The edible garden on asphalt
To answer some of Ei's questions and show how we 'do' veggies...:-)
Since our only really sunny place is in the front yard and most of that is taken up with flowers, we have largely resorted to pots. We mainly grow things for snacking and rely on the local farmers' markets when we need larger volumes.
Peas are the veggies we both most look forward to in spring so that is our #1 priority for sowing in spring. Peas are cool season crops and need to be sown early while the soil is cool. We planted ours April 4th. We planted 6 pots (only 5 showing in the picture below)
Each pot has a different variety, with the varieties chosen based on days to maturity to spread the 'crop' over 3+ weeks. Actually, this spring's odd weather seems to have messed things up because the earliest pot is just maturing now, which is about two weeks late.
Peas do not grow well or germinate in heat so the peas are finished by the end of June/early July. Plant breeding has improved things a bit so there are more varieties now with longer days to maturity and ones that you can plant in mid-late August for a fall crop. We don't bother with a fall crop because we use some of the current year's pea pots to root strawberry runners to keep the strawberries going. The peas fix nitrogen so make good soil to start the strawberries. At the end of this summer we discard the oldest pots of strawberries and add the new ones since strawberries produce their maximum crops in years 2 and 3.
Strawberries grow well in pots. We have about 5-6 strawberry pots and they can give us almost a pint a day when they are at their peak. We mainly just eat them on our cereal for breakfasts so aren't looking for a big crop! They are almost finished producing berries for this year now but they will keep producing runners that we will root into the peas pots in August.
We also have the little alpine strawberries throughout the front flowerbed. Randy picks those as they ripen and freezes them. When he gets enough in the freezer, he makes jam with them! Almost as good as real wild strawberry jam!
Beans are very susceptible to rot if the seeds are planted in cold soil. If the soil is 60F, seed treated with fungicide may do OK but the temperature should be 65F or more for untreated seed - even treated seed is better planted into warm soil. Daytime temperatures are good now but nighttime is still a little cool.
We'll probably plant on Friday. The biggest problems I've had with pole beans in pots is that you NEED 8' poles for them, and two pots produce more than we can eat!
Randy LOVES to grow garlic. It grows well in pots (planted in fall and stored in the garage for the winter) but I also find it tucked into the front flowerbeds anywhere he sees an empty space ! Note the wheeled platform so he can wheel it around to get maximum sun... He's already harvested the scapes from them - they make tasty stir-fried veggies to go with steak or other meat.
We certainly like home-grown tomatoes but have no room for them really. We've never been successful with them in pots. So we just grow a few for snacking, mostly Sweet Million cherry tomatoes, which are the most disease resistant we've found and produce way more than we can eat! This year we're also growing a Brandywine big tomato to see how that goes. There is just a small space at the end of the herb bed where there's room for 4 plants. Since we don't have room for rotation, Randy digs out a lot of the 'old' soil and replaces it with compost before planting the current year's plants.
Window boxes do well for things like baby carrots, lettuce, bunching onions - even leeks one year. Here's two of Randy's neat little mixed veggie pots:
This is probably the last year we will grow blueberries in pots. They do so-so because we tend to forget to keep the soil acid enough! Too fussy to bother with anymore... They have just started to set green berries:
This pot is an experiment - a neighbor grows HOT peppers and puts out his excess seedlings on the curb for anyone who wants to take them. Randy picked up a few and stuck them in a pot with some cilantro. We'll see how they do...
We grow whatever strikes our fancy. We tried watermelons twice but they weren't worth the effort. Zucchini did far too well! Leeks grew well but weren't worth the effort. Strawberry popcorn was fun but also not worth repeating. We have fun experimenting with our little veggie garden!