2018 Container Gardening–Week Three

Here’s what is going on in my garden this week– this week I transplanted everything that I had in containers and smaller pots to their final pot destination. I also used Purple Cows BioActive All-Purpose Fertilizer on all my veggies, fruits and flowers. My total garden this year consists of 2 patio tomato plants bought approx. 6 weeks ago at 6″-that are now 12″ plants. I bought my tomato plants from Bauer’s Market Place in LaCrescent Mn which is about 90 minutes from home because they are the only tomato plants that can survive how extremely hot our deck is winter, spring, summer, and fall (north face). They’re hardy plants for sure– I brought them home as 6″ plants and after a couple of days replanted them in smaller pots filled with Purple Cow Soil. Now today, 6 weeks later, and double in size they were ready to be transplanted into larger pots of Purple  Cow Soil.

I also have two heirloom pear tomato plants, one pepper plant, one large bunch of lavender, a lavender topiary, a prairie grass plant, two red geraniums, a small fuchsia, a small new guinea impatiens, a small rosemary plant, a lime coleus, and my big planter full of hens and chicks. Also, my lovely rehabbed evergreen tree, which took me three years of TLC, but finally he is back and all green and healthy again! The first year both of these trees were fine on our deck. The second winter they both turned brown. I read somewhere that what was wrong with them was winter burn–sunscald. That second spring I shook all needles off both of them, but by fall only one looked close to being alive. So that winter I covered it up halfway with a blanket, mulched it, and of course continued to frequently water it. That next spring the soil it was in seemed to be rotten, so I replanted it in Purple Cow Soil (my first year using it), I fertilized it, and this past winter wrapped just the root area of the pot. I watered it every 3 weeks or so, and once warmer weather began, I started misting it. Voila!

My sugar snaps for the third year were a fail, and my nasturtiums don’t seem to want to flower. No clue what is up with that? Something new I am trying this year with my tomatoes is a ground cover around the bottom of the stems and on top of the soil. I am hoping to keep my plant foliage dry and warm up the soil a bit. Warm soil=lots of ripe & juicy tomatoes. This year I am focusing solely on growing great tomatoes. Hence why I have so few containers of plants growing on my deck this year.  The sun can get to be 108-110 degrees on our deck during summer, and the wind 20-25mph or more if tornado-like weather comes through. For me to container garden at our current place I have to start with good hardy plants and last year learned–top of the line good soil.

This is my tenth year gardening at this apartment. My goal has always been to learn how to grow my own food. Along with that, I have learned that gardening is good therapy for me. I know that sounds like a cliche, but it is so very true. I think the therapy for me, and probably for others comes from the process of gardening. I used to think people meant planting, weeding, and watering was therapy. When it wasn’t working for me, I wondered what I was doing wrong. It wasn’t until we moved into this apartment and my PTSD was getting hard for me to manage that I decided to give it another go on our deck. From the challenges of growing things in containers to keeping plants watered in front of and after the days’ hot sun, to producing a yield, showing up, and accepting the challenge. Gardening has become very therapeutic for me indeed. Not giving up is also very therapeutic.  I have never let living in an apartment stop me from gardening. Though until last year, when I finally found some good soil, previous years were kind of in vain. I could grow good, but not great plants, and my yields were little to none. Also my flowers would last a month and then stop flowering and basically die. Last years garden was absolutely fabulous–in October I still had geraniums flowering and tomatoes on the vine!



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