I know it’s early! But I’m damn tired of thinking about/talking about snow, and cold, and I started thinking about my garden.
I live in an apartment, and only last year I decided to make good use of my balcony. I planted bell peppers, tomatoes, and herbs, plus two ivys & a hibiscus plant.
This year I’m going to give the herbs a miss. I didn’t enjoy anything about them but the smell, really. But bell peppers again - I was eating them as late as October! No tomatoes, because man do they overpower my balcony. But I’m going to do cucumbers in a pot, because I love cucumbers and they’re usually at least 2 for $1.00!
I’m ripping out vast sections of my garden come springtime. I overdid it by quite a lot in the perennial department, and it looks like a jungle (and a disorganized jungle, at that!) So… almost everything is coming out. I’m keeping the false indigo, the daylilies, the roses, the penstemon, the daisies and the coreopsis, and I’ll be filling in the empty spots with more of the same plus the annuals I can’t live without (zinnias, sweet peas and nicotiana.)
In my little kitchen garden outside the kitchen door, I’m putting in tomatoes and basil and parsley and THAT’S IT, because I always overdo it there too. Oh. Marigolds will go in that bed, too. But that’s it, really honestly!!
Probably the same thing I do every year. Vow to restrain myself, then when the seed packets start showing up in late February, I fall victim to their fell glamour and buy tens of packets. Then I plant seedlings which either die or remain tiny and stunted until I put them in the ground. At which point, I get impatient and go to the local garden centers and buy lots of the old standards, marigolds, dahlias, snapdragons, dusty miller, petunias, celosia, impatiens, strawflower, portulaca, sweet allysum, and coleus. I’ll also do the annual ritual of planting wildflowers in my leechfield, only to find that the fieldgrasses are firmly entrenched to the point where even tilling down to the bare soil doesn’t slow them down.
I’ll also buy more 50-packs of gladiolas than I have room for.
I like flowers but I’m not much of a gardener, so it will all be a vivid, weedy mess by the middle of July.
Really? You got a bell pepper to grow in a container? How big is your container? Is it a special dwarf pepper or anything? I’m so excited, because I really, really want to do bell peppers, but am also confined to containers, and the nursery told me it wouldn’t work.
My favorite container combo is a grape tomato surrounded by basil and oregano plants. They all play well together, and it’s like spaghetti sauce in a garden!
Another one I like is a Christmas-tree shaped rosemary surrounded by parsley, sage and thyme. It makes me sing silly songs every time I water it.
I’m also doing some catmint this year, in an attempt to drive every cat in the neighborhood batty. Also some foxglove, 'cause it’s pretty and some zinnias, 'cause they fill spaces in well. I’d like to do some dwarf ivy, because it’s so pretty trailing down.
Someone gave me a mammoth dill seed packet. I’m thinking of planting it and putting the container in the corner of my balcony. Think it’ll grow huge and take up the corner? It might be pretty there.
I’m also planting a bunch of morning glories in window boxes that sit on the porch itself, so they can climb up the banisters.
Let’s see… I always start with some sweet allyssum all over the place, as early as I can get it (sometime in April), because by then I’m sick and tired of grey and winter and sweet allyssum and a few pansies and primroses liven everything up pretty quickly.
Then I’ll add some blue salvia (always gotta have blue salvia) and then whatever catches my fancy to fill in. Last year I planted in 3 or 4 stages because there were some areas that still looked bare and because there were a couple of areas that I cleared out in early spring. I had impatiens mixed in with white and purple salvia in front (the impatiens won’t be returning to the front border - they’ve been unhappy the past 2 years). I had a combination of marigolds, orange zinnias, white and purple salvia and miniature dahlias in back. That turned out really cool.
I have a bunch of perennials that I need to move: some pulmonaria and hostas and also some sedum that used to be in front. I think that some of the perennials that I planted last year are going to be too crowded (perennial salvias, St. John’s wort, and something else I’m forgetting). They were falling all over each other by the end of the growing season.
I have herbs by my kitchen door: thyme, sage, oregano, basil, mint. I have a couple of varieties of each. My favorite basil is African blue. It’s really pretty in bloom, always tastes good, and always seems to be happy.
I’m still pondering what to do with the containers that go on the front and back stoops. I had lots of coleus last year and filled in with some unusual grasses and the purple and white salvia…
WhyNot, I think the dill container would look really nice in a corner; it should fill in space really gracefully. What kind of grape tomatoes did you plant? I skipped tomatoes last year because there were other plants where I usually put them and I didn’t have time to move things around properly; I’d love to grow tomatoes closer to my back door…
Wow…this was just what I needed on a cold January day!
I’m going to order a pile of flower seeds and plant 'em in those little cups, so I can have LOTS of flowers. I dug out a new flower/herb bed last summer, and by the time I was done digging I was sick and tired of gardening, so it didn’t look all that great. This year, I’m gonna change that - I wat a TON of flowers, and I figure that rather than buyin $300 worth of 'em at the local nursery I’ll plant my own.
Yes, I grew them in two long trays, about six inches wide and probably 2 1/2 to three feet long. I grew four bell peppers in a row. Now I got bell peppers a bit later than my friends who had them in real gardens, but when they came, I was swimming in them. It wasn’t a special dwarf type, and it should work fine, as long as they get sun, etc.
Also, Sattua, my herbs were all in varying size pots. I also had herbs in a similar long tray, in a neat little row. I put my coriander seperately because it grows so wild like hair, in a large round pot.
The tomatoes I had in a large pot that sat on the floor of the balcony, and they grew to be higher than my head. (I’m 5’5" tall). They grow like weeds, and they smell great but I was constantly sidestepping them, they do take a lot of room. You have to “train” them or they fall over, and you can’t put anything else near them, or they’ll block out all the sun!
I’m moving to an apartment that has a sunny enclosed back patio with two small gardening areas. There’s already two big camelia bushes and a large azalea bush there. I want to plant sweet peas, morning glories, fushcias, gourds and sugar peas in hanging pots to cover up the ugly back wall. In the gardening areas, I want hollyhocks, foxglove, fennel, penstemon, with pansies around the rock boarder.
On the patio, in big pots, I’d like to grow roses, bamboo, and millet and branching sunflowers for the birds. I also have some oat seeds I got from eastern Washington last year. I wonder if they’d grow?
In pots, next to my apartment wall, I want to try growing grape or cherry tomatoes. We have a problem in this area with black mildew attacking them but in this spot, they’d be sheltered from the rain by the wide balcony above and will also benefit from the reflected sunlight and heat from the building’s wall. So hopefully, I’ll have a chance.
Of course, when I actually go to pick out seeds and plants, I’ll be so overwhelmed, I’ll probably come home with with lots of things I hadn’t planned on. The sweet peas, sugar peas, fennel and tomatoes are definites, though.
I had a cherry tomato plant that turned into something very nearly out of a cheesy horror movie. Got so tall and leggy that everytime I opened the kitchen door, the tomato plant actually followed me in and threw tomatoes on the kitchen floor.
This will be my first spring in this house. I have no idea what is in my gardens beyond some hosta - tons of hosta - a single variety all over the place. I do know I’ve got an iris bed hidden back in the far corner of the yard, so they’ll be transplanted to where I can see them from the house. I saw several brick edgings that may or may not be beds, but most of them will go away. I’ve also got at least 4 tire “gardens” that will be gotten rid of. There are some climbing roses on the fence that need some serious pruning.
I do intend to put in some tomatoes, peppers, and cukes at the very least. I’ve got 2 big pots of mint - one spearmint, one chocolate mint - that will go into the ground. But until I see what I have, I don’t know what I’ll do. Incidentally, I have 3 acres, but over half of it is treed and staying that way.
:rolleyes: (directed toward the stupid tomato plant)
Yeah well, at least yours made tomatoes. That’s the other thing it seems about the balcony; everything grew really late. I had no tomatoes until August, and then only three until late September, when i was almost ready to get rid of it anyway! And it didn’t make very many.
The bell peppers were much more fun. I talked to them and everything.
And I forgot - I had marigolds in a pot, too - they’re such happy flowers.
I buy my stuff from a local nursery. I used to buy from Burpees, but after I moved to California they sent my entire order to my old address in New Jersey. I put down my new address, but my old one was in the computer, you see, and it was beyond them to check what I wrote. :rolleyes:
No snow on my garden I need to get some horse poop from the barn, mix in my compost, and weed. Then I’m putting in tomatoes, several varieties, bell peppers, egg plant, jalapenos (bad season last year), kohlrabi (iffy last year), onions, mostly for scallions, some lettuce, radishes (because I’m impatient) and - if they have it - eight ball squash. This is a squash that grows in a spherical bush, so it doesn’t take over the garden. It makes round fruit, very good. I planted 3 plants last year, and got at least 200 pounds of the stuff. When you lose one they grow to a foot in diameter, and about 8 pounds. We hollowed out a big one, combined the insides with ground beef and spaghetti sauce, and stuffed the mix in the shell. Very good.
I don’t expect to do as well this year as last - I had my last eggplant in November, and my last green pepper New Years Day.
Oh, I’m so glad you asked. I get all my herb seeds from Horizon. The owner, Richo, and his family still run the joint, and they are so very helpful to newbies like me who manage to nearly kill their babies before calling and asking for help. All my 'mater seeds from Tomatofest. That “Black Plum” on the cherry page is what I grew last year, but they weren’t nearly so big as what I consider plum tomatoes - probably because my sunlight is obscured. They were about an inch to an inch and a half, and have a marvelous sweet and tangy taste. They’re also fairly thin-walled, but crisp, so they don’t get mealy at all.
Does anyone know of any lettuces (dwarf or otherwise) that tolerate containers?
Since this is my first year in my new home, I’m going to start out with a small simple garden. Tomato, Yellow Squash, Chinese Cucumbers, Green Peppers, and if my dad has any Habanero & Jalapeno seeds left I’ll throw them in there too. A cow-orker has even promised my one of his compost barrels, and my dad has a standing offer to bring up his tiller. Methinks its going to be a very good year for cookouts at Casa de Madd Maxx…
I’ve always wanted to grow stuff but I’ve never been too good at it.
I was thinking of ripping out some bushes on the side of my house and planting herbs and some veggies there. The problem is that these bushes appear to be diseased so I wonder if that will affect anything else grown there. I don’t know what kind of bush they are, they have red leaves and they get rather leggy. They always end up growing over the path and have to be trimmed back. Recently I noticed bumps all over the branches and when I go to trim them they break very easily. There also appears to be a fungus on the leaves. I did have some of those choking vines growing in there not too long ago (not intentionally), possibly that just injured the bushes enough to allow them to get sick?
Anyway, what kind of veggies and herbs are good bets from brown thumbs?