Sunday, May 18, 2008

Container Garden

The Saint and I have always had a vegetable garden of sorts pretty much everywhere we have lived. Our favorite was while in Germany with some German friends. We purchased this cute Gartenhaus to store our tools.

Gartenplatz are a wonderful place to teach and learn gardening as well as a great way to build on American relations.

With our first owned house here in Georgia, we were lucky enough to get a bonus of 2.5 acres of land! We could not wait to get our garden started. But we had so many house renovations to complete before we even looked at the yard. Plus we were in a 5 year drought so not a great time to think of planting anything.

It did not take us long to decide that a vegetable garden would not be feasible for us. We are surrounded by beautiful woods but with the woods comes wildlife.

We knew that the deer, squirrels and rabbits would be a battle so we decided to NOT attempt a veggie garden as we wanted the animals to be our friends. Life was good without a garden.

Then happens Tina's "In the Garden" Blog which I started reading from day one! Tina's blog led me to Dave's "Home Garden" blog. All was fine until everyone started talking about vegetable gardens! I was now missing a vegetable garden in my life. There is nothing like growing your owns veggies to spoil the appetite!

The Saint and I talked about it and we decided that after 6 and half years in this house that we would give veggie gardening a try. First thing was to secure everything from the rabbits. We did not want to spend a lot of money in case this turns out to be a battle that we could not win over the wildlife. We cleared an area on the edge of our natural area beside my Flower Garden which gets some sun. This area has had leaves and pine straw on it for some time so I thought it would be really a great fertile place for a garden.

We found some wire fencing high enough to deter the rabbits and hopefully flimsy enough to deter the squirrels. We will deter the deer by hanging Dial Soap around the fence. I believe that patch measured out at 50 square feet.

With spring rains came a soggy mess in our garden patch. We were thinking of going with Plan B and turning our garden in to a Water Garden! I know in time this area will dry out but I feared that would take too much valuable growing season. Again, the Blogs came into play. I recall all the chat about container plantings so I decided to give it a go.

I had to get this all worked out in my mind before doing one thing. A few weeks ago we were burning brush and the trees we recently cut down to extend our woodshed into a combination Mower garage. The tree trunk was too wet for the Saint to split with the ax so I had the idea for him to cut the trunk into smaller pieces with the chainsaw. As he was cutting about 4 inch slices, I could not help but notice how they looked like stepping stones! Ah, my first idea, make stepping stones in the Container Garden to keep the feet dry! So in the patch went my new free wooden stepping stones. I thought I had snapped a picture of my wood stones but did not so you must use your imagination on this one.

From there, the plan was rolling along in my mind. I stopped by a dollar store and picked up plastic containers. I filled them with fresh Miracle Grow soil for Vegetables. As I was moving the stepping blocks around to accommodate the pathway, I found pesky termites under most of them. Now my cheap way out was foiled by Nature. Out went the free wood stones and in came clay stones to match the pathway of our patio.

Weeds were taking over the bare spots and another idea came to mind. I had been wondering what to do with the hay bales from my Fall Display of Scarecrows frolicking on hay bales. I took the hay bales and spread out the hay on the bare ground.

I had to keep three of the non termite infested wood blocks as a higher point of entry by stepping over the fence. I am not sure what to do if they get termites, but we will cross that bridge when we get to it. I may have to ask Dave for advice on the gate to his raised bed fencing.

So far everything we have planted is flourishing. Pepper, Tomato, Squash, Cucumber, Egg Plant, etc. The seed of the Zucchini, Bean and 7 Gourds finally decided to pop up! I put a Peach Pit in the middle of one container in hopes of producing a Peach Tree but I am not going to hold my breath for anything to happen with that.

To the left is a cowhorn pepper. Never heard of it but the Saint just had to have one! To the right is the Gypsy Pepper. Again, never heard of it but the Saint just had to have one of those also! Hope they are not too hot for me to enjoy...

We have a tomato on one of the vines and blooms galore on the other one.

The Cucumber is taking off and will grab the stakes soon.

We have never tried to grow an egg plant before but thought, what the heck. Lets give it a try!

Hopefully we will have plenty of goodies to call this project a success and if so, next year the garden will expand!

So thanks to Tina and Dave, I am exploring the world of a Vegetable Container Garden!


  1. Well done Skeeter! I think your containers will be successful, mine always did great. They just dry out quicker and you have to water a little more. I didn't do anything special for the gate yet. It just sort of overlaps and hooks in to the posts. Someday I'll put in something better!

  2. The preparation looks like a lot of work, but it will be great fun to watch these veggies grow.

  3. How truely neat looking! Mine was a success and it seemed the veggies tasted better!

  4. Good morning all!
    Skeeter, I had no idea you went to containers for the vegetable but what a super idea to foil that pesky pond of water! And even if it fills up again, the pots will suck it up and be fine. I hope you are soon eating your tomato! P.S. I REALLY want that gartenplatz shed in my garden!

    Hi Dave, Materfamilias and Dawn-and all our blogging buddies this morning!

  5. Good morning all and I hope you all have a really great day.

    Another great post from Skeeter and it already looks like it will be a great success.

  6. Wow, that is a pretty neat idea.

  7. Great idea Skeeter. I've been doing this for 2 yrs. now as I can't get down. The veggies do taste a lot better. Seems the soil here makes things taste a little on the bitter side. Potting soil makes them taste sweeter. I started to get those fiberglass whiskey barrels. That helps a lot & you can get more veggies in them. I also have the big plastic tubs that trees come in. They are nice too.

    Holy Cow---Young'un just found some Cannas bulbs that I had gotten but somehow they got lost. Now the babies are in the ground. Hope they do ok. They are yellow with reddish spots on petals.

    Hello All. Hope you all had a beautiful day. Hope all your gardens are doing fabulous.

  8. Hello everyone! Just returned from an overnight stay in Atlanta with some friends to attend County Fest! We had a blast tailgating in the parking lot and meeting new people. What a wonderful atmosphere! Travis Tritt brought the house down with his set. Weather was perfect and a good relaxing time was had by all...

    Dave, Watering is already an issue but I get out early before the heat hits so hopefully, as the summer steam arrives, it will not be too bad on me. We may add a gate in time but for now I can enter over the fence easily. I just hope the deer don’t walk over it!

    Materfamilias, Hello to you! The prep time was not really that much. We installed the fence in about 45 minutes or so. I filled pots and put in place in about 45 minutes and then planted slips and seeds in about 45 minutes. It took some time to spread the hay bales though as they had been sitting in the woods for a while and were full of water. I did not do any of it in the same day so it was not really that much work.

    Dawn, I am looking forward to the taste of the first picked veggie to compare to the store bought ones! We do have some good roadside stands during the growing season and I will be comparing my spoils to them as well…

    Jean, Thanks for the compliments. Always nice to get a good praise!

    Tina, the pots are plastic so they will not soak up too much of the liquid but I did punch holes in the bottom so maybe the potting soil will remain moist on rainy days. I forgot to mention that I put some gravel in the bottom of each pot to keep them from blowing over in the wind….

    Jillybean, I must give credit to Dave and Tina for this idea and a great idea indeed…

    Lola, The pots are defiantly easier on the back, especially since I had some back pains with all the brick laying a while back! It this years trial garden works out, we will add more containers next year and even expand the space a bit. Only two of my canna bulbs have come up so far and one is a few weeks behind the other and even that one is late! I do not recommend Wal-Mart specials on bulbs as non of the bulbs I picked up this year seem to be doing well…

    I need to go spend some time with my cats now. They missed me over night and are a bit needy right now….

  9. Hi Tina -Jean, Dawn, Lola, Skeeter and of course all the garden guys and gals:) Another really nice day today --we were swimming --yes, hubby put the heater back on so we are enjoying the nice warm water without the scorching temperatures we usually have this time of year. The kiddos should all sleep well --we were easily out there 3 hours:) And, this after I took them on a bike ride:) It takes alot to burn the young-uns energy but I try:0) hahahaha
    This is a great idea --we did a little container garden in Italy on our balcony --we grew cucumbers. Hubby was missing the garden back in the states so we planted them -they turned out great but watering them was something else --they did dry out alot faster than a regular garden. I love how you enclosed it --a friend of mine has a garden that keeps being bothered by deer and bunnies --they have caged just about everything in fence. And, the bunnies are a bit bold --come right out in front of you and try to eat the lettuce, lol. Our friend is 79 years young that has this garden --he said sometimes it doesn't seem worth the time since the deer and bunnies eat all his hard work. I hope his fence works this year:)
    Only a few more days of school --this is the last week and oh what a week. Lots of activity, ceremonies, too much fun:0) Then, the much needed summer break. have a great night y'all!

  10. Skeeter,

    Great post...I am finding myself being influenced by the vegie gardening of all the bloggers, too. Not sure but I think I can hold out a bit longer! Not ready for that level of commitment!


  11. Anonymous, your pool sounds nice and it will really sound nice in about a month! I want a pool so badly but with all the trees and wildlife around us, I dont think it is possible. Well, possible but probably more trouble then it would be worth... More work then fun...

    It does take a lot of play to wear a child down! If only they could somehow bottle up their energy for us older folks! LOL...

    Gail, I am not sure I am ready for this level of commitment either as the animals will be the test for us! Too late for me now... This Blog can be enticing, that’s for sure! But can hardly wait to taste the goodies…

    Oh, Tina, I got a kick out of the “Handi” talk! We still refer to them as Handi’s at times! It took me a long time to order a Diet Coke when we came back to USA. I kept ordering Cola Lite and people would look at me as if I had spoken a foreign language! LOL. I guess in a way, I was! ROFLOL

    Two days of goofing then back to yard work tomorrow for me!
    Good night one and all....

  12. Hey guys! Busy, BUSY day in the garden. Mr. Fix-it had to fix the outside light he just put in two weeks ok. urrrr! I added a stone border to the driveway garden. Such a difference. I am so tired. It has been a while.

    Skeeter, I am so glad you have a veggie garden. I know you don't need a veggie garden to garden, but I think it important. That was an excellent idea adding the gravel.

    Hey about that tailgating? You had an awesome time? It was such a NICE day today. Handies it is. I am not sure why it never caught on and I hadn't heard of cola lite. Learn something new each day.

    We are opening our pool this week. A bit late I know. But this spring has been cold. Good you have a heater anonymous.

    Who else planted veggies? Mom? Nina? Dawn? I know Lola and Anonymous did. Who else?? This is a good idea for hard to grow positions. Anyhow, ttyl.

  13. Hope to have a veggie next year, just can't seem to decide where everything is going, surpose it will come once the mobile is out of here, I really should be working on it but the plants have deterred me. Sure do miss the fresh veggies, taste so much better. Nite guys.
    PS. mom, get a tree?

  14. Dawn, how about a garden where the mobile is now? Grass should not be a problem there...

  15. Dawn, Would you believe that Mardens did not have one tree or shrub in the whole place!!!! Oh well, guess it saved me some money
    cause I refuse to spend full price for one. Maybe next year. They did have a few roses left and I almost got a couple more but figured with 4 new ones this year I'll stick with that as being enough for now. But actually now that I think about it, probably should have as some would look nice in front of Terri-Lynn's deck and since she does not garden at all there will never be anything there. LOL.

    Skeeter I forgot to say yesterday but as a lover and big time user of all holiday dectorations I sure did love your great Halloween
    display. You not only are a good gardener but very artist.

  16. Skeeter, the mobile has a full slab under it, 1/4 of it needs to come up because it is cracked and lifting. Love to take the whole thing up but the minute I do....I'll want it for the pool. We have a huge back yard but it needs work this year, rocks, unlevel, and needs rototilled.
    Mom, I can't believe that I just went on tues and they were loaded with the bargin priced trees, fruit, shrubs, willows---clear down to the loading dock and at least 8 palletts wide. Someone made a good amount of money in a short time.

  17. Yup, Cleaned right smack out!! I could'nt believe it and was so upset I could hardly shop. LOL

  18. Thanks Jean for the compliment on the Fall/Halloween display. I got my inspiration from being in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, TN (Smokey Mountains) one fall for my nephews wedding! They have displays such as mine all over the place! Real nice place to visit in the fall...

    Wow, Dawn, you have a lot of work ahead of you in the yard. Good thing you dont get the steamy humidity we have or it would kill you in the months to come!

    Now, dont y'all go and talk about that store being out of stuff. I passed up on some things the other day because I was in the car and have not yet gotten back in the truck. I now fear, all the good stuff will be gone! Boo hoo...