would love to share with this community!

VegasfamilyJuly 31, 2014

I would love to share with this community our families attempt at growing food in containers in Las Vegas. We are renters with limited space but once this summer comes to an end our growing seasons start here. We would love advice and comments on our first try at this. We are currently starting 5 strains of indeterminate tomatoes and 3 strains of cucumber along with parsely and basil. We are soon to start our kale and spinach to which we have 5 varieties of Kale. Everything is organic bases with vermicompost tea centered with soil amendmending as well. We are having fairly good success thus far. But would love to share any information on what we may be doing right and would love info especially on any possible mistakes we are making. Please come grow with us on YouTube! By the way this forum has guided me in good way as a lurker with out a log on but now I'm a member and I hopefully look forward to sharing our garden with all of you!

Here is a link that might be useful: Our families YouTube garden

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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

Well we all have our own ways of doing things. I watched some of the videos, and well for one you need to mix the amendments a lot better before you put them in pots. No bacteria or fungi added, which IMHO is a problem. Natural bacteria are around, but it is nice to make sure you have the proper bacteria. I would never put anything in the bottom of a pot, if the soil drains well, it's not needed, and may cause problems, and 1 gallon pots are small enough without yet reducing size. the smallest pot I use is 10 gallons. Tomatoes are in 15 and even 30 gallon pots. Most here feel 5 is the minimum. Nobody here is organic btw. We are not at all concerned about that. I like to try and be organic, but at times it is way too limiting.
You seem very inexperienced, well you will learn, no biggie.
Some of my tomato plants are 6 feet tall, and 3 feet wide. The stem wouldn't fit in a one gallon pot, and certainly would be falling over, but of course they would never get that big in 1 gallon pots. One of the plants is a cherry tomato and has produced 300 or so tomatoes so far.
I expect it to produce about 700 to 1000 tomatoes.

Here's today's harvest minus about 15 cherries I have eaten

I also grow beans, melons, lettece, squash, raspberries, blackberries, currants, peaches, pluots, cherries, corn, blueberries, ground cherries, and numerous other fruits. Mostly fruits.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 12:25AM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

My raspberries have finished the summer crop, soon the fall crop will be starting. Daily harvests would good for about 3 weeks. We ate them daily, but I stashed a few for cooking, and also my fav is chocolate coated frozen raspberries. Most of the black raspberries were made into jam. Fall crop will be just as large.

Daily strawberry harvests were good too!
The white ones are pineberries.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 12:55AM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

Growing completely organic in containers is extremely challenging. It can be done, but expect set backs.
In your videos you mention the "dirt". I didn't really catch what that was? I can say it's about the most important part. Improper composition will result in failure. Your guessing at NPK ratios is not good either.3-1-2 is the average NPK ratio requirements. Adjust according to plant species. Include the compost in your calculations, not just the fertilizer.
You may want to look into adding MycoGrow and/or Biota to your regime.
Besides that the other amendments are good.
Failure is a great learning experience so no worries. Keep us updated on progress.
Not many here use organics in containers, so your results are important info. I myself think with vegetables it's the way to go. Not so much with other plants. Although I may change my mind there too! I transferred my night blooming jasmine to an organic mix and it is doing very well! It has about 300 flowers on it. The whole street smells like Jamaica! The night blooming jasmine plant has the most fragrant flower of all plants.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 1:46AM
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Drew, that is beautiful! I would love to try that and will look around for it.

What organic mixture did you use?


    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 1:14PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

I make my own soil mixtures. Experimenting a little. The Jasmine has Pine fines, peat moss, Diatomaceous earth,
and organic compost. Also bacteria ,fungi, trace minerals
and Holly-tone fertilizer. I use many composts some organic some not.
Most every potting soil is peat, pine and perlite with additives. I replaced perlite with DE, but thinking about adding it back. It only lasts 5 years and I recycle into those raised beds. I guess even if it breaks down it won't hurt anything. So in the future perlite is back in.

As far as commercial mixes I like Fafard, they have a store finder on their web site. And Happy Frog. Others are very good too, those two are easy for me to get.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 2:08PM
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Drew, that sounds like a pretty acidic mix. Is this what that Jasmine requires?

I generally use a peat based mix such as Miracle Grow mixed with pine bark, perlite. I've had good luck and ease of potting. Drains well.

I'm curious that you use pure peat mixed with the bark. That sounds very acidic.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 12:47AM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

The compost is not acidic and brings the mix to about 6.5. I use compost instead of lime to control PH.
Yes, I do use pure peat, I have 7 blueberry plants, 4 are in pots, so I keep peat on hand. The Jasmine would do fine in a normal mix. I can't claim the mix made it flower, the plants does like acidic conditions, but is a very vigorous plant. I suspect it would grow well in anything.
It likes to be moist too. It tolerates dryness, but thrives being moist.
Many here argue compost destroys soil structure. That is ridiculous, it is essential to soil structure.

Here is a link that might be useful: Manure to control PH

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 12:13AM
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