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Self-contained Box Gardens: I'm back and need everyone's help here please???

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Forum: Self-contained Box GardensReplies: 26, Views: 201
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joy112854
Crestview, FL

August 5, 2011
6:18 AM

Post #8738268

I am fixing to start my fall/winter seeds and garden prep for that. So; I've got lots of questions and need everyone's help here. First off, I'm pulling up up all my Spring/Summer plants to prep for my Fall/winter garden. I have reserved 4 ebuckets for grapes. Now, I have lots of PVC pipe laying around and wanted to know if someone could sketch me picture for a grape trellis for 4 ebuckets of one grape plant per bucket? Pretty Please???

Next, I'm wanting to grow these things this fall/winter: Spinach (lots and lots of it), Collards, Mustard Greens, Winter Squash, Strawberries, Potatoes, Onions, Garlic, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage and Brussel Sprouts. I live in zone 8 in Florida and was thinking of starting my cabbage seeds on the 12 of August, can I start my brussel sprout seeds then too? I'm going to be getting my garlic, onions and potatoes from Ace Hardware this fall/winter; but, everything else will be from seed, except the grapes and strawberries. I am going to be getting my strawberries from the strawberry farm this year and will more than likely get my grapes from either Ace or Crestview Nurseries.

I will be planting the collards in my above ground bed made from a kiddie pool that is 6 ft in circumference and reserving my EBs for spinach, winter squash, mustard greens, cabbage, broccoli sprouts and cauliflower and onions. I am only using 4 ebuckets this fall winter and they will be for my grapes.
joy

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

August 5, 2011
2:16 PM

Post #8738952

Joy,
Why aren't you using your eBuckets this fall/winter, since they're already up? I'd grow the cabbages, broccoli, cauliflowers, and Brussels Sprouts in the eBuckets. They are water hogs and truly benefit from that built-in reservoirs. Plus, it'll be easy to move them in the eBuckets if you have to, or to put a hoop over them if the temps drop (freaky!!!)

Also, consider that the spinach and lettuce have shallower root systems than the collards and mustards, which are also water hogs and benefit from the EB reservoirs. I'd put the spinach in the pool, and use the EBs for the greens (2 per EB).

Since it seems I won't have my raised bed built before it's time to plant out, I'll be doing one more eBucket season. I've calculated I'll need 50 eBuckets. When I tore down the shed (where the raised bed will go), there was a virgin patch of soil underneath, and since then I've seen grass creeping over it. In deciding where to put 50 eBuckets, voila! I'll cover the patch with sturdy plastic followed by a layer of heavy cardboard to smother off any creeping weeds. Then, I'm gonna lay down a couple sheets of plywood, level them off, and set all the eBuckets right on top. They'll all be in one area, and that area won't get overgrown before the raised bed is finally built there.

Just my take on things...

Linda

Thumbnail by Gymgirl
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joy112854
Crestview, FL

August 5, 2011
6:39 PM

Post #8739314

Gymgirl: I found kiddie pools at Walmart for $10, and $15 they are deep enough to be great above gruond beds; add a soaker hose in between the medium and you got it made. I have mine about 1/3rd full of potting mix, and will add just a bit more then put in the soaker hose. I want to save the ebuckets for my tomatoes and eggplants this next Spring/Summer, and just use the EBs and the above ground wading pool, and the stackers of strawberries, the 3 tiered self sprinkling strawberry garden, lthe smart pots of potatoes, and my 4 flower beds out front will have bulbs planted this fall/winter in them. It will be a lot easier and less to watch. I prefer the buckets for my tomatoes and eggplants acutally as they tend to have more room for the roots.
joy
Tplant
Pembroke Pines, FL
(Zone 10a)

August 8, 2011
10:37 AM

Post #8744393

Hi Joy --- Happy to see you back and am looking forward to your posts. As you know I am down to four EBs from about twenty or so because of my arthritis but my brain still works -- I hope?

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

August 8, 2011
10:38 AM

Post #8744396

Paw,
You're brain works just fine!

Hugs!
Tplant
Pembroke Pines, FL
(Zone 10a)

August 8, 2011
11:03 AM

Post #8744441

AAAWWWW SHUCKS!!!!! XXX OOO
joy112854
Crestview, FL

August 8, 2011
9:57 PM

Post #8745785

TPlant: I hope so, LOL, as I need everyone's help this fall, as here is what is on the agenda folks:
110 strawberry plants - to go into the new stackers and 3 tiered self sprinkling garden
potatoes- I hope I can get enough yukon golds for 7 huge smart pots
brussel sprouts, I can fit 6 per EB and will probably try at least 2 EBs this way, and this is a newbie for me
cabbage, I will only attempt to grow 2 heads per EB and only use 2 EBs
cauliflower and broccoli will only use one EB for each
mustard greens, will try 6 per EB and only a few EBs at that, as this is a newbie for me also
onions, a first in the EB, will try 10 per EB and only one or two EBs
garlic, this will be a first, and will put about 16 per EB
I loved the crook neck and how well it did this summer, so am going to plant at least 4 Ebs with 4 butternut squash per EB this fall/winter
I might try one EB of lettuce, didn't do well at that the one time I tried it bolted
The rest of the EBs are reserved for spinach as I love it as much as I do my tomatoes, matter of fact they taste great together, I'm growing tyee, at 10 per EB, tried and failed miserably at this before, but hope this will be the year I succeed at this.
I am refurbishing some first generation EBs and will wind up with 31 EB types when alll is said and done, and will put the ebuckets aways til Spring for my maters and eggplants.

So, please, please please TPlant stick around I need you now more than ever.
joy

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

August 9, 2011
7:45 AM

Post #8746324

Joy, what help do you need?

Looks like you've got it all mapped out, and you haven't had an UNsuccessful season since you started growing veggies!

Linda
Tplant
Pembroke Pines, FL
(Zone 10a)

August 9, 2011
1:57 PM

Post #8746941

YOU CAN PLANT SIX BROCCOLI IN ONE EB AS I DID AND GET EXCELLENT RESULTS. The big leaves shade the broccoli and two cauliflower in an EB but do what is best for your area.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

August 9, 2011
2:10 PM

Post #8746973

PAW,
6 Broccolis + 2 Cauliflowers in one EB!!???
Tplant
Pembroke Pines, FL
(Zone 10a)

August 9, 2011
2:41 PM

Post #8747044

NO NO Seperate EBs for each. 2 cauliflower in one EB and 6 Broccoli in another.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

August 11, 2011
9:45 AM

Post #8750309

Joy, I've done the following:
►cabbage 1 per eBucket, 2 heads per EB

►cauliflower, 1 per eBucket, 3 per EB

►broccoli 1 per eBucket, 3 per EB

►mustard greens, 2 per EB (no more than 3)

►onions in the EB. I set two rows of 15 plants each in my EBs in January. I thinned them midway in April by pulling every other onion, to provide space for them to grow. Make sure you set your rows toward the center of the EB, because I planted mine along the two long edges with a trench down the middle -- big mistake!!! Those windstorms we had made my onions lay down facing the edges, and there was no space there for me to put additional potting mix to stand them up. So, they grew with the long greenery hanging off the long front and back edges. It was a pain to keep the roots from pulling out!

►lettuce, doesn't need the depth of the EB. I'm planning on sowing my Romaine lettuce seeds moderately heavy in one of those shallow underbed containers. The depth is perfect. Actually, your onions can be planted in the same kind of container, as they virtually sit on TOP of the soil and the roots only go down about 3"-5"

►spinach, can be planted in an underbed container, just like the lettuce and onions.

Save your EBs for something with deeper roots, like Nantes 1/2 carrots, or some short, stubby carrot. Or, beets and/or turnips.

Why aren't you using your eBuckets? Now is the perfect time to put those cabbages, cauliflowers, broccolis, and brussels sprouts in the eBuckets. I'll have forty going this season, only because my RB won't be built in time, and all my seeds have sprouted in the last 4 days...

Hope this helps.

Thumbnail by Gymgirl
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

August 11, 2011
9:46 AM

Post #8750314

Joy,
Here're the onions as I planted them on January 8, 2011.

Thumbnail by Gymgirl
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

August 11, 2011
9:50 AM

Post #8750319

Joy,
These are the same onions after they got bigger, barely hanging on in the box, too close to the edge!

Looking at this picture, I see where moving both rows closer to the middle, and stagger planting the rows would help to provide more space for them, so they won't grow into each other. Or, next time, maybe just 10 per row, and still stagger the plants.

This message was edited Aug 11, 2011 11:52 AM

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Ray_Der_Phan

Ray_Der_Phan
Oceanside, CA
(Zone 10a)

August 11, 2011
6:32 PM

Post #8751161

Just tossing it out there...Brussels Sprouts get to be rather large plants. I start with 3 and usually have to remove one(whichever is the weakest) because of the plant size. I do the same with Cauliflower, especially if you want large 6+ pound heads to form. 6 Broccoli in one does great. They form nice large heads even when crowded.

Here's a pic of just 2 Brussels Sprouts in an EB. No room for much more.

Thumbnail by Ray_Der_Phan
Click the image for an enlarged view.

joy112854
Crestview, FL

August 12, 2011
10:42 PM

Post #8753167

Thanks all, I need to do a little replanning then, as I was going to put 6 brussels per EB, and what a mess I'd of had if I'd of done that. Has anyone tried Butternut Squash in an EB, it's a winter squash for us here in Northern FL and after growing crook neck squash this Spring and Summer and loving it fried, I decided to try the Butternut and bought some seeds; about an oz of them from Ace, gave some to my friend Ann, and have plenty to do her and I for a year or so. The more I read up on butternut squash the more I wonder if I should try 4 per EB like I was going to do, as I think that may be too many? It's still too early to plant the squash seed though, I started two seed kits last night, 120 plants total of broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts, mustard greens, collards and lots of spinach.

Ann and I have our strawberries on order from the strawberry farm, she will grow 50 in her 3 tiered bed and I 110 as I have stackers and a 3 tiered bed that will hold the 50, 60 in the stackers, we start our strawberries here in October or November and treat them as an annual and grow Camarosa which are good. My onions and potatoes won't start until January and February here.

So; I should put 6 broccoli in an EB and 2 cauliflower in an EB, and do only 2-3 brussels per EB, weeding out the weak one. Should I plant 4 butternut squash or just 2 or 3 per EB?

I finished up the kiddie pool today, put in garden soil, potting mix and then when it was half full I added the soaker hose in cinnamon bun roll fashion and then finished filling it up, I will then add about 1 lb of dolomite, but wonder how much fertilzer to use, the pool is 6 ft circular.

The reason I'm not using the buckets this time round, is I'm saving them for Spring /Summer for my eggplants and tomatoes, plus I only have the drip system for about 31 EBs, my kiddie pool is hooked up to a soaker hose, my strawberry 3 tiered garden will have a sprayer on top of it and then I should only have to water my stackers, smart pots by hand, just will a make it easier on me that way and I don't need a farm size garden. I love my ebuckets, they are better for my tomatoes and eggplants than the EBs are.

joy
Tplant
Pembroke Pines, FL
(Zone 10a)

August 13, 2011
8:36 AM

Post #8753631

Sounds like you are haveing fun and will soon open a farmers market with all the produce you will have.
joy112854
Crestview, FL

August 14, 2011
10:04 AM

Post #8755814

TPlant: I did tell neighbors and friends this year it will be a U pick it place especially if I get as many strawberries as I hope to have. It's too much work picking and then distributing to everyone, much easier for them to come and pick themselves, and now family is showing up to help get it all together too. So; I'm happy as can be.
joy
gardadore
Saylorsburg, PA
(Zone 6a)

August 14, 2011
10:41 AM

Post #8755877

I, too, was rather surprised when you said you would plant 6 Brussel Sprouts in one EB. I bought a Pop UP Net tent from Gardener's Way for my Brussel Sprouts and Broccoli this year to keep the bugs out. The tent takes up a space of 6' by 3 ft' and 4' high. I planted 6 of each in that space (in the ground) and they are just huge. The Brussel Sprouts are hitting the top of the tent. I can hardly work around them for weeding and watering. So if 6 plants take up a space 3' x 3' I would probably only plant 2-3 of each in an EB since I estimate I could fit 6 EB's (tightly!) inside that space if needed. I am amazed that Ray could fit 6 Broccoli in one EB. My the broccoli is huge this year and keeps producing side heads so I can't imagine fitting more than 2 of my plants in one EB. Maybe it depends on the variety. I keep finding each year that I have to cut back the quantity of plants I put in my EB's since they get so large. I have 4 Eggplants in each EB this year and that is almost too much! Next year I will only plant 3 to give each one more room. Inevitably one gets blocked by the others and doesn't produce well. I have planted winter squash in my EB. I have planted up to 4 butternuts as you plan to but you may find they get really large and cut back next time.
You have ambitious plans for the Fall - sounds good!
Tplant
Pembroke Pines, FL
(Zone 10a)

August 14, 2011
10:58 AM

Post #8755900

I too have planted six broccoli in one EB and it worked fine as the closeness protected the heads . It seems the big leaves covered the broccoli heads from hot sun. The farmers tie up their cauliflower leaves around the heads of flower and develop huge heads. Never tried it but I'll bet it would work great with broccoli also...
gardadore
Saylorsburg, PA
(Zone 6a)

August 14, 2011
11:06 AM

Post #8755915

Well I can imagine it makes more sense in Florida to let the leaves cover the heads from the hot sun since broccoli is basically a cool weather crop. Here in PA it is not usually an issue (except maybe this summer with our heat wave). The tent offers some protection from the hot sun and I also had a shade cloth over the top when the heat wave hit. So whatever works! I just can't picture even fitting the 6 stems of my plants this year in one EB! But I have never grown such big ones before either! Probably due to all the rain and cool weather we had this spring!
joy112854
Crestview, FL

August 14, 2011
11:46 AM

Post #8755968

TPlant: I was reading up on how that is done with cauliflower and will try that this fall, if my startings make it. I planted 120 seeds in the starter kits Friday, and my collards and mustards have already sprouted, but the rest haven't, I vented the lids on the mustards and collards side, but wonder if that is okay and if they will survive until the rest germinate and sprout which could be a week to 10 days. The Brussels take up to two weeks just to germinate from what I've read, eeks. Thinking about pulling all off the heat mat and then taking the lids off completely and either sitting them under the flourscent lights or under a table outside? What do you think?
joy

Ray_Der_Phan

Ray_Der_Phan
Oceanside, CA
(Zone 10a)

August 14, 2011
11:50 AM

Post #8755976

Unlike Cauliflower or Brussels Sprouts, In my experience broccoli doesn't mind to be crowded. Still forms nice size heads bunched together or not. But...gardadore is probably right about variety. I grow Green Comet, Green Goliath, Belstar, Green Magic and Diplomat mainly. I will remove a leaf or two if one starts to take over.

I was looking for a pic of 6 full sized plants in an EB. Couldn't find the one i was looking for but this will have to do.

Thumbnail by Ray_Der_Phan
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

August 14, 2011
2:25 PM

Post #8756226

I sowed seeds for broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflowers last Saturday. They were all up by Tuesday...

I attribute this rapid declaration (UberShoe's term) to sowing the seed in the warm seedling starter mix I recycled by sterilizing in the microwave for 20 minutes. - let it cool a bit, but it was still warm. Plus, I watered them in with warm water, then quickly shoved the trays into plastic bagies, vented. There was great humidity, and heat buildup inside...

Unfortunately, I wasn't home when they popped, so they were leggy when I got them under the lights. They're holding their own, and standing up saluting my homemade indoor sunlight.

Linda

This message was edited Aug 15, 2011 4:43 PM
joy112854
Crestview, FL

August 15, 2011
11:27 AM

Post #8757786

Mine still haven't sprouted, the collards and mustards popped up in just a few days and I hope they don't die waiting on the rest.
joy

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

August 15, 2011
2:44 PM

Post #8758049

Are they under the lights yet, while you wait?
joy112854
Crestview, FL

August 16, 2011
9:29 PM

Post #8760602

Gymgirl: I took the whole seed kit minus the dome and set it up under the lights, leaving the heat mats under them, hopefully, the ones that haven't sprouted will sprout, the collards and mustard greens are standing straight up now, not leggy anymore, but my brussel sprouts, cabbage and spinach haven't sprouted yet. If they haven't all sprouted by the 1st of Sept I will do one seed kit of brussel sprouts and one of spinach and also one of cabbage. I got spoiled doing Spring/Summer, I mean 60 tomato plants do have a tendency to sprout at pretty much the same time right? Live and learn I suppose, now we know why I have to buy seeds by the ounce right?
joy

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