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I'm thinking about starting a garden off my patio...
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Babette
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Joined: 28 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 1:11 pm    Post subject: I'm thinking about starting a garden off my patio... Reply with quote

I'm thinking about starting a garden off my patio... any suggestions? How do I start? What do I plant? I'm in Southern CA... I was thinking roses. I need to brighten up the place.
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pattit
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Joined: 25 Nov 2006
Posts: 6178
Location: Central PA

PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My hubby would say, plant something you can eat. If you love a good tomato, try growing a tomato in a container. Flowers would be nice also. I have good luck with petunias, but then we live in different corners of the world, tee hee. I do know that you have to really keep on top of watering plants in containers. Oooops now I see that you said "off' your patio. Hey, the sky is the limit!
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Babette
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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I should post a photo of where I'm talking about. I have a strip of dirt I'd like to fill with flowers and food plants. I had a dream last night that I planted a small vinyard.. hahahah isn't that funny? I was going to open a Hollywood winery from the grapes I grew.
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cyberchef
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Joined: 02 Dec 2006
Posts: 47
Location: Memphis, TN

PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 10:58 pm    Post subject: How does my garden grow? Reply with quote

This year, I received a beautiful rose bush (see my pic?) for a "happy" (present for no reason) from my son. I have planted it and it sits out front near our little front stoop. We live in a zero lot line home with a tiny front yard and a modest (but nice) fenced backyard.

We have designated a portion of our backyard this year for a vegetable garden. We have built a raised bed (as our soil is so bad) and had 5 yards of garden prepped soil brought in. Last night we went and selected what veggies we are going to grow. Planting will begin over this weekend.

We are growing: beefsteak tomatoes, yellow pear tomatoes and grape tomatoes, beets, green onions, peas, green beans, carrots, squash, cucumbers (for pickles), and a few herbs (chive, pineapple sage, tarragon, rosemary and a few mint varieties). We have grown gardens in previous years but not in our own yard. Last year at a community test farm and years before on my inlaws' acreage in a rural area just thirty minutes away. We are excited to be able to more closely watch this one!!!
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kitchensqueen
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Joined: 01 May 2007
Posts: 186
Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2007 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a huge gardener, and I do it all inside my apartment because we have no outdoor spot of our own. I list lots of info on getting started and maintaining small gardens at my blog, but a few recommedations:

If this is your first garden, I recommend starting with a salad garden. Really simple. Lettuce, green onions, carrots, tomatoes. For the tomatoes, I'd suggest a bush variety (listed as determinate in seed catalogs) like Tiny Tim because they're space efficient and won't need an elaborate trellis system. For fruits I'd recommend strawberries for a beginner. Once you get more experience, you can go all out even in a small space with espalier or columnar fruit trees if you want.

Don't forget to use hanging baskets and containers to maximize your space. A lot can be grown this way. The book The Bountiful Container is an excellent resource for container growing. Another good book for beginngers is You Grow Girl by Gayla Trail.

For bright color in flower form that's easy to grow I'd suggest a small sunflower like Music Box. These can even be grown in containers.
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Frank
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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use a "strawberry planter" to grow my basil. It works great and by mid summer it's full. It looks nice on the patio, too.

When I was a kid, we had a HUGE garden. It was easily 40x80. That was a lot of work.

My first garden here was small - about 4x4. I planted tomatoes, onions, shallots, carrots, garlic and green beans. The soil wasn't ready for the tomatoes so they didn't grow very well, but everything else took off.
The carrots were monsterous!
This year, in addition to the basil, I'm planting onions, garlic and shallots - these are so much more pungent and flavorful out of my garden than from the grocery store - especially the garlic. I'm sticking to the things I use the most when cooking.
The nice thing is, at the end of the season when I pick everything, I dry the basil and hang it up, hang the onions and shallots in nets in the basement and put the garlic in a "garlic cellar" so I can use all of it throughout the fall and into the winter.

You don't need much to start this kind of garden:
-a few packets of basil seeds
-an onion set
-a shallot set
-a head of garlic
And you don't need a whole lot of space, either. You could actually put them all in planters instead of the ground, depending on how much you actually want to grow.

The only real problem can be hungery critters. But if you plant marigolds (or some other thick growing flowers) around the border, you can pretty much stop the rabbits (It really works - they don't like to go through borders like flowers, they'd just as soon go somewhere else). Other than that, get a small section of chicken wire and fence it in.
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kitchensqueen
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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frank, it sounds like you've got a pretty good garden going! Are you using the square foot method?

Also, what's a "garlic cellar"? I've never heard of that.
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Babette
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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm going to post some photo of the area so you can tell me if it's big enough. BRB
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Frank
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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not exactly sure what the square foot method is - I'm not sure if I'm using it or not. I've always planted my sets just so far apart, rows just so far apart. Please explain the square foot method.

A garlic cellar is a small type of crock for storing garlic out of light. They're about 6-8" high and about 4-6" in diameter. Mine is ceramic, shaped like a head of garlic and will fit 3-4 good size heads of garlic inside.
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kitchensqueen
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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, of course I've seen garlic cellars! I just never knew they had a proper name other than "that garlic dish thing". Smile

The square foot method is a form of intensive bed gardening, where the bed is divided into square feet and plants are planted equidistant (according to growing needs) from each other. Vining crops are planted on trellises to maximize space. The goal is maximum yield from minimum space. Mel Bartholomew coined the phrase and the method and has written an excellent book detailing specifics called "Square Foot Gardening".
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