Container Garden Update #2

| June 7, 2012

Grey ContainerThings have been moving right along with my container garden. Some things are just breaking through the soil, others are growing and of course, there always has to be a less than desirable outcome (or two, or three).

Let’s Get the Bad Out the Way

Okay, my less than desirable outcome has to do with my strawberries and dill. The strawberries seemed like they were going to do very well, and that’s where it ended. They never really grew.

I think the problem began at the nursery. When I purchased my strawberries, some of the flowers had already begun to bloom (in other words, some plants had baby strawberries). Not knowing any better, I thought that was a good thing.

In retrospect, it wasn’t. That meant the strawberry had started to grow but wasn’t getting the proper nutrients to grow properly. I didn’t plant them right away because I was waiting for the bokashi to be ready before planting.

Oh well, a lesson learned for next year. I’m toying with pulling them up and tossing them into my bokashi bucket. I can use that premium soil space to grow something else.

Oh, my Dill. Hmmm. What can I say? I planted some from seed and it didn’t do too well. They all germinated, but I think I messed things up once they germinated. They were long and spindly looking, but I think I over watered them. I read they like dry soil.

I’m not giving up. I’ll try it again once some of my other vegetation simmers down.

Now for the Not so Bad

The not so bad involves arugula and mint from seed.

The arugula is growing well, but I planted too many of them too close together. So, I took half of them and replanted them. The replants are doing a little less well than the original plants. They’re growing, but I lost a few leaves.

Arugula

Healthy Arugula

Mint from seed: Boy they took forever to germinate. I planted them in April and I’m finally beginning to recognize them as mint.

Mint

Mint with one wayward weed that needs to be pulled (on the right)

I know mint is a hardy plant and once it takes off, it really takes off. As a child I remember my father working hard to contain the mint to one area of the yard because they love to spread.

The Good

There are some seeds that once planted make me feel like a real gardener. My mesclun mix is beautiful! Well, not beautiful, but it takes all of about 2 to 3 days to see evidence of planting and they’re growing well.

Mesclun

1st Batch of Mesclun

I was so impressed with the first batch of seeds that I went out and bought another planter to plant the rest of the seeds. Can’t wait until they’re ready to eat.

More Mesclun

Second batch of mesclun

Tomatoes: Nothing has bloomed yet, but the plants are growing like crazy. I have to stake them because they’re toppling over. I see the flowers and expect tomatoes to bud sometime soon.

Peppers: I have two varieties of peppers, jalapeno and cayenne. We love hot peppers in our house so I thought two varieties were enough to get us started.

So far they’re growing taller and the cayenne has a hint of a flower. I’ll just observe them for now, as they seem to be growing just fine.

Tarragon: I planted tarragon seeds and they’ve germinated and are beginning to grow. They look like a line of little tiny green soldiers.

Rosemary: Rosemary is doing  just fine so I’ll leave her alone.

Collards: I was absolutely thrilled to see that my collards have broken ground. This is exciting because I only planted them 4 days ago.

Collards

Just Breaking Ground

Basil:What can I say? The basil is beautiful. I’ve got 5 lovely green basil plants that are growing nicely. For clarification purposes, I did not start the basil from seed.  I purchased small plants from the nursery.

Basil

Beautiful Basil

The Hopeful Plants

The following seeds have yet to break through the soil. I’m not too worried because I only planted them 5 days ago so I’ll continue to wait. Some plants take longer to germinate than others.  My hopefuls are:

  • Broccoli
  • String Beans
  • Catnip
  • Cabbage

I planted catnip because according to research, they’re great for repelling mosquitoes. No, I don’t have a cat, but I do have plenty of mosquitoes.

A Thought for Next Year

Since I’m having such a blast with my containers, I’m contemplating actually planting a garden in the yard next year. It’s just in the contemplation stages at this point, because prepping garden soil is so much more work than prepping containers.

As I continue to create bokashi soil over the winter, I should have enough nutrient rich soil to nourish my garden.

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Category: Container Gardening, Gardening

About the Author ()

Felicia is a bit of a tree hugger and likes to share ways to lighten the toxic burden on the environment.

Comments (2)

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  1. Crystal says:

    Don’t compost your strawberries! They’ll do better next year. And the year after… And the year after that…

    My expert gardener SIL says she’s also found that strawberries don’t like containers and suggests you create a strawberry bed somewhere in your yard or just move them to a place you’d like ground cover. They should tolerate your winters just fine and give you strawberries for years to come.

    Your other plants are looking quite beautiful, btw – congrats on your newbie gardening success!

    • Felicia says:

      Thanks, Crystal! You saved my strawberries!

      It’s funny because we have wild strawberries all over the yard, but we’ve never harvested them.

      Hmmm, guess I’ll be gardening in the yard sooner than I thought. I think I’ll create a raised bed for them so I’ll know which ones are the wild ones and which ones I planted.

      Tell your SIL thanks!