Please help a first-time veggie gardener!

AboutToGetDustyApril 1, 2013

Hi, I'm new to the garden part of gardenweb (but have been helped tremendously by the kitchen folks). I want to a buy a raised garden planter for the patio and have the little ones plant a small veggie/herb garden.

Something like this -

We're in NJ. Any advice on what to plant, when and how? I've planted flowers and basil before, but never attempted something like this. Thanks so much for your help!

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Children love to garden and this is a good idea but you have to choose your plants carefully because that planter is not too deep

You can't plant things like potatoes or tomatoes or peppers they have too big a root. Anything on a vine would take too much room

I suggest a couple of plants of royal burgundy beans. They will be amazed when those wine colored beans turn bright green when they are cooked. You would have to buy a package of seeds but the rest can be planted in your flower beds or saved in a cool dry dark place for another year. Plant them when all danger of frost is past
A few radish because they are fast growers and if they like salads a bit of lettuce. You want them to plant things they like to eat
You could also have a couple of strawberry plants. You can buy mature ones from a nursery that will fruit this year
As for herbs basil is a good one because it is an annul

If you have a nursery nearby that grows their own plants you can get helpful advice of what to get. You don't get that at big box stores.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 9:48PM
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Thanks so much. What about carrots?
What kind of raised planter would work for tomatoes? My kids are begging to grow them. What about grape or cherry tomatoes?

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 5:52PM
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It depends on how deep the planter is. Carrots are root vegetables that grow under the soil. Just take a carrot and measure it and you'll know how much room it needs.

Grape or cherry tomatoes have just as big a root as beef stake tomatoes. In fact they grow a bigger plant. If you want to grow cherry tomatoes get a large 16 inch diameter pot about 2 feet high or something like a half barrel. You can put 2 plants in it. The half barrel may hold 3 plants.

If you want a raised planter for tomatoes and carrots put it on the ground so the roots can go into the soil

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 6:52PM
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    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 7:55PM
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Personally, you really don't need to spend too much on a fancy raised planter. And I agree that the example you showed is too shallow. Not to mention because it is raised, the bottom is exposed to cool temperatures which is not good for roots. Plants thrive when their roots are warm.

You can easily find suitable planters at hardware stores like Lowes. However just make sure you get a depth of more than 6 inches so you have good growth. line the bottom with a landscape fabric. Add some gravel for drainage and then top with good earth. The link here is just to show you ideas on how deep good planters out to be. I have one that's 2 plank deep. good enough for carrots and other taprooted veggies. Mine is set directly on soil so it's got good access to water and earthworms which are essential.

Also a really cheap way to do this is jto make a grow bag our of a large bag of earth. lay it down on the side. Perforate the other side for good drainage. Cut large holes on the other side to grow your plants. It would be good enough to grow tomatoes and peppers. For carrots, any tall pots will do. For potatoes... here;s a very neat trick... Take a tall pot, and lay your potato seeds on the bottom layer. let it grow and as it grows, add more earth just to cover a couple of inches of the growing part.. and by the time the potato grows long enough to reach above the rim of the pot, the area covered with earth would have grown a large number of potatoes. The larger the pot, the more the potato harvest. A very cool thing to do.

However if you like to a more eye pleasing look -- take a look at this...

Here is a link that might be useful: idea

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 10:21AM
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Thanks so much, ianna!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 8:03PM
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