cny container gardens

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Jan 22, 2008
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elmer, nj
a few years ago I grew some tomatoes, sweet peppers and herbs in some large containers in my former apartment back yard. a new landlord came to town with dogs, and put in my new lease 'shall have not pots, planters in back yard or back steps'. the tomatoes worked well, so I was encouraged. I hadn't had an opportunity to do any container gardening until this year, but since I moved to a place with a bit of yard space that the landlord doesn't care if we use for flowers or whatever, thought i'd try again. I bought some blue seed potatoes from lowes (in february), but by march they had already started molding/rotting. last month I decided to go online and buy some interesting things and put them into some more containers provided by a co-worker who used to have his own tree/shrub nursery. I planted everything on july 1st, and because of the extreme heat just about everything has been jumping out of the ground. pics were taken july 7th

I know this isn't very exciting, but I thought that I would document everything so that I could keep track of how fast things develop. also someone might want a little of the extra seed!


most of the pots along the northeast fence. mid-largest pots are 20
gallons; i believe the middle one is 25 gallons


5 gallon or so pot near garage, partial shade. blue vienna kohlrabi.
anyone in the utica, ny area need some kohlrabi seedlings? I
planted a lot, and they all came up :)


a small whitish globe eggplant on left; free old seed from one company. no sprouts.
on right, blue jade dwarf sweet corn, short season, excellent for pots! planted
two days later than others, just barely sprouting


quinoa seedlings; jumped out of pot in two days. also will plant in
landscape beds around house when larger


hopi blue corn; ancestral blue corn for meal. fell in love with blue corn
from new mexico, corn meal great for cornbread and many other foods


yellow potatoes left over from last fall, sprouting in bag. also some
sunflower from gift seed packet from red cross after donating; also
a mum seedling that was in soil I brought from work (they were planting
mum seedlings that day, was a stowaway)


all-blue seed potatoes from maine. also a few sunflower


big 25 gallon pot of blue jade dwarf sweet corn


some red meal corn from mother's cousin who has been growing it
for many years. grinds it to feed his chickens. all red kernels

i will need to do a lot of thinning, but for some I was sent a lot of seed
and wanted to use it. I have given some to others, but still have lots of quinoa seed left
Great post! It will be interesting to see how well the quinoa performs. :D This is such a valuable yet much-underappreciated crop!
I'll take some kohlrabi! :D Those pots are too small for full size sunflowers, you know!

I actually have to thin out quite a bit of kohlrabi; if they take shipping I could mail a handful to you (or just send you some seed which is supposed to keep for four years).

I had the sunflower seeds as a gift from the red cross for a platelet donation; I could always pull them out and stick into the ground when they get a little bigger. I just found another packet of seed from another donation that I may start in another pot and then put around the house (or the fence behind the pots)

I also have a 'ton' of quinoa seed.... which I will take hardened shoots from the main pot and put around the foundations until there are four left in the big pot, then leave them there

Great post! It will be interesting to see how well the quinoa performs. :D This is such a valuable yet much-underappreciated crop!

my sister gave me a bunch of rice-type things last fall when I helped her with odds and ends when they were moving, and it's great in rice. I was quite surprised to read about how much protein it has, and how many cultures south of here have used it for a very long time, and that even more are starting to use it in place of meat (which many can't get)

I know it was a little late of a planting time, but I was getting sick of the usual routine of coming home from work and just dropping in my apt somewhere; needed to shake things up and try something new! the blue potatoes and sweet corn will be pretty interesting... potato shoots are coming up everywhere!
second round container pics

two nights ago before the rain, I took some updated pictures of my containers. There are lots of seedlings that I still need to thin out (I hate to throw away good plants). I also took some pictures of things I didn't show before


some of the free 'rosa ?' eggplant seed have germinated


rhubarb from small crown purchased from lowes in march. looks much
better than the two-leaved plant that the squirrels knocked both leaves off of
(which is why there is chicken wire over everything)


l to r; dwarf blue corn and quinoa


closeup of quinoa. for those who know what lambsquarters is, this is
a near cousin. has the same appearance as a sprout


hopi blue corn - meal type corn


l to r; yellow and blue potatoes


herbs purchased from grocery store a few months ago; italian parsley,
chives and lemon thyme/tarragon (wonderful lemon fragrance and
yellow/green leaves)


later planting of blue potatoes


l to r; dwarf blue sweet corn and red meal corn


too many kohlrabi seedlings; must thin and hopefully plant some out


rosemary seedling also purchased from grocery store


some begonias that I grew at work; this is an extremely vigorous variety
that is very similar to the 'dragon-wing' type, though slightly different I
think. they were beautiful plants, but since we are a wholesale grower/seller,
there weren't enough to fill a shelf on a cart, so they were destined to be garbage
they make winged seed pods all the time, so if anyone wanted some seed I
could send them some (don't know how long it takes for them to dry)

my co-worker also brought me a seven-gallon pot planted with eggplant that
is huge! he had eight pots so too many.... I also need to take a picture of my
coffee tree that is pretty small and scrawny. it had mealybugs on it, but the
nice thing about putting plants that have indoor pests outside, is that something
outside will usually make a meal of them (bugs). also the aphids that were on
the grocery store parsley have disappeared
I think this is a good idea. I have a garden but not room for corn. I am going to try to grow corn in pots next year.
Hey good luck with your corn Charles:clap:

You should read Martin Prechtel's book.

Kind of a hard read, but very inspirational for corn growers.

We have a small community garden going down here with some Cherokee corn.

It's about 12'tall presently and putting on ears!!!

Unfortunately its also sensitive to getting blown over by wind and heavy rain. But we've been experimenting with splinting some of the bent over plants with some pretty good success.

Seems like you just can't put in enough supports at the right height to catch it all, and still be able to get through the patch to service it.:confused:

I'm thinking for next year to drill a bunch of holes into a couple lengths of 2X4's, set them up on T posts at either end of the patch, and then run rope back and forth along the rows. At least that should stop the avalanche syndrome.
I might of heard to keep corn apart a bit to prevent cross pollination.

my mother's cousin gave me some all-red meal corn, and he said that he puts that and white/yellow sweet corn each on the far ends of the garden. last year he said that some of the red was starting to have a few white kernels in it

I had to put more chicken wire around the plants to keep the squirrels from chewing on some of the corn and pulling eggplant buds off (eggplant from co-worker)
picture updates

It's been a while since I took any updated pics of my containers. A few of them have gone to other homes (some dwarf blue corn and blue potatoes). My dwarf blue sweet corn plants are doing okay, but the ears aren't developing very much. They only get full sun for half of the day, so they may not turn out that well. The eggplant that my co-worker started and gave to me is growing, flowering and fruiting more than I would have imagined! You can see it slow down a bit when the night temps get a bit low, but it picks up speed again when the nights are warmer


eggplant from co-worker gil willson, has four our five nearly mature
eggplant growing quickly! can't let these dry out in the pot or they decline


dwarf blue sweet corn, plus a few sunflowers poking out here and there


left to right red 'bloody butcher' and blue 'hopi' meal corn


rhubarb; it looks like voles or such have been tunneling through
some of my pots; this looks to be suffering, may have to put close
wire mesh in drain holes to keep them out


quinoa; hasn't performed overly well, but it has been hot and
only gets half day of sun, and may have been too wet at times


left to right yellow store and organic blue potatoes


closer view of blue potato leaves and stems; can see the blue
in the plant as well

kohlrabi plants; need transplanting desperately (as does most


herb pot, with flat italian parsley, chives and lemon thyme (the thyme smells great!)


'rosa' globe whitish eggplant; was free seed with one order; is slow
to germinate and develop, would need to start indoors early


plants from work; petunias in back and dragonwing begonias


kona coffee tree from hawaii


closeup of coffee tree leaves


rosemary 'tree' in training; realized that the pot bottom has
a reservoir that was full, and plant was unhappy (they like
dryish/sunny). brought to side porch


this plant was a dracena/'spike' that was attacked repeatedly by
squirrels, and finally they chewed it off one day. I have more
smaller ones to refill pot, then will wrap it in razor wire (plus
maybe a few land mines)


.... there's one of the tree rats now! anyone have a pellet gun?
I have a 68 caliber paintbll gun or 3! BTW, dont you need to bury the stems of the potatoes to get fruit?

ooh, that would be nice, though don't think the neighbor would like having paint on their dog, deck or baby :) (or their grill, especially).

um, it is very helpful to 'hill' potatoes a few times a season, but that's mainly to cover up any growing tubers, so that they don't get 'sun scald' or turn green, which makes them bitter. these plants are pretty lanky because most of the early morning they are shaded by tall maple and ash trees; usually they stay a bit more compact. I did hill them (dump some extra potting soil on top) a week or so ago, though could have done so earlier.

it was/is a fun experiment, and though things aren't prime (except for gil's eggplant), it gives me a good idea about what to do or not next time. i'm surprised that they tall blue meal corn is tassling out better than the dwarf blue sweet corn, though with so much in that one pot it just may not have enough nutrients. I did feed everything last week, but may need even more
Cool growing Charles!!!!

And thanks for the english name => eggplant! We were with US family in Paris some years ago, and my wife's cousin asked a french vendor when seeing the fruit: What's the name ? That's an aubergine! What's it (in english)? Et bien: an aubergine is an aubergine :D !

I could not help because I did not know the english word at that time :)! Jean