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Thread: First time starting a garden. (General Questions)

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  1. #1

    Default First time starting a garden. (General Questions)

    My wife and I live in an apartment in South-Eastern Ohio with little useable space for gardening. That being said we are looking to start our first "garden" and I could use a little advice on how and when to plant some of the things which we were looking to grow.

    We were planning to grow:


    The problem, however, as I mentioned before is that we have very little useable space which is also complicated by the fact that we are attempting to not use plastic. So the plan is to use wooden boxes for herb beds on our patio (which is about 30 feet long with full sun), and burlap sack planters for the root veggies. I was wondering if anyone knows if this is a viable option for what we are looking to plant, or has advice that may make this a somewhat easier endeavor as we are very new to this.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2


    You won't be able to grow most of your list.

    Your burlap sack idea will not work because it will drain too much and dry out too fast and the plants will not get enough water.

    Many herbs like dry soils though and do well in pots. the mints, basil, parsley, thyme.

    Broccoli is a heavy feeder that doesn't like containers, though you can make it work.

    I would cross onions and carrots and garlic off just because they're not high value crops, and you don't have a proper garden to plant them in.

    The lettuce and the spinach are early season crops, they do well before the weather gets warm. You can do them in containers, though they will need extra water if they get a lot of sun or get hot (those leaves respirate a lot of fluid).

    Tomatoes are of course famous for containers. Big self watering containers especially, google "earth box" or "grow box"

    If you're really really diligent about watering you can grow zucchini, squash, melons, etc from containers. But you need to water a ton, those huge leaves really need moisture. The plants will tell you when you need to water though by drooping obviously.

  3. #3


    Hi, I just replied to another post but I thought it may be some help for you to hear this as well. I just went on a tour of a farm in Texas where they were using these things called "Grow bags" or "root pouches" or something like that. I'm going to try to upload a picture for you. They are biodegradable bags that you would be able to line your patio with. DSC_0046 (3).jpg They had a lot of them there so maybe you could contact them if you haven't found a solution yet (Google aquaponics and earth sustainable living).

  4. #4
    New Users
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Palo alto, ca


    I agree with the grow bags, they seem to be better at keeping the water vs burlap. I do my potatoes and get fingerlings a couple times a month. Dig around in the bag without pulling up the plant and it will continue to supply potatoes for the season. Check your local hydroponics store for the best prices or go on line to Gardeners Supply. The other plant I would add to your list is peppers. They love pots as their roots stay warmer. The most prolific bearers are the Hungarian bananas, they don't have the bell flavor but are great in everything with just a little spice if picked green or yellow.

  5. #5


    To open up some space I'd make sure to follow Chris' suggestion to grow your small herbs (parsley, thyme, etc) in pots away from the garden. If you have enough light available I've seen these flourish in a simple window arrangement.

  6. #6
    Registered Users
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Pacifica, CA


    If you are growing lettuce in the summer months, I would suggest shading them from full sun with a lattice leaning over them or some kind of latticed tent. Otherwise, they can bolt.

    Definitely keep the mints and oregano in pots since they like to spread from root runners.

    If you don't like plastic pots, I would suggest glazed terra cotta or glazed clay pots. The glaze will help retain the moisture. Otherwise, the moisture gets pulled into the pot walls and is released to the outside air. Wood is hard to keep moist for the same reason, and will eventually rot out. If you are building wooden planters, be careful when buying wood-- do not get pressure treated. Sure, it will last long, but it will leach chemicals into your soil and then into your food's roots. I would go for sustainably grown and gathered redwood.
    Charm Dreier

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  7. #7

    Default First Time Strawberries

    I am sorry to interrupt and as a new member I do not understand how to start my own blog so please excuse my inabilities. I purchased a large pot of evergreen strawberries at my local nursery. I split the pot into six sections, dug out six holes in a blocked off portion of my yard, mixed the dirt with good compost into a mound and set the section of strawberry from the pot onto the mound and without thinking pulled the excess original dirt surrounding the plant to support it while I did the same with the other five sections about 3 feet apart. I then placed weed screen around everything and help everything in place with 4 year old horse manure. Everything did good until yesterday December 7 (I live in Virginia in grow range 7a) when I noticed reddish brown leaves on several plants. I immediately applied Miracle Grow on each plant, and today I pulled back the straw and cut away the weed screening and dug around each plant finding little white root hairs trying to grow into the unrich sandy soil from the original holes. I filled each trenches I had dug with good rich compost and then recovered everything as before. I am sorry I did not do enough research prior to planting. Does anyone have an helpful suggestions?

  8. #8


    First off welcome DL. I'm not sure what you are asking. Strawberries naturally send out runners, and this is what you are probably seeing. Kinda tells my your strawberries are doing just fine. If you are trying to contain them, that might be a little difficult unless you box them off.

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