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Topic: Help me plan my garden!  (Read 3954 times)
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« on: February 04, 2006 03:35:22 AM »

  I want to plant a small container garden on my patio.  I live in Southern California, and my patio gets full sun most of the day.  I have a black thumb!  I know I want to plant herbs and some edible plants/veggies.  I don't want many flowers, but I few would be nice to use in crafts and soap additives.  Any recommendations?  Tips?  So far all I know is that I'm interested in getting some lavendar and strawbery plants, and a nice aloe vera plant (but I think I will have to keep the aloe vera indoors). 
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2006 08:45:57 PM »

Mint is the absolute simplest herb to grow! You can completely neglect it and it still thrives.
Rosemary and chives have been easy for me as well. I also grow thyme, basil and oregano---none of them have been finicky or difficult. I'm hoping to add several more herbs this year. I grow vegetalbes, but not in containers. The only thing that I can tell you is that cherry tomatoes grew pretty well for me in containers before I had ground space. Hope that helps!
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2006 12:02:06 AM »

good to know about mint, since I have a black thumb!  Cherry tomatoes are defenitely on my list!
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« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2006 07:07:35 AM »

well, since you live in cali, you can grow about anything!
lucky you!

if you want to attract irsd like hummingbirds i would suggest going to a good local nursury (i know one in mill valley thats really good if you are intrested message me) and getting plants that are NATIVE, i stress that point alot, and that are red or bright colors.  Its also a good idea to get a bird feeder. some easy plants are :  hen and chicks, butterfly bush, lemn balm (i cant kill it!), wandering jew, squash if you want produce, butterly weed, coneflower, cactus's, ice plant, prairie grasses, and many other desert like plants, it what your climate is made for.  try xeriscaping plants. you can search for lots of ideas for xeriscaping on the internet and at you library.  good luck with you garden!

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« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2006 07:14:10 AM »

 Roll Eyes silly me

heres some links that would help you




and is there a specific reason you need a potted garden, there's nothing wrong with it, but i would love to plan a garden for you and send you a layout and plant list.

i support any kind of gardening

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« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2006 07:26:46 AM »

just out of curiosity, what do you mean by "I support ANY type of gardening?" hmmmm.....!

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« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2006 08:24:45 AM »

I've been doing container gardening for a few years now (ah, the joys of renting) and the best advice I have is to be prepared to water them almost every day, and include some fertilizer in the water every other day.  Sounds insane, I know, but in the cramped quarters of containers, without any recourse to natural supplies, constant fertilization really makes a huge difference!

I've been using Schlutz liquid 10-5-10 on the general plants, and Peter's orchid fertilizer 30-10-10 on bloomers.  They work great, but give me a touch of the heebee-geebies sometimes, when I stop to think.  If anyone has better suggestion, please sing out!

Oh, and a general tip: wear rubber gloves when messing with fertilizer.   (I love the book The Orchid Thief, entertaining, intriguing, and a surprising amount of good info -- but that includes a reference to a guy who almost lost his liver because he had absorbed so many nitrates through his skin and via cuts in his hand...)

Have fun -- fresh rosemary and mint and basil just make life joyful! Smiley

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« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2006 12:46:05 PM »

atomickiss, i just mean i think its a good idea that people get out and plant! its good for the earth and all, and us o2 breathing animals need what the plants make!  Grin and all sorts of buggies and birdies and animals benefit from it

peace out yo  Cool

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« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2006 10:43:11 PM »

I'm not a native Californian so when I moved to the Coast with my very own front and backyard to fill up I wanted to make sure the plans I picked and planted thrived. So I bought the California Top Ten Garden Guide from my local home and garden store. It will give you plants that thrive best in each zone of California, which ones do best in what lighting, soil and so on. It's is amazing and so helpful. - Amazon Link - which has a ton more links to other related books for California. Smiley

I also second that mint is the insanely easy to grow. There is a big bunch of it outside my backgate that grow wild on its own, thriving in full sun. I don't have any veggies and such growing yet so I can't recommend anything edible. Begonias and Roses have done well out in my front yard, in full sun. Both pretty easy to grow, Begonias being the easiest.

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« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2006 02:28:32 PM »

Strawberry plants grow really well in my containers - just keep on eye on them. They like to be a little cool - not in full sun. Keep extra planters on hand to plant on the runners that you'll get by the second year.
Alpine strawberries grow well from seed, don't send out runners and have small sweet berries (but not many the first year). They like to keep more contained and I think the plants are prettier year round than regular strawberries.
I've not had much luck with lavender in small pots (it rains a lot here and they are like rosemary - they don't like sitting in wet slow draining soil), but I have several varieties in my small shallow beds - maybe try Spanich flag lavender (really pretty flowers) in a larger container.
I have a monster aloe that summer vacations outside, just ease them into it - leaving it outside longer each day - don't give it much more sun than it gets indoors. Aloes are really easy!
Here is mothra - the monster aloe awaiting his vacation:
« Last Edit: February 27, 2006 02:36:44 PM by auntiem » THIS ROCKS   Logged

« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2006 12:06:05 PM »

   If you have to water every day you may be doing it wrong. When you water it should be a very deep watering and maybe once or twice a week. You could get self watering pots that are watered from the bottom. Deep watering will allow the roots to grow deeper and make the plant sturdier. Also, add a mulch to the top after you plant and water the first time. If you over fertlize you could end up with a lot of leaf and very little bloom or fruit.
   I've read a few books on growing foods in small spaces and in pots. "The Edible Container Garden" is great as well as "The Postage Stamp Garden." "The Edible Container Garden" even has a guide in the back to tell you how deep a plant needs to have for grow space. Miracle grow has a couple of types of potting mediums that seem to be great for potted gardens.
   I've been having trouble getting my lavender to sprout. It needs to be in a poor, sandy soil. I don't think most potting soil is right for it to start. I'm going to try sprouting it in wet paper towels next time, or maybe I should just by the plant.
   Aloe vera is great outside if you want to leave it out. It is a desert plant, after all.That is definately a leave alone plant. Water it very little in the winter (I have forgotten it for two months. It still lives very happily after ten years of sporadic neglect) and a little more in the summer.
   There are gauges that help you with the watering. You just stick it in and then it will give you a reading of how wet the soil is. It will come with a guide to give you an idea when to water for what plant.
   I love flowers that are edible. I can have something that looks great and eat it as well.
   One of the most usefull flowers is the pot marigold or collendula: it has edible flowers, is a medicinal plant, tea plant, brewing plant, can be a cheep substitute for saffron in rice, a dye plant, and is used in natural cosmetics, and is a common companion plant. The whole nastrurtium can be eaten. The flowers are a little spicy, can be eaten raw, added to a salad, placed in butter, and can be pickled, the greens are great in salads and the seeds can be made into "capers." Tulips are an early spring flower that tastes a bit like cucumber. They are good in salads or can be stuffed and baked. They can easily be replaced with other things later in the season. Day lilies can be eaten the same way. Squash flowers are also a good stuffed or can be deep fried.
   If you decide to grow squash, vining beans, climbing nasturtiums or any other trailer ar climber remember to provide something for them to climb. One of those old fashion wooden clothes drying wracks are good as well as trelisses. Vertical space is most often over looked.
   One last thing, If growing on a balcony find out what the weight capacity is so you don't end up falling into your neighbors porch.

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