Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Container Gardening Hits and Misses

Each year I have garden hits and misses. But even things that don't do well teach me something. This year I added more pots on the deck to increase my "acreage." My hits were:

My misses were:
  • Zucchini (smaller)
  • Eggplant (died)
  • Burpless Cukes (died)
  • English Cukes (died)
  • Pumpkin (no sets)
I learned not to give up on cucumbers. After two types died, the third was a success. I'm going to try eggplant again next year just to make sure and I'll augment the soil or rotate crops to get my zucchini back up to par.

Do you do container vegetable gardening? What are some of your hits and misses? - Margy


  1. Beautiful-looking veggies, Margy.
    I only tried container-gardening vegetables once, just a mesclun mix for salads, but the plants stayed very very small, hardly worth the effort.
    What I grow best is squashes in my garden plot in the southwest corner of the yard. One year some of my squashes grew up the blue spruce tree. When they got heavy, they came down again, suffering no damage. My favorite squash is Butternut, but my husband bought an acorn squash a couple of weeks ago and it was good. I think I'll stick wish squashes from now on because I don't think Lindy will eat them. (I hope.)
    -- K

  2. Well done Margy. Your hits list far exceeds the misses list, that's a good thing. You do an amazing job with container gardening. Bravo!

  3. Well done Margy on such a lot of produce from such a small space. I have absolutely no idea what cukes are, so I am off to google them! x

  4. Terrific looking veggies, Margy! And a great list...congratulations.

    I grow tomatoes in containers and they do quite well in very large containers. I also grow them in smaller containers in the little cold frame green house.

    We had three cukes and then the plants died. I think it was because of the smoke...I had a very poor harvest this year because the sun was obscured for much of August.

    The kale crop was amazing, though, as were the cabbages. Carrots did poorly, though.

    There's always next year!

  5. Your veggies look great. I wish we had more sun at our place so we could grow more things.
    Hugs ♥♥♥

  6. Kay - Lindy does make growing veggies a challenge. Be careful with squash, they make great balls to play with.

    Lorie - Thanks for the nice comments. It is always fun to eat something home grown.

    Fran - Cukes is short for cucumbers. I needs a shorter word to fit the space. Sorry.

    Marion - While my plants in pots did well, my float garden had lots of trouble. I think it was the cool spring and hot summer.

    Betty - Did you try potatoes again? Didn't they work for you before?


  7. What did you find unique about the Sunshine Coast people have to look out for? Did you have any hanging containers with veggies? Thanks Duane in Sechelt, BC

  8. That's quite a list Margy...considering you are surrounded by water. I had more misses than you on solid ground. I think we are heading to the cabin this morning to start the knotty pine on the other side of the roof. Funny but I love to work up the cabin, much more than here at home. Well our land home.

  9. Duane - I only did free standing pots, no hanging ones. We get quite a bit of wind up at the cabin so I need things that won't blow down or away in strong gusts. As far as tips for people on the Sunshine Coast:

    1. Start seeds indoors early or buy seedlings at the nursery for plants that have a longer growing season like peppers. tomatoes, cucumbers.

    2. Start bean and pea seeds directly in the soil after it has warmed up a bit or use peat pellets and transplant them right when they sprout. Transplanting later seems to be harder on the seedlings.

    3. Seed potatoes can be cut or used whole. Continue to bury the foliage as it grows until the pot is full. That gives you more potatoes.

    4. In the summer sun (after all we are the Sunshine Coast) pots need more watering than garden beds. Mulch with leaves or newspaper if you have to go away for more than three days without watering.

    5. Harvest frequently to keep plants producing, especially peas and beans.

    6. A small container or raised bed garden can give you lots of fresh produce, even enough to preserve some for winter.

    7. Veggies in pots can be ornamental as well as productive. I planted Scarlet Runner Beans this year and had lots of beautiful red flowers that hummingbirds loved.

    8. Buy seeds and seedlings locally so that you know they are adapted to your region. Save some seeds of your own for the following season. Peas and beans are easy ones to start with.

    That's about all I can think of right now. Maybe this would make another good post later on.


  10. Margaret - I know what you mean. I love working at the cabin. In town I just want to be a slug. Maybe it's because there's no TV or Internet to distract us. - Margy

  11. Colin Franklin11:31 PM

    Why not hand pollenate those plant with waterpaint brush this way you can be sure of developing fruit on your pumpkins male flower can broken off your pumpkin and petals back touching stamens in female with male will give a sure pumpkin plant. Brush method can be used on cucumbers tpp/

  12. Thanks for the tips Colin. I did try some hand pollinating but still had no success. My guess is that with the pumpkins uneven watering in the pots caused many of the sets to not mature. One got about the size of a baseball but rotted on the vine. My cucumbers did fine as soon as I was able to get a plant to survive. - Margy


We welcome your comments and questions. - Wayne and Margy