Growing Vegetables in Containers

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

I open this thread to share, and welcome others' idea how to best grow our vegetables in containers when space is limited. Here in my garden this year, I'm trying to grow some basic veggies that I enjoy such as peppers, okras, eggplants and a few herbs, then I added some Asian veggies to the mix. My main focus is aiming at growing vines such as various squash and calabash (my first try) I will relate the outcome on these veggies as the season progresses.
1. I begun with some store bought eggplants
2. Soaked some seeds; Asian calabash and cantaloupes (1st week of June).
3. The sunny area suitable for growing veggies
4. One of the calabashes or edible gourds today
5. calabash and cantaloupe

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Pleasant Hill, CA(Zone 9b)

How big is that deck? (FABULOUS by the way). The cantaloupe will take over. I usually use what I call "hairpins", (because I don't know their real name), to get the vines to go where I want. My current cantaloupes are growing on ladders to try to minimize the square footage they take up. What will you use in this instance to minimize the cantaloupe encroaching on everything else?

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Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Thanks happygirl345 for the compliment, and welcome to the thread. I'm delighted that you shared some tips on the cantaloupes. The deck is roughly 15' x 15'. The area is a floating pier. Then I've a stationary one that I'm holding the big pots for the cantaloupes and others with arbors and trellises to allow the vines to climb on.

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Cascade, VA(Zone 7a)

now that is my idea of heaven on earth, lol.

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Thank you jmc1987, are you growing any vegetable this year? Here is another view from the stationary deck looking back to the floating pier.

BTW (by the way) now is the time to buy land with water front down our way. Before the interest rate jumps sky high.

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Cascade, VA(Zone 7a)

Definitely growing some this year, in fact its my very first Non container garden ever, LOL!

I have chosen Cucumber, zucchini, summer squash, eggplant, yellow bell pepper, mixed varieties of carrots, and 9 different varieties of tomatoes. I already have my harvest from my spring time planting for my carrots, and have just seeded my autumn harvest. Today i got my first summer squash off of the plant as well, with the zucchini not far behind. And finally starting to see female flowers on the cucumber after a big mega burst of all male flowers.

I admit the spring time batch of carrots were sown in a giant pot, but this second batch has been sown down in the new garden (where the white plastic sheet is--to keep them from drying out so quickly)

Had a few days near or above 90, and that seems to have stopped the developing tomatoes from getting any bigger at the moment, hoping they dont decide to abort

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Cascade, VA(Zone 7a)

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Cascade, VA(Zone 7a)

oops i just realized i posted the tomato photo twice, lol, this is what i meant to put in its place in the second post:

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Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Those look great! How was your experience with container growing of veggies?

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

Lily, if my garden looked like yours, I'd never leave the house!

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

HoneybeeNC, that's very sweet of you to say. My husband and I worked on the garden over many years. We're getting close to be able to sit back and enjoy it. It will definitely enhance our enjoyment if we can grow some veggies successfully.

Here is some balsamic spinach I am growing in another container. The center-piece is a Peruvian daffodil (for ornamental purpose).

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Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Oh here is the Peruvian Daf. in bloom;

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Monte Vista, CO(Zone 4a)

Lily, I agree with the others, that is heavenly! Bet you never have low humidity problems, either, lol. It must be lovely to sit out on that bench on the water.

Jmc, your plants are doing wonderfully.

Happygirl, I like your ladders. Thought about doing that in my greenhouse, for tomatoes, and suspending boards between them for supports and smaller plants.

Cascade, VA(Zone 7a)

Lily, most of my veggies fared well back while i was still container gardening except that the tomatoes werent to happy about it, lol. It would get hot really easy on the back deck, and practically superheat the containers, which meant more watering than usual, and just unhappy plants for the most part. Which is one reason i am so glad to finally have a plot in the yard of my own.

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Solace, thanks for your comment. I do like the idea of having suspending boards between the ladders, plus supports for smaller plants. I've fancied having ropes tied between posts for the vines to cling on?
jmc1987, congrats on having your own plot to cultivate your garden. In years past our family joined 2 other families in the community in growing a shared veggies garden. This spring due to the weather changes. We didn't get a chance to participate with them. So I'm venturing out on growing my own. I wished for more land to grow a larger garden some days. So in regard to container- grown veggies, you've found watering and heat would be issues for tomatoes? I haven't got any tomatoes this season, so I'm taking notes as I learn. Thank you. Oh, I bet we'll need to fertilize the plants more often when they're not growing in the good earth habitat?
HoneybeeNC, what veggies are you growing this year?

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

Quoting:
HoneybeeNC, what veggies are you growing this year?


I didn't grow a summer garden this year. I grew English peas this spring, and plan to grow a fall/winter garden of broccoli and cauliflower.

I have perennial herbs that are doing well: Rosemary, thyme, Greek oregano, French tarragon, and sage. The parsley I grew last year is about to bloom. I'm hoping it will set seed for next year. I did add some dill.

I had to pull-up the wonderful patch of thyme I had outside the kitchen door to make way for a wheelchair ramp for my hubby. He'll be 81 in August and is not getting around as well as he used to.

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

I just returned from my morning walk around my neighborhood. Our 'community veggies garden' is looking a bit tattered this year. Neighbor Steve said the squash isn't doing well this year, nor did the tomatoes. Maybe because too much rain fall this year?

It's nice to see you're making adjustment for the wheelchair ramp for your hubby. Thyme can be replaced elsewhere in the garden. I too enjoy herbs, and am thinking about reseed more dills and parleys for the butterflies garden. And yes, Fall/winter crops, is something I need to see about creating one. Living in the South, with our extended growing seasons. Our choices of veggies are limitless.

Madison, AL(Zone 7b)

Lily, my squash is just not setting fruit like it ought. My toms are finally setting fruit, but it's also going to be slim pickings. The rain seemed about perfect to me up here, but it just didn't get warm at the right time. That's my theory, anyway, for all the good it does. The cukes are finally starting to come on strong, at least, and they are my favorite.

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Yes NicoleC, I noticed my neighbor Steve's cukes look mouth-watering. I love them cukes when they're young and crunch as you bite into them. Store bought cukes will never have that freshness.

Nicole, when you said that your squash is just not setting fruit.... are there any bees. Have you seen both male/female blooms on the plant? You may have to venture out to hand pollinate them if there aren't enough bees visiting your vegetable garden?

Question please: One of my cantaloupes is showing flower buds, and it's not even 4-5 inches tall. Is that usual?

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Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Hah, I've got to share. I discovered these ornamental peppers are edible, and they're quite hot!

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Madison, AL(Zone 7b)

Lily, I have indeed had a dearth of bees this year, although ants and flies are generally pretty good at pollinating squash types. They are certainly doing fine on the cuke plants. I'm just not seeing many female blossoms. My "Upper Ground" finally set a single fruit and I have maybe a couple of dozen butternuts set on half a dozen plants, which is really poor especially since I love donating rich winter squash to the local charity serving the elderly.

I have THREE zucchini plants and only two 8-9"-ers sitting on the counter waiting to be eaten. (*gasp*)

Regarding your melon/pumpkin there, I would generally be concerned about plants blooming so young, but it IS time to set fruit if the plant has any hope of reproducing itself and it looks healthy, so while I don't think it's cause for concern in terms of plant health I'm not sure you should let it expend the energy on fruit at that size. Of course if you aren't going to be able to protect it from frost if it's a long maturity type... well, maybe just let it go?

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Thanks Nicole for your response. I just returned outdoor to look at the vine again. It's a type of edible gourd that I labeled lite pumpkin because the seed look just like a pumpkin's seed. I double checked on the plant, I noticed the 1st pair of leaves were damaged. I don't know if that triggered the vine to respond in order to compensate for expected damage? Anyhow, that's my hypothesis. lol
While I'm at it. Here are two photos of the sunset and tranquility of the garden this evening. Have a good evening everyone. 'Til we meet again.

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Madison, AL(Zone 7b)

The cotyledons die when they have real leaves.

Is that Smith Lake?

Cascade, VA(Zone 7a)

oh yes, quite familiar with that pepper, they tend to sell them around here during christmas time, i rarely see them at other times, which they do resemble little colored light bulbs :)

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Nicole, it isn't Smith, it's Logan Martin. cotyledons do nourish the plant at the early onset right? Plants! I love to watch them grow and change, there are so much to learn about nature.

jmc1987, yes those colorful peppers do look like Christmas light bulbs. ^_^

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Hi Kim ~ gorgeous as usual. I am glad to see you are pursuing the container vegetable gardens. Did I miss it or do you have some containers of herbs mixed in also?

In the most recent issue of Organic Gardening there is a nice article on growing fruit in containers. They highlighted strawberries, blueberries and figs, all three of which I am doing. That might be fun to add to your container collection for next year...

Looking forward to more of your lovely photos. Kristi

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Good morning Kristi. Long time 'no type'. I'm glad you're here. As far as herbs I've a few such as Thai basil, dills, parleys, lemon grass and a few others. Fruits? Ah, I've a stunned 'Top Hat' blue berries that I moved from too much shade in the garden into a container. In May we sustained two floods, everything seemed to get set-back, as a result my 'Top Hat' only yielded one single fruit for me. No other major damage, thanks goodness.

As far as veggies go, I am hoping to add more as the season progresses.

Madison, AL(Zone 7b)

I've heard nice things about Logan Martin but haven't been down that way. When we retire I may need to move to ensure the boy has a place to fish out his back door.... so I may end up down that way!

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Nicole, the time is now to invest in water-front property. Purchase the land now when it's still affordable. Then build to suite when you do retire. Our kids enjoy the water now, water sports keep them in good physical fitness. Getting together as family is a much blessed gift we can share. When you come down this way, perhaps I can show you around.

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Madison, AL(Zone 7b)

We're not sure what we want to do yet and have 20 years to decide, so any purchase would be premature. I have land I own I can't sell now as it is!

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Quote from Lily_love :
Good morning Kristi. Long time 'no type'. I'm glad you're here...

...As far as veggies go, I am hoping to add more as the season progresses.


No Kim ~ I haven't been around much. My husband passed away in May so have been occupied. We have a small business as well so he left me with a full plate. My plants and gardening have been neglected as well as my friends here at Daves Garden. Always enjoy your photos and posts so had to peek in.

I've been enjoying my container tomatoes and cucumbers. This year I am growing two different miniature okra that is just starting to produce. Think I am really going to like one of them. A friend gave me a bag of fresh purple hull peas (already shelled so a real friend) and I put some fresh onion & garlic with them and will enjoy them later.

Looking forward to seeing your container garden progress. Take care, Kristi

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Oh Kristi, ((((((((hugs)))))))). Words couldn't express my feeling of sorrow for your loss. Please know, I am here should you want to write/dmail for any reason. Kim

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Thank you Kim. You are so sweet! I am doing o.k., I find staying busy helps and busy has been the order of the day and will be for a while. You are appreciated.

Please keep your gorgeous photos coming. I will check in on occasion and enjoy them. Kristi

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

As per your request Kristi, here is one of our gardeners' friends. Hope these bee/wasp will help pollinate flowers when they arrive on these veggies. Next is the actual size of the plant grown from seed today. The bee/wasp really took an interest on the Penta next to the young calabash vine.

The next two pics. are for Kristi especially.
a. Hoya bloom
b. Lotus bud.

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Central, AL(Zone 7b)

On the ornamental blossoms; the 1st Lotus bloom for the season are followed with two additional buds as of yesterday. The 1st one actually opened yesterday, its petals are closed in the evening, then reopened the following day. Early this morning the bud was slow to open as seen above--due to over cast sky. But it will reopen. Now it's raining outside, I'll take more pics. when the morning rain subsides.

The following pics. were taken yesterday as the Fist of the season (FOS) flower opened.

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Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

Lily - your wasp/bee is actually a hoverfly also called a syrphid fly

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoverfly

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Ewk! HoneybeeNC, syrphid fly, is that the same one that parasitizes caterpillars? I butterflies gardening as well, and surely find any type of caterpillars' predators distasteful. Thanks for the i.d.

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Have you grown any peanuts lately? Neither have I, but my squirrels must have. lol These I found to be peanut. They make sporadic yellow, pea-like flowers every so often. So do the peanut grow above the soil? Or will they be like tubers forming underground do you know?

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Madison, AL(Zone 7b)

In peanuts, part of the top of the plant buries itself and then the "nuts" (they aren't) form under ground.

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Hah, Nicole, I feel so uninformed. Thanks for the lesson. Much appreciated.

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