Plants are doing well

on Fri, 04/01/2016

My outside plants are doing really well. Lots of flower buds everywhere, including on my beans. I probably need to see about setting up my trellis soon for the peas and beans.

Picked up a bunch of potting soil yesterday as well as some new containers. Looking forward to transplanting more veggies soon. I'm a little behind last year, as I already had squash in containers on March 21st. Hoping to do those in the next few days. I've had them all outside hardening off the last few days.

Bought Abby some new flowers to go along with the ones she already has. She always likes having a number of flowers and I like all the pollinators they attract to the garden. I picked up a few colors of mums as well as some red Asiatic Lilies. We really love those kind and have been trying to get them in various colors. Each year we've added on a new color. We now have pink, yellow, orange, and red. 

The snapdragons are doing really well, which makes me happy. I grew them all from seed last year and these are the ones that have returned for a second year. I also found a pansy in bloom, which is another flower I grew from seed last year.

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Carrots are sprouting

on Mon, 03/28/2016

I planted two large pots of carrots this year - one is the Short 'n Sweet variety, which is often times used for baby carrots. They grow shorter and sweeter than the average carrot variety. The other pot has heirloom rainbow carrots.

Last year I tried growing them, but we got a lot of rain shortly after I planted them. That caused the seeds to all run to the edge of the pots, which led to very few growing. This year the seeds were better established before we ended up with a bunch of rain.

Over the last week or so, little plants have slowly been emerging. I can't wait to have fresh carrots later this year.

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Lots of flowers outside

The plants that are already outside in pots are doing pretty good. The snapdragons are already covered in buds, with several of them already in bloom. The kale, lettuce, bok choi, peas, etc that I planeted are all doing pretty good as well. And I am very pleased with the bare root strawberries that I bought from Gurney's. They've sprouted up quite well thus far. 

Transplanting tomatoes

on Sun, 03/27/2016

So it's that time again - time to move the tomato plants from the little seedling cells into seedling pots. I'm especially careful when doing this since I only minimally thin the tomatoes - I only remove the ones that are significantly smaller than the rest. For any of the other cells, I very carefully separate each tomato plant and transplant them each separately into larger pots. It's rare that I lose one when I do that, but it happens occasionally. I still end up with way more plants doing this than if I were to only select one per cell. But it also means that I end up with a lot of tomatoes - about 7 trays worth this time.

The key is being very, very careful with the roots. Massage the ball of dirt and roots gently and then carefully separate each tomato by holding the plant and gently wiggling it away from the others. Then you can plant each one of them. You might break a few plants when doing this, but once you get the hang of it you'll end up with more plants than if you saved one per cell.

Green beans!

on Sat, 03/26/2016

When I planted the Contender Beans, I knew that they were considered "early" beans. I didn't realize just how early they meant. They started growing beans while still in the house. So if you're looking for green beans that start growing very early, Contender is a very good choice. Just in the past two days I've already picked a few beans and they've just been growing in small seedling pots. Imagine what they'll do in big pots or in the ground.

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Growing tomatoes and peppers

on Wed, 03/23/2016

Tomatoes and peppers are hot weather plants. They really prefer it when the temperatures are warm. So that means if it's not warm where you're growing, it's going to take longer for them to germinate and grow. That means it is best to help them stay warm and their soil moist if you want them to do well.

These plants are some of the few that I do use the clear tray covers on when they are germinating. The lights above them help them to stay nice and warm inside the trays, which helps them to grow. But I've found that it is best if you do this with seedling trays that are not made of materials like peat or coconut, as those mold very quickly. I've never been successful with those kinds of pots under the clear covers. As long as they don't get over-watered, I've not had an issue with the traditional plastic seed cells and regular seedling soil. But if you're using other kinds of pots or material to grow the seeds in, you may run into issues.

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Bought a new greenhouse

on Sun, 03/20/2016

So the shelf greenhouse I originally bought had some issues, such as the zipper being broken. Then I found out some of the pieces that snap together had cracks in them. As such, I took it back to the store to exchange it. They were out of what I wanted, but offere me the larger greenhouse at a discount. I didn't think that was going to be an option, but my complex was pretty cool about it and said I could indeed have it. So now I have a nice walk-in greenhouse available on my patio.

Preparing for cold weather

on Sat, 03/19/2016

It happens to us all - you get nice weather for a while and you put your seedlings out. Then the worst news comes out - you're going to have a cold snap. How do you protect your plants?

There are a number of ways you can do this, including:

  • Bringing them indoors or under cover (like under a covered patio or carport)
  • Using a floating row cover
  • Using a portable greenhouse
  • Using hoops

So what should you choose? Below is some information on each option.

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Welcome! About this site...

Zucchini seedlingsWelcome to my blog on container gardening. I live in an apartment and as such don't have the option to plant anything in the ground. As such, I gave dozens and dozens of containers surrounding my patio filled with herbs, vegetables, fruits, and flowers.

I started out with just a few planters of strawberries around my garden. Then I added a few hanging baskets of flowers for our daughter. Each year I've expanded and expanded my garden. I've been buying bigger and bigger containers and adding new plants. I've found some things that have worked well for me - like the Asian finger eggplant that produced probably 100 eggplants - and things that haven't - my rapini never grew and it's just too cold for melons to do well.

I hope to share what I've learned thus far, tips, and more through this blog. I also hope to hear from you about what has worked for you.

Be sure to check out the photo galleries! Lots of photos there showing what I'm growing, how the plants are doing and more!