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my patio drip vegetable garden

Posted by johns.coastal.patio USDA 10b, Sunset 24 (My Page) on
Tue, Jun 3, 14 at 11:21

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:

 photo IMG_20140603_074440_zpskoriomcx.jpg

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:

 photo IMG_20140602_112117_zpsi2cox7wx.jpg

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:

 photo IMG_20140325_125748_zpswsiruvbh.jpg

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

 photo IMG_20140325_125740_zpst5ogieej.jpg

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

 photo IMG_20140324_125028_zpse8rmkrh5.jpg

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

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: my patio drip vegetable garden

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.)

RE: my patio drip vegetable garden

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

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