that comes in the lid of the tops that come with these buckets. (Not sure yet.) But covering the top of the soil would keep excess rain out as well as bugs.

I am still not sure how to apply the fertilizer. Whether I should mix it in with the potting mix or make an indention in the top of the soil and just fill in with fertilizer. The latter is how the earth box works. So not sure yet what to do as far as applying the fertilizer to the soil to feed the plant.
beckygardener
(Becky) in Sebastian, FL
(Zone 10a)

December 31, 2009
6:20 PM

Post #7413564

I am re-thinking adding the slow-release fertilizer to the potting mix. I think I am just going to use dry veggie fertilizer in a ring near the outer edge of the container on top of the potting mix and cover the pot with the heavy duty trash bag so that there is no air gap between the potting soil and the trash bag. I'm just not sure how much fertilizer to use. I think the water helps the fertilizer wick down from the top of the potting soil down to the roots. If too much fertilizer is around the roots, it would probably burn them, so perhaps that is why the fertilizer is NOT added into the potting soil. My pots are white, so I don't have to worry about the sun frying them. And this is the cooler months in Florida. This is all experimental this year to see what works. I do know that the earthbox set-up adds dolomite into the top 4" of soil and then the fertilizer just sits on the top of the soil. So if it works for the earthboxes, then surely that is the way I should probably go! Or at least that's my theory for now ...
revclaus
(Judith) Denver, CO
(Zone 5b)

January 1, 2010
6:25 PM

Post #7416876

Hey Steve, good to hear from you. Unfortunately I live in a community with 98% condos and apartment buildings. The other 2% is office buildings and retail. And the city of Glendale (a little community in the heart of the city surrounded by Denver) does a great job with the landscaping. I'll have to take photos in the spring. The place is so small that they can afford to do spectacular landscaping. And the community I live in is also beautifully landscaped. So I'm stuck here with just a few ideas in mind about how to garden in a more limited way. I'll figure something out.

By the way, for all of you worried about whether PVC can contaminate your plants, don't worry. It's safe and won't contaminate anything. The lead pipes are why they used PVC. As a realtor I have to know these things.

Good luck Becky.

Judith
Soferdig
Kalispell, MT
(Zone 4b)

January 1, 2010
6:31 PM

Post #7416911

OK Rev I have one more idea. I had a Landscape program for my computer that took almost as much time as my garden. I used it for planning and plant ID. I gave it up to have more time on DG. It was fun, creative, realistic, 3-D, showed shadows, had about every type of plant in its library. Seriously it was fun!
revclaus
(Judith) Denver, CO
(Zone 5b)

January 1, 2010
7:46 PM

Post #7417146

That does sound like fun!
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

January 1, 2010
9:10 PM

Post #7417397

So, Sof, what program is that? You may have mentioned it in the past but I have forgotten. I might want it, too. My garden design isn't very creative.
Soferdig
Kalispell, MT
(Zone 4b)

January 2, 2010
12:15 AM

Post #7417984

The one I had is now way out dated. But the new ones like this are super. http://www.gardencomposer.com/ Mine is called Landscape designer by Better homes and gardens. And then I bought a professional program I cannot remember they are on my crashed laptop.
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

January 3, 2010
10:18 PM

Post #7424211

Thanks. I will look into that. It might help me get through winter which is not my best season.

Revclaus,
I know Glendale a bit. My grandmother lived in South Denver and later I had friends who lived there. They lived near Mexico street which I think is very near Glendale. That is a nice part of Denver -- in my opinion.
revclaus
(Judith) Denver, CO
(Zone 5b)

January 4, 2010
4:48 PM

Post #7426790

Yes, that's pretty close to where I live. There are many more houses there than in Glendale. It's a nice part of town.

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