herbs and veggies

zeak(6b)April 1, 2013

Hi there. We live in Bethesda MD and want to start growing some of our own herbs, fruits and veggies. Because of deer and rabbit in our area and space limitations, we can't do a ground level garden. We're exploring having potted pants stacked on outdoor shelves. What specific herbs, plants and veggies thrive in this area and can be put in large pots? Thanks.

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shadysite(8)

Zeak, I used to live in Bethesda and now am in Chevy Chase right next to Rock Creek Park and hordes of hungry deer.

My experience is that you can grow all herbs in the ground except basil, which they snap up. So, if you use herbs for cooking or tea, go ahead and plant rosemary, oregano, marjoram, sage, thyme AND pot up some mint and lemon balm which are wonderful in salads but can take over your yard if you put them in the ground.

If you go with pots, buy DWARF or COMPACT plants and follow the directions on the packet. There are many tomatoes, peppers, etc. bred specifically for pots because they are compact and productive.

However, I would highly encourage you to make an inground garden, raised bed if you wish to avoid total clay soil, and stake it every one or two feet with bamboo poles or PVC 6 feet high and then wrap it in bird netting -- plastic, cheap, and seems to get the deer to continue to someplace else with easily available hosta. Both I and a friend use this rather than a sturdier fence with chicken wire or metal. The deer will get anything that goes over the fence and you will have to figure out some kind of people friendly opening, but I picked tomatoes through and over my "fence" last year. By growing flowers and herbs in front of it, I got many sweet comments from my neighbors, even though the veggies were right in the front yard.

Also deer seem to change their preferences from year to year. One year I harvested unprotected kale for the full season and into winter, the next year I had to protect it.

If you have a raised deck with sun, put your pots there. They could go for them, but they don't much like climbing stairs.

Good luck, and enjoy your harvest,

Lisa

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 5:05PM
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