Container Garden Update — May 16, 2014

by A.J. Coltrane

Previous post here.

The peppers and basil were planted in the EarthBoxes last night. If it threatens to get much under 50 degrees the basil will get rolled into the garage. (Note that the boxes now have casters — we bought them when EarthBox had a Valentine’s Day promotion. Money well spent.)

An overview picture:

140516 overview

Far left:  Four boxes of tomatoes (2 plants in each box). Tomatillos in the back box (2 plants)

2nd row from left:  Front box – Basil (6 plants). Back box – Peppers (6 King of the North)

3rd row:  Front box – 6 pepper plants (hot peppers nearest the camera). Back box – 6 Brussels Sprouts in a tulle hoop house.

Right row:  Front box – 6 pepper plants (hot peppers nearest the camera). Back box – 4 cucumber plants. Trellis – 2 zucchini.

Far right container:  Shallots, Arugula, Dill, Radicchio.

Compared to last year it came together in a fairly fast and organized way. With a little deduction the containers mostly arranged themselves. Many of last years’ issues had to do with attempting to mix plants varieties within the boxes — this year it’s all “mono-boxes”. We also tried to make sure that all of the fill tubes will be easy to access. (The tubes are arranged in what amounts to two rows, which should help minimize any wasted watering motion.)

In the front yard, the peas are now doing this:

140516 pea pods

There are maybe two or three dozen pea pods on the vines now. Unfortunately, they’re doing this too:

140516 peas bottom

The leaves on the bottom have withered, and the leaves to to left higher up have turned yellow. I *think* it’s root rot, which is supposed to be caused by poor drainage/too much water. I think it’s interesting that the peas made it through a rainy February/March/April and chose now to crap out. If I’ve correctly identified the root rot then it’s now a race to see how many peas we get before the plants collapse.

Which is… fine, I guess. Pea enation virus would have killed them before too long anyway. Now we’ll be able to use the planter for something else.

Final note:  So far this year we’ve gotten 11.3 pounds of mostly leafy greens out of the containers. At this time last year we’d gotten 1.3 pounds. Starting earlier seems to have helped.

One thought on “Container Garden Update — May 16, 2014

  1. [A comment after more reading.]

    It *may* also be a lack of fertilizer. That’s very possible. I didn’t add supplementary fertilizer, figuring that the peas would “fix” whatever nitrogen was needed.


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