my patio drip vegetable garden

johns.coastal.patio(USDA 10b, Sunset 24)June 3, 2014

I held off describing my methods because I didn't want to be all start, and no finish. All hat and no cattle. I think I'm far enough into the season though where I can say that this worked, and share my methods.

Working backwards, this is my small patio garden this morning:

My tomatoes are 6' high, from their soil, and doing pretty well despite just ~5 hours of sun. I'm particularly impressed with the way my Super Sweet 100 sets fruit:

My method was pretty straightforward, if unconventional in my medium (see below). I set up scrounged nursery pots (~10 gal in back, ~3 gal in front) with a drip system:

This was a RainDrip Patio Kit, and I consider $33 at Lowes to be pretty much a steal. It included a digital timer:

Now, where I get off the road of GardenWeb convention, is that I actually used a compost, soil and sand mix:

I can't give exact ratios, because I had a large unused planter where I'd been putting "the good stuff." This included bags of planting mix, sand, years of swept leaves, some grass clippings, some sawdust. I got old half-barels of succulents in soil, and dumped the whole thing in. All this was well aged (years). After sifting enough out for my project, I looked at it and decided that it needed more sharp sand, so I added that too.

As a guess, somewhere between 3-1-1 compost-soil-sand and 4-1-1.

I know many of you use more formal mixes, and that they work for you, but I think I can say at this point that we can sometimes be a little more off the cuff and have success as well. Even "scary" ingredients like sand and soil can work.

My biggest lesson was that the drip system made this easy.

This post was edited by johns.coastal.patio on Tue, Jun 3, 14 at 12:53

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johns.coastal.patio(USDA 10b, Sunset 24)

Oh, I guess I could name my problems with this setup as well. The main one is that with 2 (1-gal) emitters on the big pots (tomatoes) and 1 (1-gal) emitter on the small pots (pepper, eggplants) it is hard to keep the tomatoes wet enough while keeping the pepper and eggplant dry enough.

I think this problem can be addressed in the future by moving over to all adjustable emitters. Though possibly eggplants and peppers should be on a "zone" that can be taken off the cycle part of the time ...

(Forgot to mention that I use MG type fertilizer, 15-30-15, one teaspoon per gallon, starting at week 4 and then every 2-3 weeks. I plan on moving to 1/2 teaspoon every week.)

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 11:34AM
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johns.coastal.patio(USDA 10b, Sunset 24)

One more pic, my Early Girl. There is another good set you can kind of see down below.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 1:11PM
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