confused with container sizes......

kawaiineko_gardener(5a)March 26, 2009

I'm a newbie with container gardening, so please bare with me.

I'm getting mixed signals from recommendations with what size containers to use with planting vegetables and how many plants to plant in each container. Also with where I live they don't specify the gallon size of the window boxes. All they give is the diameter of the rim of the window box in inches. This unfortunately fails to tell me how many gallons of soil the container can hold.

I do have the size in inches of the rim of the diameter of the window boxes that are available where are they live.

They are:

18" window box

30" window box

Can somebody please tell me how many gallons of soil these window boxes can hold? If you're asking how to provide this information to me, there is only one suggestion I can make. Based upon the rim of the diameter of the pot in inches, figure out how much soil the container can hold based upon how big the rim of the diameter of the pot is in inches. If this isn't feasible then can somebody give me a formula of some kind of how to figure out how many gallons of soil the container can hold using the size of the rim of the diameter of the pot in inches as a guideline? I've tried to figure this out, but to no avail.

The resources I have are a gardening pamphlet a pdf file from a website, and a website. I'm getting different suggestions and recommendations as to what size containers to use with each source.

With the pamphlet there are couple of problems, and they are:

With many of the recommended sizes it recommends the use of a 5-gallon window box. However it doesn't specify how many plants can be grown in a container of this size. On top of this it fails to specify whether only one plant can be grown in a container of the size they recommend.

The pamphlet recommends this:

Vegetable, Beans, Snap:

Container size-5 gallon window box (it doesn't specify how many plants can be planted in this container either, which just makes things MORE confusing)

Vegetable, Broccoli:

1 plant, 5 gallon container; 3 plants, 15 gallon tub

Vegetable, Cucumber:

1 plant, 1 gallon container (specifically it recommends a 1 gallon pot; will it make any difference whether I use a 1 gallon pot or 1 gallon storage container, or does this not matter, provided I use the right size container)

Vegetable, Eggplant:

5 gallon container (again it fails to specify how many plants can be grown in the container)

Vegetable, Lettuce:

5 gallon window box (once again fails to specify how many plants can be grown in the container)

Vegetable, Onion

5 gallon window box (again fails to specify how many plants can be grown in this size container)

Vegetable, Peppers (doesn't matter whether you grow hot peppers, or sweet bell)

1 plant, 2 gallon pot; 5 plants 15 gallon tub

Vegetable, radishes

5 gallon window box (again doesn't specify how many plants can be grown in this size container)

The other sites seem to be more reliable. They specify the size container to use, and they specify how many plants can be grown in each container size they recommend.

http://urbanext.illinois.edu/containergardening/herbveggie_vegvarieties.cfm

http://www.extension.iastate.edu/Publications/PM870B.pdf

My question is this. What source is the more reliable one, and which one should I choose to use as a guideline for planting vegetables in containers? As said before, I'm very much a newbie with container gardening. As a result, I don't know which resource to go by, as I don't know which is the reliable source because I have very little experience with container gardening. The whole point of making this post is because I need advice and input from people who have experience with container gardening.

I was just planning on using storage containers to plant my veggies in. I can drill holes in the bottom of them for adequate drainage. Also although they don't specify the container size in gallons they do specify it in quarts; I just convert the quarts to gallons and based off of this, I know what size container I need to equal the size in gallons. Is this feasible for container gardening, or would you recommend against this?

I am very much debating getting the supplies needed to plant some vegetables tomorrow, so I need advice and suggestions as soon as possible please. Thank you to all who post here.......appreciate time taken out of your schedule to post here. Also appreciate any suggestions, advice, input, etc. given; thank you for any advice, suggestions, input, etc. given as well.

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Give us the dimensions of the containers you need to know the volume of, & we can either give you the formula to do the conversion to gallons or we'll do it for you.

Al

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 6:21PM
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kawaiineko_gardener(5a)

Hello, thank you very much for such a quick reply. What do you mean by you need the dimensions for the containers? Please specify what other dimensions you need (height, depth, width, etc......and please specify what you need them in.......inches, feet, etc.)

All I have for information unfortunately is the diameter of the rim of the container in inches. What other information do you need. Please tell me this, and I'll acquire it for you. Unfortunately I won't be able to give you this information tonight if you need more info than the diameter of the rim of the pot/container in inches.

Also I'm not trying to be rude with what I say next, and if I come off that way my sincerest apologies as it's not my intent.

However I did ask for a recommendation of what information to use with the resources I posted that are regarding container gardening. I know you addressed one issue I'm having and for that I'm grateful to you; however the other issue hasn't been addressed yet, and I could also use help
with that as well. Again I thank you, and am very grateful to you. Sorry if I offended you and/or was rude; as stated before that's not my intent, I'm merely being honest.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 6:31PM
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justaguy2(5)

In the case of the window boxes multiply lengthxwidthxdepth (in inches). Divide the result by 231 to get the gallons.

In terms of which source is more correct in terms of pot sizes/plants, there is no real way to say.

What it mostly boils down to is putting the plant in a container whose potting mix can hold enough water to sustain the plant until you next water it.

If you try to grow a large tomato in a 6" container you are going to end up in mid summer watering many times each day and this isn't practical. Some would say a 5 gallon bucket is the minimum practical size, others would prefer 10-15 gallon sizes.

If you are just looking for general rules of thumb then use either source. All growers end up modifying things to best suit them after they grow for a season or so.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 6:40PM
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