Whole Foods Lifestyle - Grow My Own Vegetables?

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04-07-2010, 09:39 PM
Can I do that? I've never tried before, at least not since I was a kid, but I
'm kind of thinking I'd like to give it a try this year. I was thinking...spinach of course, mixed leaf lettuce and maybe zucchini. Can all these be grown in containers? Does anyone know if deer will eat the zucchini or leave them alone? And I'll grow herbs of course. I used to do that in Denver, but never since I've lived here. I LOVE to cook with fresh herbs! And make applemint tea!!!

Has anyone tried those thingies for growing tomatoes upside down?


04-07-2010, 10:04 PM
I do square foot gardening in raised beds and self watering containers.


If you are looking mainly at herbs and greens, you might try a salad table.


Get n healthy
04-07-2010, 10:16 PM
I grow a few veggies and herbs. I have had great luck with zucchini and we have bunnies, but no deer though. The upside down tomatoes work well, or at least my mom's did last summer. Green peppers are an easy one for pots too and they are SO expensive at my grocery store right now ($1.99 per pepper YIKES). Sugar snap peas do great in a container too, but i dont know if the deer will eat them or not, i have to do mine in a pot to keep the bunnies away from them. Strawberries are pretty in a pot too.

Good luck!

04-07-2010, 10:27 PM
I can put a lot of stuff in the back yard where the deer can't get to it, but was thinking about putting some out front. On my way to check out those links.



04-07-2010, 11:01 PM
My local farmers' market sells a growing mixed-greens lettuce bowl.

You can grow your tomatoes upside-down with a DIY bucket, here: http://oldfashionedliving.com/tomato2.html My mom did hers upside down last year, but did it with some kind of homemade burlap-bag concoction. It seemed to work out pretty well.

Congratulations on your decision! Come back and share what you decide to do. Fun!

04-07-2010, 11:17 PM
Thanks! I really like the table...woiuldn't have to bend over to garden. It looks like a project maybe for next year. Right now, I have several old washtubs that I was thinking I could use for my containers out back and they would be kind of decorative looking too. Robert has a week off next week and it's yardwork time, so I'm hoping we can at least getit figuredout and maybe get seeds ready to start. It's kind of early, but maybe with some plastic covers...I'll post pics if we get that far.


04-07-2010, 11:40 PM
Hyacinth-That site for the bucket hanging thingie is way good. Planting in the top and the bottom both. I wonder where I can get clean empty buckets...hmmm....


04-08-2010, 12:35 AM
Clean 5 gallon buckets can be had at Home Depot, Lowe's, etc.

Slightly cheaper if you go to a Firehouse subs place and buy theirs that used to have pickles in it.


04-08-2010, 12:56 AM
I'm excited to grow my own. We went to walmart and got a jiffy pellet starter kit thingy to put seeds in. Seeds for heirloom tomatoes and peppers. Love the colors. Spinach, 3 pkgs of mixed salad greens, spinach, cucmbers. zucchni. Oh and a basil plant, can't remember the variety off the top of my head. We don't have any of the big box home improvement stores here, but perhaps the locally owned ones. Otherwise, next time I'm in the city, I think I'll look at Lowe's etc. like you suggested, Apostrophe. Anf if Robert can find the time, we'll make a salad table also out back. The dogs won't be able to stomp all over it, I think.

I've always been a great flower gardener. We had tons of flowers at our house in Denver, before we moved here. I hurt my back the first summer I was here and just never got enough gumption to do much, but this year we are doing a bunch of yard renovation and landscaping...finally. I can't wait to see if I can make vegetables grow! It will be fun to eat things I made myself. I'm like a little kid. And I remember how good the lettuce and other veg tasted when I really was a child and we had a garden. YUMMY!


04-08-2010, 07:45 AM
When I started gardening a few years ago, my first attempts were at a container garden - I didn't want to put a bunch of time and money into landscaping since I have a black thumb when it comes to houseplants. I grew several varieties of peppers, tomatoes, and lettuce. I also had strawberries and a ton of herbs. They all grew very well in the containers. I now grow in the ground, but the containers let me dip my toes into gardening with less work and cost, it was well worth it.

lora m
04-08-2010, 12:49 PM
I have a small garden with rather heavy soil and too many snails, so I grow veggies in containers. I've done this with chard, zucchini, chillies, lettuce, basil, tomatoes and more. Also strawberries. I love doing it and always like to have something growing each year. There's something very satisfying about having your first taste of something you've grown yourself and it's invariably better tasting than anything out of the supermarket.

04-08-2010, 01:47 PM
I planted the seeds for the heirloom tomatoes, heirloom peppers, zucchini. and cucumbers this morning in the jiffy pellet greenhouse thingy. I've been watching them carefully, but nothing is growing yet. I think over the weekend we'll find all my fun "vintage" container thingies and get the planting medium in them and figure out where they go. I'm not sure if it's too early yet to plant the spinach and lettuce3 seeds. I know both things like cooler weather, but it has been known to snow here the first week of June. Not that it's cold then. The last frost date is around Mid-May. EEK! I don't want to wait that long. maybe I should start all the stuff inside?? and then just transplant it outside in mid-May? Any advice?


04-08-2010, 05:28 PM
Way to go, Barb! I'm on my 3rd season of veggie gardening, and still learning so much. Mine is mostly in a few small, raised beds. I have one tomato in a self-watering pot.

I had upside-down tomatoes last year (I modified some hanging baskets), and they did very well, until the high winds broke them.

Lettuces, spinach, peppers, and tomatoes should do just fine in containers. I believe zucchini is a vining plant, and will run off. You can try creating some sort of trellis, and growing it vertically. But you'd have to really keep up on the pruning.

Make sure your seedlings are in a nice warm area (indoors, at this point), and that they get plenty of light. Depending on your current climate, you may even need to set them on a heating pad, with a lamp overhead.

When you transplant them into bigger containers, make sure they have plenty of drainage, and use a medium that is specific for container vegetables.

Good luck!

04-10-2010, 07:12 PM
Got my planting mix for containers with pics of veg on the pkging, planted seeds today for the 2 kinds of lettuce, spicy greens and spinach. Everything else is inside. Hoping they all grow. We shall see.

I used fun old washtubs and such for my containers, with holes drilled into the bottom for drainage. They're kinda boring right now, just look like buckets of dirt, but once they start to grow I'll post pics.

Found a couple of old wooden window screen thingies that I will put to good use as salad tables.


04-10-2010, 08:28 PM
What County are you in? Let's suppose it is ladybug county.

Search on Google for "Ladybug County Extension Office" and see when their next veggie garden class is, or if they have the "Ladybug County Vegetable Garden Guide" for your region/zone.


04-10-2010, 08:34 PM
LOL! I have a friend who is a Master Gardener with the county extension office. I only see her in the fall, at craft shows. I should just call...DUH! I always forget what a good resource they are.

Oh and I am really surprised and excited. I planted the other seeds on the 8th of this month, just 2 days ago. One of the cucumber seeds is already sprouting in the jiffy pellet greenhouse thingy. I double checked to make sure that's actually what it was. YUP.


04-11-2010, 06:55 PM
Hi Angelskeep,

I have just started to grow my own small herb-garden. In this way - I do always have fresh herbs for my salads, and i want to try the "method of farming inhouse" before growing the bigger vegtab.

I have chosen some easy ones as timian, persil, oregano.


04-11-2010, 07:30 PM
Hi Lasse! I used to have herbs and will get them going again this year for the first time in a while. I hope my adventure in vegetables works well. Of course I will keep everyone posted!


04-11-2010, 08:05 PM
I have clay soil and not much free area with enough sun for veggies. Best tip I ever got was from WanderingChopstick's blog - use a hard plastic kiddie pool for an instant good sized container garden. I found one on a street corner (hey a few cracks are no problem cuz you are gonna put in some holes for drainage anyway). In the fall I had brocholi, collards and cabbage. Right now I have parsley, basil, eggplant, snap peas, and crookneck squash. I also stick herbs wherever I think they will thrive. Makes cooking a continual experiment (in a good way)

04-11-2010, 08:22 PM
Tommy-that swimming pool is a great idea. If I could find a Mr. Turtle for free, I would even have a lid to keep the moisture in...LOL! Maybe I can buy one of those at the end of the summer when they're on sale and use it next year.

I've gotten a ton of great ideas on here. Thanks EVERYONE!


04-12-2010, 10:23 AM
Good luck to you! I live in an apartment, and I am trying lettuce, green onion, radish, tomato, pepper, chive, cilantro and basil in containers this year. It's definitely an experiment!

I did cucumber last year in a container, and it took over my porch. It was nice to have cucumbers. In stead of deer, I had a big squirrel problem - they'd take the fruits of my plants, and just leave them in the yard with a couple bites out of them.

04-12-2010, 12:59 PM
That's hilarious about hte squirrels. We have like zero of those here for some strange reason.

I'm thrilled to pieces today because more of my seeds inside have sprouted. If I can just keep them alive inside for 4 more weeks, then it will be past the average last frost date and I can put them outside. Yeeehaaa!


04-13-2010, 08:54 AM
Hyacinth-That site for the bucket hanging thingie is way good. Planting in the top and the bottom both. I wonder where I can get clean empty buckets...hmmm....


Call bakeries in your area. Their icingcomes in 5 gallon buckets and usually they are happy to give them away. I use to decorate cakes at a grocery store here and i would get so many it was unreal.

04-13-2010, 10:25 AM
Thanks Terre! We have a bakery 3 blocks from my house. I'llk go and ask them. MJy zucchini seeds and cucumber seeds are sprouting well, no tomatoes and peppers yet, but soon I hope. by the time they are big enough, I should be able to have some buckets ready. yaaay!


04-13-2010, 09:41 PM
I am on the brink of buying a house (short sale, and the process is definitely NOT short!), and as soon as that happens I will start a garden! Meanwhile, I am living vicariously.

My goal is to one day become a Master Gardener.

Tommie - what a great way to use an otherwise useless piece of plastic that would've probably ended up in a landfill! :)

04-16-2010, 09:01 PM
WoooHoooo! My lettuce seeds are peeking up from the soil! YAAAAAY! They are just starting, hopefully soon to be joined by spinach and spicy field greens. All were planted last Saturday, outdoors in containers. My cucumbers and zucchini are coming alng nicely in their jiffy pellets inside. The heirloom tomatoes, also inside are just coming up. No show yet for the heirloom peppers, but hoping any day.

I am having such a GREAT time with my new vegetable growing adventure. I hope they keep going nicely and taste good too!


04-16-2010, 09:06 PM
growing your own is easy but requires a little upkeep. But the harvest you get is so bountiful!! i absolutly love fresh picked veggies! and u know no chemicals were used!

04-20-2010, 04:51 PM
Woohoo! All of my seeds have sprouted and some of the sprouts are starting to get their second leaves. The lettuce and spinach and spicy salad greens in outdoor containers are popping out like mad. I'm thrilled to pieces and can't wait to see what really fresh veg taste like. Oh...and Robert works with a guy who wants to trade game meat for zucchini...so I hope I have a bumper crop of squashes. Elk and venison are pretty lean out here. And they have a sage-y flavor from eating the sagebrush. I can't kill Bambi myself, but I can sure eat him if he's already dead. My dad used to hunt when I was a child and we had lots of game meat then, but o0nly from friends once in a while now. My little veg adventure is growing for sure.


04-20-2010, 11:06 PM
I love gardening. I use the square foot gardening method and have 3 4' squares filled with veggies and herbs. I also have onions/garlic growing in flower beds. It is a lovely hobby.:)

04-21-2010, 12:26 AM
I kindf of have squares, but they're in containers, LOL! I don't think I'm ready for a proper veg garden quite yet, but I'm hoping my experiment goes well this year. I've spent a fortune on container medium so far, so my veg will be expensive!


04-30-2010, 03:16 PM
Hi everyone.

Here's a thread where I may be of some help. Some 15 years ago my doctor advised me to close a stressful business, take some time off, and plant a garden. Of course I was way overweight but I was also smoking and drinking heavily. Ugh. Bad memories. Glad those days are long gone. Back then I did everything 110% and managed to turn gardening into something stressful and competitive too. lol

Anyway, I finished my county's master gardening program and maintained the certification for 7 years. I haven't kept up with the volunteer work to rightfully call myself a master gardener now, but I grow tomatoes for market (over 1000 plants going strong), salad greens (hydroponically about 25 pounds harvested weekly), and a variety of other veggies. All the plants are open pollinated and or heirloom varieties and the growing methods are organic and sustainable. I sell to a market farmer who then sells to the public via a CSA and a couple local markets. I only pick what we eat and let him worry about the rest.

Angelskeep, I chuckled at your last comment because in another forum last year I coached some folks on making their own self watering containers. One of them finally got a beautiful "Kosovo" tomato in September and his wife called it the $250 tomato, because that's what he invested in the project. Most of my 'students' had much better results. The potting mix can be very expensive with large containers. I blend my own, but it still isn't cheap. I prefer using good old mother earth when possible.

I am not a fan of growing tomatoes or any plants upside down. I have used the method many times. I consider it a novelty. The psuedo science and false advertising in the Topsy Turvey ads gets under my skin.

I am a big fan of square foot gardening and my tomatoes are raised in a modified Mittleider Method -- very high density planting. You can google it to see just how little space you really need for a bountiful crop.

I'm happy to answer your questions. I participate in seed exchanges with farmers across the globe and happily mail free seeds of proven heirloom tomatoes to motivated backyard growers I meet in forums like this. It's not just generosity, it's keeping the strains alive and battling big ag's evil hybridization of the seed supply.

04-30-2010, 05:21 PM
Score! I found another kiddie pool (see my post up topic on using them for container gardening) when I was walking the dog in a beautiful canyon this morning. Someone had just tumbled it down a big hillside and it has some cracks and was pretty dirty- not a problem. Later today I will fill with good soil and plant with seeds of chive, flat parsley, rocket, and India mustard, plus starter plants of globe eggplant, cayenne pepper and zuke. My other pool has an eggplant setting, some tiny snap peas, and the squash and cuke are looking lusty. Oh and the tomato plant I put in a really warm spot in a 2 gallon container has 4 bigger than golf ball greenies on it. I am SO excited.

05-02-2010, 12:47 AM
Bob-thanks for letting us know! I just caught this thread tonight. So far so good. Almost all my seeds are up and even the ones outdoors are doing well. I used some old washtubs and such as containers, bought the vegetable medium, and now have lettuce, spicy mixed greens and spinach coming up. Can't plant my heirloom things or the zucchini or cukes outside for a couple more weeks. Wanted to try some upside down (tomatoes) and some regular, all in containers. I have a pergola kind of thing that the tomatoes would be cool hanging from...we shall see.

Tommy-congrats on your 'nother pool! Free is my favorite price! And you must be a lot further south than I am. Even my peonies are just coming up out front...they bloom here late June...in Denver they would have already been done.

The veggies are being interesting so far.


05-05-2010, 01:49 PM
I just thought I'd add some support here - my radishes, onions, and lettuce all sprouted (I'm attempting to grow them in pots - I live in an apartment.) My cilantro, basil, tomato and pepper plants all like the heat and humidity as well (at least one of us does). It's so much fun to see how they are doing!

I lived in WI last year, and had little luck with my tomatoes (between the cold and the squirrels there was no hope!) so I am hoping Maryland will be a better tomato place.

05-12-2010, 05:52 PM
Happy to report that I like radishes including the spicy green tops. I am a veg lover, but this was never a veg I purchased. They grow SO fast- 2 weeks to harvest I think it was. Also happy to report I found ANOTHER kiddie pool sitting on the curb with the trash. So I plan to plant #3 today with habanero pepper, butternut squash, green beans, and more basil. Scored some onions and chard from a neighbor last night so I am going to play with that for dinner. I am in Southern California so my growing season may be further along than some of you brave souls in cooler climes.

05-17-2010, 06:33 PM
I'm so excited! The tomatoes I planted last fall have come back with a fury, and are full of green tomatoes!

I have a very small garden, that started as a square foot garden, but has gotten a bit more "free-form" over the past 3 seasons:


tommy, this is my first season growing chard, and has really been worth it. It keeps growing and growing, no matter how much I cut it, or how warm it gets.

Finding interesting ways to use it has become a bit of a challenge. Mostly I put it in lasagne or other baked pastas. I also like it cooked in a pan, with an egg in the middle. Most recently, I stuffed some leaves:


It's a very versatile veggie - enjoy!