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Old 06-04-2015, 11:53 PM
 
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I am a new homeowner. As part of the DIY landscaping project I want to transform my bak-side yard into a vegetable garden using large pots.
I have purchased three large colorful 22in plastic pots/planters and tomato-rigs, and got a lot of yard-dirt delivered. Maybe I will buy 2-3 more of those pots/planters. I dont want to make it like an expensive fancy garden, but rather cheap and functional. People had gardens for thousands of years without home depot bagged super soil. Thinking on using lawn/grass clippings as fertilizer, or kitchen organic waste.
I want to plant tomatoes, peppers (mexican yellow pepper, long and sweet) and raspberry.
I live in Northern California, we get a lot of sun all year, rain in the winter, never freezing.

So, my questions:

- is it possible to get them ripen not in the same time? It would be nice to have pepper over a several months.

- using normal yard soil, what should I use as additive? Looking for some traditional DIY solution. One website mentioned grass clippings to be mixed with soil.

- how many plants per pot? I am thinking on 3/pot, as the pot is large 22in wide and deep.

- plant tomato/pepper from seed or buy young plant?

- how much veggie do I get from this arrangement (3 tomato plants in a 22in pot) in a year/season/month? Whatever is the cycle for these veggies here in CALI.

- can i plant the peppers and tomatoes from seeds of the veggies that I bought in the supermarket?
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Old 06-05-2015, 01:56 AM
 
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Those are all great questions:

- is it possible to get them ripen not in the same time? It would be nice to have pepper over a several months. Yes, planting at different times, succession planting will allow that. Its getting really late in the season for tomatoes in Nor Cal, so do what you can and get a feel for next year.

- using normal yard soil, what should I use as additive? Looking for some traditional DIY solution. One website mentioned grass clippings to be mixed with soil. You really should amend it with compost. Bags of garden compost can be bought at most home stores. Its going to be cheaper and easier than learning how to mix soils when you are a beginner.

- how many plants per pot? I am thinking on 3/pot, as the pot is large 22in wide and deep. Tomatoes can get overheated in pots during the warm weather, be mindful of that. Try to stick to compact bushes or shorter season crops, unless you are going to put them in a greenhouse or cover them for longer production. One plant per pot. They need lots of nourishment and don't do well when they are crowded.

- plant tomato/pepper from seed or buy young plant? Its too late for seed this year, find some good size plants at a local nursery.

- how much veggie do I get from this arrangement (3 tomato plants in a 22in pot) in a year/season/month? Whatever is the cycle for these veggies here in CALI. One plant per pot. Giving you an estimate of what the season will bring is darn near impossible. Are you getting cherry, beefsteak, ace, etc? Smaller varieties will yield faster in some cases. Its too hard to know because of your climate, how much sun will they get, variety, etc.

- can i plant the peppers and tomatoes from seeds of the veggies that I bought in the supermarket? Yes, you can. Some will grow and some won't. You need to let them dry out well. Peppers are easy to dry. About 1 1/2 weeks on a papertowel and they are done. I put them on a paper towel, on a plate and set up on the cupboards so no one can disturb them. I put them in little envelopes from office depot. I then place them in a zip lock and store in the fridge. Tomatoes on the other hand are tricky. Google how to save tomato seed. I have done it in the past, but its not easy. I just buy my seeds now and save them in the fridge. They will last for years in the fridge/freezer.

Check out pinterest for ideas. Tons of great garden ideas there. Check out vertical gardening. We use wide PVC pipe to plant veggies and strawberries, an amazing amount in a small space.

Start a compost bin now, by fall you can have a good amount to amend into the soil.

Check out your county for an extension office. They have amazing help and classes for the home gardener. Many counties have demonstration gardens and classes. Be sure to check out your local nurseries and co-ops. Many of them offer classes. Don't overwhelm yourself the first year. Get an idea of what you want and where you want it. Plan it out and make yourself happy. Nothing worse then spending good money on something quickly to find out its not in the right location or what you really want. http://ucanr.edu/County_Offices/
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Old 06-05-2015, 05:38 AM
 
Location: Near the Coast SWCT
72,949 posts, read 56,146,582 times
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Yeah, great questions.. My answers in bold

Quote:
Originally Posted by buenos View Post
I am a new homeowner. As part of the DIY landscaping project I want to transform my bak-side yard into a vegetable garden using large pots.

So, my questions:

- is it possible to get them ripen not in the same time? It would be nice to have pepper over a several months. If your growing season supports it, Yes, just plant the seeds or different size plants every couple weeks. I couldn't do that. I have to start them inside and hope we have good 3 months of hot weather when they are outside.(Peppers like it Hot and Dry!)

- using normal yard soil, what should I use as additive? Looking for some traditional DIY solution. One website mentioned grass clippings to be mixed with soil. Best to start a compost pile. See mine with this post which reminds me I have to update that thread. Grass, Leaves, Cow manure. Reason to add compost into soil instead of grass clippings direct is because #1 those grass clippings might have fertilizer on them which will ruin your plants. #2. Compost is broken down material and ready to use full of nutrients.

- how many plants per pot? I am thinking on 3/pot, as the pot is large 22in wide and deep. I am not a fan of more than 1 per pot. You will get to know why. Do an experiment. Put 3 in 1 and just 1 in another. You'll see a healthier plant with just 1 in there and possibly more yields as well. Less root fighting for nutrients. But it also depends on the plant itself. Peppers you can get away with 2 in a 22". Eggplant and Tomato forget it. More prone to disease too being so close to each other. Think about the spacing required "in ground", you wont have that in the pot unless they are near the edges.

- plant tomato/pepper from seed or buy young plant? Depends how many. If I bought 50 Tomato plants and 15 of everything else, I'd be broke. Go for seed starting but don't get frustrated the first year, it takes time unless you know about it already. Probably too late to start from seed this year.

- how much veggie do I get from this arrangement (3 tomato plants in a 22in pot) in a year/season/month? Whatever is the cycle for these veggies here in CALI. Do not plant more than 1 per pot. You will also realize tomatoes will do better in pots in the very beginning but then the ground ants will outpace, out yield, and out smart the ones in pots. Tomatoes in pots do not last as long so therefore less yields. Don't let anyone give you amount estimations. Each plant, weather and area situation is different.

- can i plant the peppers and tomatoes from seeds of the veggies that I bought in the supermarket? Absolutely! Do Youtube search on how to save seeds from them. Make sure they dry and get stored correctly and label them with the date and type.
Sounds like you're excited and can't wait to get started next year. Unless you're able to grow through the Fall? My season is done in 3 months pretty much. Sometimes we go to October.
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Old 06-05-2015, 08:10 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
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I certainly am a novice when it comes to container planting but I can answer a couple of your questions: for starters, I took the advise from others here and used mostly potting type of soil this year. 2; make sure your containers have good drainage. Or I think that is what I was told. and as for the seeds. yes, you can use seeds from grocery store produce but you have to start much earlier. I would get plant already established this year. I also have had mixed results from produce seeds. I have had good luck and awful luck.I just purchase regular garden seeds.
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Old 06-06-2015, 08:59 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
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The number one determining factor is plant success is drainage. Too wet and plant roots will drown and too sandy and not enough moisture for plant to grow. Unless you have perfect soil you will not get good drainage by using regular soil in a pot. It's usually just too compacted. if it is recommended to add amendments to garden soil, of course you need a much lighter soil for pots.I use potting soil to start small plants and then move them to amended and well worked garden patch.

Also remember you will have to water more frequently anything growing in pots. Tomatoes especially will split if they are not watered regularly and thoroughly.

it also depends on what the pots are made of. Terra cotta dries out faster, concrete is too hard to move, plastic is usually not stable enough if you have high winds and huge rains. I prefer a lightweight styrofoam type planter close to my deck railing so I can stake tomato plants. You will need steady and dependable staking which is hard to get with a free standing pot.
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Old 06-07-2015, 03:33 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
75,625 posts, read 88,346,994 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
The number one determining factor is plant success is drainage. Too wet and plant roots will drown and too sandy and not enough moisture for plant to grow. Unless you have perfect soil you will not get good drainage by using regular soil in a pot. It's usually just too compacted. if it is recommended to add amendments to garden soil, of course you need a much lighter soil for pots.I use potting soil to start small plants and then move them to amended and well worked garden patch.

Also remember you will have to water more frequently anything growing in pots. Tomatoes especially will split if they are not watered regularly and thoroughly.

it also depends on what the pots are made of. Terra cotta dries out faster, concrete is too hard to move, plastic is usually not stable enough if you have high winds and huge rains. I prefer a lightweight styrofoam type planter close to my deck railing so I can stake tomato plants. You will need steady and dependable staking which is hard to get with a free standing pot.
Interesting what you say about plastic; most of the containers in the garden section of building stores are plastic and even before I tried my entire garden in containers I used plastic for herbs, some peppers and other things. I never had a problem with winds or rain. Certainly we have had more than our share of rain the past month. Maybe in the Carolinas it is a little different, but I do know a lot of people who do their container gardening in plastic as well as other types of pots. In fact the book I bought about container gardening showed the author using almost all plastic in different sizes. I do use stakes, the tomato cages work great.
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Old 06-07-2015, 04:03 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,504 posts, read 46,040,583 times
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While I love the look of the concrete or terracotta planters, DH has put his foot down and I can't buy anymore. They are too heavy and I move planters around like some people move furniture. I too use plastic as they are cheap but I don't like anything shiny and I'm particular. I think I have a good combination of all these kinds of planters.

My favorites are the polystyrene.

Guide to Garden Planter Materials
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Old 06-07-2015, 08:27 PM
 
1,667 posts, read 1,752,199 times
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These are the pots next to the 7ft ffence:

The ground will be covered with mulch to make it nice, the pots will have a 3ring trellis each.
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Old 06-08-2015, 01:18 AM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
27,845 posts, read 26,448,443 times
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The Dearthbox: A low-cost, self-watering planter

I did that. Planting medium was potting mix, a little coir and compost. I added the coir because the compost was a little heavy. It can take a while, but learn what good soil should feel like. What you have in a pot is far different than what you want in the ground. Soil in the pot should be a little light and fluffy.

Never use dirt, even good dirt, in a pot. It just doesn't work well.
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Old 06-08-2015, 01:43 PM
 
Location: Near the Coast SWCT
72,949 posts, read 56,146,582 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buenos View Post
These are the pots next to the 7ft ffence:

The ground will be covered with mulch to make it nice, the pots will have a 3ring trellis each.
Tomatoes wont make it long in there. Note the Bottom Narrows as well. Put 1 plant per pot and see what happens. You can get away with 2 Pepper plants though. I would change the Soil too. Doesn't look that great but could be camera.

Is there 5-7hrs of sun in that spot?

Don't forget... DO NOT PUT GARDEN OR EARTH SOIL IN POTS! Gotta get Potting Soil or Organic Compost. The other will compress, compact, and not drain right.
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