My container veggie garden/urban garden pics.

howelbama(7 NJ)June 26, 2011

Here are some pics of the first season of my container/urban garden.

The perennials in the mulched area were put in last year, though I did rearange some this spring and also ammended the soil a bit and mulched it. Last year it was just grass with plants...

I am growing a couple types of watermelon, muskmelon, strawberries, peppers, and tomatoes this year.

I plan to make quite a few changes this fall in preparation for next spring/summer season. I am not sure if I am going to continue with containers or try out a square foot raised bed approach. I would like to add a half hoop/greenhouse type structure off of the railing on the deck that has most of the containers in front of it.

Any comments and/or feedback is appreciated.

Had I found this forum earlier/did more homework prior to starting my garden... I would have gone with Al's mix in my containers. I have more of a SFG type Mel's mix in them now. They are full of about 1/3 peat, 1/3 perlite or vermiculite or a mix of both, and 1/3 potting soil.

The drainage is good, but they stay a little too moist I think. The heavy rains and cloudy days have been a challenge as well... managed to save them from a nice hail storm a few weeks ago, and believe it or not we had a funnel cloud touch down here in NJ. Not that common around here, it was only a few miles from my home. It wasn't huge, but certainley did damage. Fortunately the storm passed to the south west of me.


Thanks for looking.

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I love how you have those climbing against the deck railing! That's exciting how much you have going on.
I built a 3 by 5 foot raised bed on concrete 3 years ago with wood in the clearance section of a big box store, and a whole lot of Al's mix and overall, the plants have done great. I finally did that simply because I was tired of having a herd of small plastic pots constantly underfoot.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 9:12PM
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Looks great! I had a question about the tomato plants.

I've grown a few large varieties of tomatoes (such as big bush or beefsteak) in pots that size (like the ones pictured) and even some in pots that are much larger. I've used new potting soil and fertilizer each year. However, the tomatoes all turn out the size of cherry tomatoes every year. I thought it might be because of a limited root system but I'm not sure. Are your tomatoes in containers turning out small or do they grow to a respectable size?

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 12:33AM
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howelbama(7 NJ)

Hi. My tomatoes usually develop to full size. They require ALOT of food to do so when in containers because the nutrients ate used up and get washed out quickly. Be vigilant about feeding and you'll do ok.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 12:34PM
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Way to grow! I'd say you're doing GREAT!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 10:02PM
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howelbama(7 NJ)


Watermelon are progressing nicely. Still no cantaloupe, hope they don't need a cross pollinator as the bees have been visiting them alot and still no fruit.

Thanks for looking. :)

    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 7:43PM
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That's awesome! What size container did you plant your watermelons and cantaloupe in? This is my first time container gardening (or gardening at all for that matter!) and I'm kind of making it up as I go. My watermelons seem to be growing and flowering but no fruit (the bees don't care about them). My cantaloupe has TONS of flowers (and the bees love it) but only one fruit so far. I also have just got a bunch of flowers yesterday so we'll see if anything happens there. All the pumpkin flowers are really close to the stem (not out on the vine) and that's where the cantaloupe is too (even though there are lots of flowers out on the vines there). The thing is, in this GA heat, I'm already watering 2-3 times a day and there's not even any thirsty fruit yet. I'm just trying to figure out how to salvage what I can this year and what to do better next year.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 6:36PM
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Nice going everyone!

I would love to see the end result of that nice looking watermelon once you cut into it!Yum!

You are all doing a great job! Thanks for sharing.


    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 6:50PM
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I'm in Memphis and have all different sizes of cantaloupes growing - plus tomatoes, peppers, and onions, etc. Has anyone tried growing cantaloupes up a trellis? I've got them gently supported in little slings now, but I'm not sure how that's going to work when they get larger!

For pix, visit my blog:

Here is a link that might be useful: ForestJane's blog

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 10:15PM
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howelbama(7 NJ)

Btbarb... I think my nearby lavender and Veronica has really helped with the watermelon pollination. The honey bees visit everything in my garden throughout the day. I live near several farms and nurseries so, it's possible that helps bring them in. The melons are growing in 12 gallon plastic terra cotta pots, they require frequent fertilizing and are set up with drip feeders with timer when needed. Hopefully I'll be able to grow them to full size and ripeness. No cantaloupes set yet but the weather is heating up so hopefully soon.

I will post updates through the season.

Here is a link that might be useful: Garden pics

    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 1:51AM
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What are those little round brownish things on the soil surface in the first pots above?

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 7:53AM
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howelbama(7 NJ)

That is hydrocorn... little expanded clay pieces, they wick and hold moisture. I have them mixed in the soil and on top to help retain air and water.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 10:05AM
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