We have had 2 1/4″ of rain this past week. Since all of the plants are still small, the containers are getting a good soaking. When the plants get larger, the rain doesn’t help much to water the soil in the containers, because the leaves divert the rain water past the edges of the containers. But the plant leaves sure love soaking up the rain!
The rain fills my rain barrels though, which I then use to water the containers. I just fill up a bunch of saved milk jugs and pull them around on my little cart. It’s an old wheeled luggage carrier and soda crate that I zip-tied together. With 6 gallons of water, it weighs about 50#, but it is really easy to pull.
If I need to do a lot of watering, I have a 50′ pocket hose that I can manage easily.
I can also use the cart to move plants around the yard.
I added some seedlings to some of the containers and weeded all of them. Some of the seedlings were on the small side, so I added a ring of dried grass clippings around each one and then put a little “tent” over them to protect them from both the sun and being beat down into the soil by the rain until they are a little bigger. I’ll adjust them every couple of days to allow more exposure to sun and rain.
The “tent” material looks like plastic needlepoint canvas. I don’t remember where I originally got the roll, but I have used it for years to protect seedlings and transplants. I have cut small rectangles out of part of it and I use a couple of wooden skewers pushed into the soil to hold them in place over the little plants. Shown in the photo below.
I also have some of the plastic cut to fit, and then zip-tied to small hula hoops that fit the tops of my rain barrels, to help keep frogs out. These also work well to shade larger plants (see below) when propped up at different levels to gradually harden off the tender plants.
After Hubby mows this week and the grass clippings have a chance to dry out some, I will mulch most of the containers with the dried clippings.
Beans, Cantaloupes & Squash
The beans haven’t started flowering, so no beans yet. On the left side of picture below, along the back of greenhouse frame, the Italian Flat Green Beans are between the yellow squash and Zucchini. On the right side of picture, along the east side of greenhouse frame, the regular green beans are in the 2nd and 4th containers.
The yellow squash has been flowering, so shouldn’t be much longer before it starts producing.
Apparently, when taking pictures, I cut off the newly planted Zucchini container at the top of the picture on the right side. I planted Zucchini in the fifth container on the side of the greenhouse frame a few days ago. The Zucchini plants in both end containers are getting bigger, but no blooms yet.
Cages were added to the yellow squash and Zucchini containers, because both are supposed to be able to be grown vertically, IF training is started early. The cages are large tomato cages turned upside down and the end wires folded back so that I don’t stab myself. It’s been known to happen.
I’m also not mulching the squash and Zucchini. I’m hoping between having them in different containers, and in different locations than last year, and no mulch, that the squash bugs don’t find the plants too soon and if they do, they won’t have a place to hide.
The mini cantaloupes are settling in. I expect them to take off growing by next week. I’ll put their cages in place at that time. They are in the first and third containers on the right side of the picture above, and a better view of the same cantaloupe plants two pictures up under the hula hoop-framed plastic net.
The jalapenos are starting to flower. The larger pablano peppers are producing already. I added pablano seedlings to each of the hot pepper containers, so that there are three plants in each one.
The last container with day lilies now have gladiolas bulbs planted behind the day lilies.
The tomatoes are doing wonderful! We have a couple of baby tomatoes already. I am totally impressed! I had missed a small clump of volunteer tomatoes, from when I first prepared the containers to plant my tomato transplants. They are now about 8″ tall and will be relocated to buckets soon.
I decided to transplant some ‘large red cherry tomato’ seedlings (that I had started in seed trays) in the one container just around the corner of the little green shed between the tomato row along the side and the cucumber row across the back. These were planted here instead of the yellow cherry tomato volunteers. Pictured below with the net covering.
The cucumbers are going crazy! They have lots of blooms and baby cucumbers! I planted ‘Straight 8’ for salads and fresh eating.
I also like to add a couple of cucumber slices and a slice or two of lemon to a quart jar of water for a cold, refreshing drink in hot weather.
Squash & Cherry Tomatoes
I decided to go with the extra Zucchini and Yellow Squash plants I had, plus the volunteer yellow cherry tomatoes in these three containers.
I’m keeping a net tent over the tiny tomato seedlings, because of all of the heavy rain. I will keep the protective cover on them at least for the next week.
I sure hope that’s true about the Zucchini and Squash growing vertical, because I want to kind of cover this side of the shed.
I’ve got herbs in hanging pots on the porch too, but I love having herbs in these long planters on the wire shelves. They smell really good when I walk by, but I also want lots of herbs to cook with and dry for medicinal use.
I still have to install the shelf in the middle of the bottom half of the center unit, and there’s also an empty shelf at the top. I’m not sure what plants I’m going to add yet.
I’m working on propagating herbs for an in-ground perennial herb bed, too. Some are already in the pots shown with the cart in the first picture.
The bell peppers are also doing well. They are on the small side,but are already starting to produce baby bells!
They are not in containers, but I love my blackberries! So here’s a picture with some pretty blooms. They are already starting to produce berries!
I saw an old wood ladder set up with plants and old decorative stuff and I loved it! I finally found one (on top of a dumpster during a neighborhood clean-up), drug it home and set it up. Then I found two more at yard sales!
This is the first ladder I brought home. It sits next to my rain barrel and in front of the electric meter pedestal at the corner of the house.
I have a five gallon bucket with Black Eyed Susan sitting under it, for the ladder to serve as a trellis for the vines, plus a couple of more buckets with plants that don’t have a permanent home yet. There is also a pair of plastic chickens, and a cheap garden rock-looking thing with a saying on it. Last year I had a couple of decorative birdhouses on the shelves, along with a bunch of little dollar store bird figurines.
I am not really a flower person, as I prefer to grow vegetables. However, I have slowly started planting flowers here and there through the years. Now that you know that, that Black Eyed Susan under the ladder may or may not be a vine. If it’s a vine, it will grow up to 8′ tall. If not, it will only be about 2′ tall. Either way, it will be both a surprise and beautiful!
More to Come…
Now that I’m through planting the current large containers, we’re going to start a couple of large containers for sweet potatoes. The original plan was to put them in the ground, but it would take too much work to get the space ready.
I have grown sweet potatoes in containers before, so I know they’ll grow. Most of them were on the small side, but I did have one or two 3# sweet potatoes in each container.
Plus the 5 gallon buckets for the volunteer tomato plants, and maybe a few other plants.