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Old 03-16-2018, 07:25 AM
 
Location: Denver/Boulder Zone 5b
1,340 posts, read 3,123,507 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita View Post
thanks Nick. I pretty much thought it wouldn't work, but the beans, herbs and even the peppers should be ok. I will save other planters for tomatoes and okra. It seems not only would the roots not do well, the tomato plants, even the bush ones would be top heavy.
Yes, nmnita, your beans and herbs and peppers should be just fine. Peppers needs surprisingly little soil to do well. Of course, the more room for roots, the larger the plant in general (not always true), but they can be very productive in a relatively small container. They can also be planted pretty close together. I mean, I plant 6 of them in an Earthbox that is 29" long and 13" wide. The self-watering reservoir definitely helps, but they are very tolerant of being closely planted.
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Old 03-16-2018, 07:32 AM
 
Location: Denver/Boulder Zone 5b
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cambium View Post
Don't forget the moisture aspect. With the trench method the roots aren't deep so will dry out easier or get too much water. Worth a shot for anyone who hasn't done it. I always try things myself rather than just listen to anyone who says you can/can't do things and go with that.
Completely agree with Cam here. Everyone's mileage will vary and you should try different methods to see what works for you. Mulching is essential for keeping moisture in. I started using EZ Straw with Tack last season in my whiskey barrels and was wholly impressed with its effectiveness - and it isn't hay, so it's not full of seed. It's a compressed bale, so you get an absolute ton of it and for a great price in Amazon. I hardly used the top 3-4" from the package to mulch 19 barrels just enough to cover the soil. The tack meant nothing blew away and it stayed put all season long. Of course, leaves, untreated grass clippings, pine needles, etc. also make excellent mulch.
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Old 03-16-2018, 07:33 AM
 
Location: Denver/Boulder Zone 5b
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greatblueheron View Post
Agreed. Trenching provides such a stable base....

Love this thread, nman...
I think it's wonderful. My seedlings often get leggy in the final week before transplanting during the hardening off process because I usually have about 70 starts and they're all competing for light. If I don't want a weak plant, I have no choice but to trench. Always happy with the results!

And thank you, gbh!!
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Old 03-16-2018, 07:39 AM
 
Location: Denver/Boulder Zone 5b
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cambium View Post
Sweet! Everything looking real good! You reminded me I should do Basil. Love Basil!


I'll keep a close eye on your Cabbage reports. I want to grow it this yr.


Do you measure soil temp at all?
Thank you, Cam! I wasn't going to do basil, then I remember how easily it germinates. I always struggle a bit with it during the hardening off process because it seems much less hardy than tomatoes and such and needs a bit more attention. I struggle with it most years, but I love the way it smells, so..

This is my first time growing "regular" cabbage - I grew Soloist Chinese Cabbage in 2016 and it was amazing. Two HUGE heads in a relatively small container; kept for weeks in the fridge crisper drawer. The roots stayed pretty shallow - very easy to harvest.

I never measure soil temp. I start seeding when the soil is workable and not so cold my hands can't take it.
I rarely wear gloves when planting so I can feel exactly what's going on in there. The containers warm up super quickly - part of the reason I try to use dark containers for most stuff. Cool season veggies need to be watched, though, because they obviously don't love super warm soil. I just move the containers as needed to give them a fighting chance into July.
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Old 03-16-2018, 07:41 AM
 
Location: Denver/Boulder Zone 5b
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackberryMerlot View Post
Heres mine- every year. Corral panels to keep out the cattle, hog panels to keep out feral hogs, chicken wire to keep out rabbits. This is Texas/


Whoa, looks fantastic BM!! Looks like you have quite the fortress there - beautiful! It's funny you mention all the animals you need to keep out - my biggest nemesis is hail (although you probably deal with your fair share of that in TX, as well). I just use shade cloth to cover mine up and it works very well. I am glad I don't deal with hogs and deer and other pests, but I am also in the middle of a neighborhood well away from woods.. only rabbits and birds, both of which mercifully spare me most of the time..
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Old 03-26-2018, 12:19 PM
 
Location: Denver/Boulder Zone 5b
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Default March 26, 2018 Update!

Okay, so here I go with another update. The weather this past week was quite warm, but very windy, so not the *best* for getting things done outdoors. We've had highs mostly in the 60s and 70s with lows in the 30s and lower 40s. This next week, beginning today, is supposed to be rather unsettled with several chances for rain and snow with highs mostly in the 40s and 50s with lows in the 20s and 30s. We may get a break toward Friday/Saturday, then stormy weather returns early next week. Long range forecasts are still calling for above normal temps and below normal precipitation heading into late spring and summer.

My outdoor direct-sown seeds are germinating in earnest. I've had near 100% germination thanks to my little garden cloches. I started some additional seeds this past weekend to include several varieties of peas (Tom Thumb and Sugar Ann), several radishes (Chinese Red Meat and Zlata), Orange Fantasia Swiss Chard, and some Ruby Lettuce.

I also spent some time transplanting the rest of my peppers and micro tomatoes into their 3" pots which is where I hope I can keep them until they go outside. They should be fine, but I have larger pots if needed. I only intended to grow about 12-15 pepper plants this season, but I've somehow ended up with about 60 seedlings. I don't know how that happens. I have a very nice mix of hot and sweet varieties and will list everything out in a few weeks when I start my eggplant and tomatoes.

Speaking of eggplant and tomatoes, I will likely grow two varieties of eggplant and will reduce the number of tomatoes to about 30-35 (I was originally anticipating upwards of 45, but will not have room this season). I will start my eggplant in the next week or two and tomatoes probably the weekend of April 14 to allow myself some time to start new ones if I have any issues. I want MUCH smaller transplants this season, so I am pushing the window a bit further than normal. 5-week-old tomato plants are just about the perfect size based on previous seasons' notes, so that's my goal.

Next weekend I will remove the fertilizer strips from the Earthboxes (I keep forgetting to do that!!) and add some more dolomite and new potting mix to freshen them up. I also purchased a Greenstalk and hope to get that put together in the coming weeks. It all comes and goes so quickly!

Below are some photos of the outdoor containers and indoor plants as of 03/25/18. The second to last photo is a close-up look at some peppers that have been topped, one of my favorite things to do with these plants. The last photo is a selection of pruners I recently purchased - another one of my guilty pleasures is having plenty of really good pruners. I think these are pretty cool.
Attached Thumbnails
My 2018 Container Garden-img_0122.jpg   My 2018 Container Garden-img_0123.jpg   My 2018 Container Garden-img_0124.jpg   My 2018 Container Garden-img_0125.jpg   My 2018 Container Garden-img_0126.jpg  

My 2018 Container Garden-img_0127.jpg   My 2018 Container Garden-img_0133.jpg   My 2018 Container Garden-img_0134.jpg   My 2018 Container Garden-img_0135.jpg   My 2018 Container Garden-img_0136.jpg  

My 2018 Container Garden-img_0137.jpg   My 2018 Container Garden-img_0138.jpg   My 2018 Container Garden-img_0121.jpg  
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Old 03-26-2018, 01:46 PM
 
Location: Near the Coast SWCT
64,283 posts, read 46,639,276 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickMan7 View Post
Okay, so here I go with another update. .
Nice update. Those rocks outside must help warm things up even quicker as opposed to dirt or grass there.


Ahhh, yes, the Topped Peppers. Me & you have opposite results. We both learned that your growing season is longer than mine (or more stable I think). Which was kinda surprising to me. My topped peppers didn't have enough time to produce enough yields but I did see 1st hand the benefit of it. It bushed out nicely.


I like those size starter cells. I might invest in a tray that size next year.


BTW -- Nice jars down there.
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Old 03-27-2018, 07:25 AM
 
Location: Denver/Boulder Zone 5b
1,340 posts, read 3,123,507 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cambium View Post
Nice update. Those rocks outside must help warm things up even quicker as opposed to dirt or grass there.


Ahhh, yes, the Topped Peppers. Me & you have opposite results. We both learned that your growing season is longer than mine (or more stable I think). Which was kinda surprising to me. My topped peppers didn't have enough time to produce enough yields but I did see 1st hand the benefit of it. It bushed out nicely.


I like those size starter cells. I might invest in a tray that size next year.


BTW -- Nice jars down there.
I think you're right about the rocks, Cam. Plus it's all right up against the south side of the house. I notice the biggest difference in fall when we start getting our first frosts - the grass and trees will have frost, but everything within about 15' of the back of the house is untouched..

Yes, you and I have very different results with topped peppers. I feel like I get a better harvest overall, but in all honesty, I'm not 100% sure it makes that much of a difference. More so, it does make for stronger plants and that's helpful when we get strong thunderstorms that might otherwise break them..

I have tons of different trays and cells and things to start seeds in. I have like 5 trays of 72-count Jiffy peat pellets I haven't even used yet. I know they work well, I guess I just haven't mustered the patience to deal with them. Using a large tote with loose potting mix and cells is much quicker and easier in my experience.

Ha, thanks re the jars. I keep all my canning supplies on the shelves below the grow station. I have another few new cases out in the garage. Cabela's had a sale on cases of pints - $5.99 for 12 - so I grabbed 4, though I don't really *need* them..
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Old 03-28-2018, 06:07 AM
 
Location: South Carolina
13,011 posts, read 17,443,015 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickMan7 View Post
I think you're right about the rocks, Cam. Plus it's all right up against the south side of the house. I notice the biggest difference in fall when we start getting our first frosts - the grass and trees will have frost, but everything within about 15' of the back of the house is untouched..

Yes, you and I have very different results with topped peppers. I feel like I get a better harvest overall, but in all honesty, I'm not 100% sure it makes that much of a difference. More so, it does make for stronger plants and that's helpful when we get strong thunderstorms that might otherwise break them..

I have tons of different trays and cells and things to start seeds in. I have like 5 trays of 72-count Jiffy peat pellets I haven't even used yet. I know they work well, I guess I just haven't mustered the patience to deal with them. Using a large tote with loose potting mix and cells is much quicker and easier in my experience.

Ha, thanks re the jars. I keep all my canning supplies on the shelves below the grow station. I have another few new cases out in the garage. Cabela's had a sale on cases of pints - $5.99 for 12 - so I grabbed 4, though I don't really *need* them..

well look at the canning jars this way . If one or a couple break then you will really need them wont you ? LOL ....everything looks great .
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Old 03-28-2018, 09:04 AM
 
Location: Denver/Boulder Zone 5b
1,340 posts, read 3,123,507 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phonelady61 View Post
well look at the canning jars this way . If one or a couple break then you will really need them wont you ? LOL ....everything looks great .
Yes, indeed. I also give lots of home canned goods to friends and family. Family is good about returning them; friends are hit or miss. And, of course, when I am giving stuff away in earnest during the fall, I never remember who got what, so trying to collect them back is a futile exercise.
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