How can we create a small outdoor container garden that yields?


We have zero ability as green thumbers. Even the rabbits laugh at our gardening efforts. This year, we'd like to grow a small (small!) container garden on our back porch, but we want the best yield. Nothing pricey, nothing too complicated. Help! p.s. Visit our channel on youtube: Hangin' With The HARLOWS

q how can we create a small outdoor container garden that yields
  4 answers
  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Jan 16, 2019

    How big of a container (height, width and length), and what do you want to plant in it?

    • The HARLOWS The HARLOWS on Jan 16, 2019

      We would like to set the boxes along our patio, so no longer than maybe 3 feet per box. Width 18" or less, and height to accommodate roots of plants. Definitely want tomatoes (sandwich variety). Would also like head lettuce (not iceberg, but leaves that can be harvested multiple times). Open to suggestions, thank you.

  • Susan Davia Susan Davia on Jan 16, 2019

    when planting even from seedlings from a nursery...some plants will never produce...some plants will only produce male flowers..also pollination is very important...

    with tomato plants there is 2 types of plant Determinate Tomato Plants and Indeterminate Tomato Plants... Determinate plants are short, bushy and known to produce early in the season. Once fruiting is done, it's done – the plant will set no more fruit. Indeterminate grow to an undetermined height (can grow over 10 ft!). They are long, leggy, and may set fruit until the first frost,but if you live in an area with short growing season remember this plant will devote most of it's time to growing,not producing.Tomatoes are self-pollinating, meaning they have both the male and female parts. This means that they may be able to pollinate and set fruit even without bees.Big fruiting varieties will only produce an average of six tomatoes per plant for the entire season.Smaller heirloom variety like Red Brandywine are heavy producers and offers a beautiful, medium size fruit.

    Watering,heat,nitrogen,high humidity,poor air circulation,not enough sun,even being too hot all pay into the growth of vegetables...

    • The HARLOWS The HARLOWS on Jan 16, 2019

      Thank you so much. Great info, and the link is super helpful. Have a blessed day!

  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Jan 16, 2019

    For the tomato, I would suggest its own pot, you can get really large plastic pots at places like Home Depot that are pretty cheap. They need lots of room so that they don't shade other plants or take up the whole planter because of the size they can get. Look for the patio tomatoes that are the larger tomato that you want. Look for butter leaf lettuce, I have good luck with that, it will bolt if it gets real hot, I keep mine shaded from the real hot afternoon sun so that it doesn't bolt as quick. I actually had one pot of six that lasted from spring until late fall before it bolted by doing this. As it grows up, you may need to support it. There are actually a lot of the leaf lettuce varieties available in seeds, not so much in plants. Herbs are easy to grow, if you plant mint, make sure it is in a pot or it will take over your whole container eventually. Peppers are easy to grow. You don't want to plant things that will take many plants to harvest enough for a meal at one time. Green beans are one such example. If you want cucumbers, you will want to have them be able to grow up something or you will have massive amounts of vine in your container flowing onto the ground. Remember you are not planting in the ground, so you may have to water more frequently, especially when it is hot out. I sometimes watered my potted tomatoes three times a day when it was really hot. Use a tomato/vegetable fertilizer on your veggies, in pots, they don't get the nutrients from the soil the way planted ones do from the soil. Each time you water some of the nutrients will leach out. If you get a water soluble type like miracle grow, only put it on the soil. If you foliar feed, you may get great healthy plants, but little produce. Tomatoes in pots need extra calcium to prevent blossom end rot. I purchased a calcium supplement that you spray on the leaves and gets right into the plant to give the produce the extra calcium boost to the tomatoes very quickly. You do this just the tomatoes are starting to blush. If you have other questions, just ask and we will all be here to give you the information you need. Good luck!

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    • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Jan 17, 2019

      Your very welcome, Harlows! You may find that once you get the containers growing that you will find out that you may have a green thumb after all. Growing things has a learning curve and gets much easier once you get into it. I have been growing vegetable gardens for nearly forty years and I am still learning things all the time. I seem to be able to grow just about anything outdoors, but indoors I have a black thumb. Hubby has the green thumb for the houseplants and plants overwintered in the house. The only thing I can keep alive is my large terrarium of succulents and I am amazed they are still alive and continue to grow. God does work in mysterious ways in that he matched me, an outdoor plant person with a houseplant person! Have a great day, Harlows!

  • Twyla J Boyer Twyla J Boyer on Jan 16, 2019

    Contact your local Cooperative Extension office. They will have fantastic information on container gardening that will be right for your growing region. They might even have Master Gardeners who will meet with you to give you personal guidance.