Vegetable container garden from seeds?

coralreef(7)March 26, 2012

I'm a newbie, and I haven't been able to find this answer through the search or browsing, sorry! I've read tons of info about what type of soil/mix to do my container plants in. (I'm thinking 5:1:1 is probably best?) But I haven't read anything about starting from seeds while using these mixes. I've done "regular" gardening before in Utah, but never container gardening, and never had a successful garden here in NC. We don't have any yard this year, only our patio, and I'm really hoping to grow some fresh veggies out there.

We ordered seeds and some seedlings from Gurneys (had good luck with them in the past), and the first delivery should arrive this week. We're getting lettuce, zucchini (I know this will be HUGE), sweet peppers (we're REALLY hoping these work!), and spinach seeds. We're also getting red onion bulbs, 2-year asparagus shoots, and 1-year strawberry plants. For our 3 year old daughter, I also ordered sunflowers and a "magic carpet mix" of flowers so she can have her own pots to take care of (hopefully) without damaging our vegetables. We still have green bean, snap peas, and cucumber seeds from last season that still seem to be viable, so we're hoping to just use them.

How do I get started with the seeds? Do I plant them directly in the 5:1:1 mix or start them in "regular" potting soil and transplant them? I'm at a loss for where to start. We're probably already "pushing" the planting season here in North Carolina. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It might be more difficult planting seeds directly in 5:1:1. The seeds and new root shoots need constant moisture all around them. I'd just put in a 1/2 cup or so of some seed starter peat based mix right in your container and plant the seeds in that. Or do the normal, and start them in a separate pot or 6-pack.

Or do both and see which works better. Plant directly in the 5:1:1 and in a starter mix as backup.

We'd like to hear how they compare in someone's actual experience.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 3:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've had good luck sowing seeds in vermiculite.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 6:01AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lrvjim(7 to 8)

Everything you have listed, with the exception of the peppers, are vegetables I normally direct seed in my garden, so I would sow them right in the pot they are to grow in. The peppers I would start in smaller containers and then transplant them when they have developed a couple sets of true leaves. If you are really counting on these I might invest in a small bag of seed starting mix.

Asparagus, good luck with that. Strawberries may or may not produce any fruit for you this year, however they are pretty plants in containers, just know you'll need a lot of them if you have visions of big bowls full of ripe berries.

And you are right about the season. I'm not sure where you are in NC but you could be 'pushing' the season on warm growing vegetables and a little 'late' on the cool season ones. Growing in containers though allows you more flexibility, so have at it!


    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 7:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
DaMonkey007(10b - Miami)

You may want to opt for buying seedlings at this point. Just bare root the transplants directly to your 5-1-1, if this is the route you choose.

If not, I would opt for starting in the 5-1-1 (or gritty)over anything else mentioned above. You will just have to make sure that the seed doesn't fall down too deep into the mix. You can achieve this by laying down a little bed of peat or pine dust for the seed to sit on, then cover it with a thin layer of the same. Water gently with a spray bottle. The roots will grow down into a free draining, well aerated mix, and they will have an amazing start on life!! Starting your seeds in the same type of mix that you plan on growing them in will allow for a seemless and stress free transition to their final home.


    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 10:00AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
skycopp(Maryland -7a)

I don't have as much experience as others on this forum, but I'll mention that my experience with starting seeds in a 5-1-1 mix was not great. I started spinach, lettuce, and multiple types of tomatoes in it and was disappointed at the rate of growth. Since being planted in late Jan and early Feb, the tallest tomato is only about 2 inches. Meanwhile, tomatoes that I planted in the Jiffy seed starting mix on Feb 26th are already 4 to 5 inches tall. I may have done something wrong, but I won't be doing that again.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 12:01AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Avocado as a Container Plant III
Well, another wonderful Summer is passing, and there...
greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a
Need help!..white spots on my lemon seedlings!!
I recently found white spots on the leaves of my lemon...
Kavitha Raghunath
Help with 1:1:1 - weight and sourcing in the UK
I've just clicked that weight is going to be an issue...
meyer lemon tree leaves yellowing
I have a meyer lemon tree and I brought it in for the...
Type of kale... Also, shiny metallic flakes?
Hey, my friend gave me some kale seeds from her plants...
Josie Murray
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™