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Table and Container Garden #126509
August 13th, 2005 at 12:29 AM
August 13th, 2005 at 12:29 AM
Joined: Jul 2003
Northern California, Zone 9b
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papito Offline OP
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Some of you are aware that I have been gardening in containers the last 15 years. I have been talking to Merme lately and she asked that I share some idea about Container Gardening in a table setting.

This is not a new idea because Merme already provided us with links to sites with pictures of various devices used in gardening with disabilities.

There is also some idea advanced by Mel Bartholomew of SFG [Square Foot Gardening] see info at http://www.squarefootgardening.com/

Here is a copy of the thread that Merme wants to share with you.

Quote

Hi Merme,

Here are some pictures of tubs I was talking about.

http://www.i-caenterprises.com/images/photo_prod_build_mix_app_l.jpg

The big tub measures 36" X 24" X 8"; capacity is 16 gal.

The other is http://www.capcityequipment.com/mbmothers0244.html

It is a polyethylene tub 25" X 17" X 6" and can hold 2.5 cuft. of soil.

This one is Rubbermaid Roughtote 18 gal. capacity
and measures 24" X 16" X 16.5"...choice of color: green, blue, Khaki.

http://www.epinions.com/Rubbermaid_Roughtote_Storage_Containers

KMart and Target stores sell this Rubbermaid product; when on sale the price goes as low as $3.88 each.

My idea is just to construct a table with frames and support that will fit any one of the item listed above. This way, only the plastic comes in contact with the soil and water. The water drains through the holes drilled at the bottom of the plastic containers.

The plastic doesn't have to be rectangular or square; it can be round. I do use a lot of round containers as pots, but the pots sits directly on the ground.

Using the rectangular Rubbermaid container as an example, 8 of 24 x 16 x 16.5 will give you about
9ft. long by about 3ft. wide table.[4 Rubbermaid plastic on each side of the table]

What do you think?
Ordinarily, the table is constructed using wood material, somewhat resembling a raised bed, except that the table is off the ground by about 2.5ft. to be wheelchair accessible.

Some of my oak [half-wine] barrels deteriorated 10 years or less, 9 are still useable out of the orginal 24. In my opinion, an all wood container doesn't last as long as plastic container. I don't use treated wood.


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Re: Table and Container Garden #126510
August 13th, 2005 at 01:41 AM
August 13th, 2005 at 01:41 AM
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I LOVE Mel Bartholomew's book,
Square Foot Gardening...
I love that book, and read and re~read it often.

Good stuff in there.


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done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
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Re: Table and Container Garden #126511
August 13th, 2005 at 04:37 AM
August 13th, 2005 at 04:37 AM
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Papito ~

THANK YOU for sharing this truly brilliant idea with us in such a detailed manner!

This is a remarkably sane alternative for anyone to consider who can't get to ground level for one reason or another!

Pulling up sod to make way for a new garden can be a daunting task even if one can stand and move freely.

I know my little boy and I had a very difficult time doing it when I was only 6 months post-op, in the wheel chair and just trying to figure things out.

We got a 6' x 1' bed cleared of sod for our Morning Glories seedlings by a fence. We got a 12' x 1.5' bed cleared for a row of Sunflowers by the house, so we did well, but!

Fortunately, our bigger gardens are in established beds that are tilled twice yearly by the landowner. Even so, just working the two new beds was daunting enough!

Yet I recall thinking there HAS to be easier ways of tackling gardening than what we went through, including laying on my tummy in the bigger gardens to get the seeds and seedlings in the ground.

This suggestion you have made utilizing pre-made containers solves SO MANY ISSUES all at once!

Also, this could be a valuable concept for even people NOT in wheelchairs. A person who is able to stand (but perhaps not bend too well) could easily use the flat containers you have found on top of an existing picnic table, then line the benches with narrow window boxes. That would be quite handy as well as an attractive display.

Papito, are there any crops you think that might do better than others in this more flat container arrangement?

Thanks again for this thread!


Merme


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Re: Table and Container Garden #126512
September 7th, 2005 at 10:25 PM
September 7th, 2005 at 10:25 PM
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I use mostly plastic containers, some of which are 1-5 gal. sizes, others are 13" to 17" pots.

The advantage of container gardening is it's mobility, especially if you use casters. If pots are to be placed on cemented patio, they should have saucers to catch run-off that can stain the cemented surface.

Now for vegetable gardening.

There are warm season & cool season vegetables.

I grow vegetables such as beans, cabbage, watercress, eggplants, garlic, herbs,[sweet basil, chives, coriander, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, tarragon, etc], leek, lettuce, onion, oriental cabbage, peas, pepper, potato, radish, shallot, New Zealand spinach, Kabocha squash, tomato, tomatillo, strawberries; and a few flowering plants.

The thing to remember is that, mosts plants will grow in at least 6 inches of soil. Many herbs and few vegetables will do quite well on shalllow containers. Carrot, radish and other deep rooted vegetables will need more than 6 inches of soil, preferably twice the length of mature carrot or radish.

Here is a list of cool season & warm season vegetables:

Cool season:
Artichoke, asparagus, beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, collards, water cress, endive, garlic, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, mustard greens, onions, oriental greens, parsnip, peas, potato, radish, rhubarb, roquette, rutabaga, salsify, shallots, spinach, swiss chard and turnip.

Warm season:
Amaranth, beans, chayote, chicory, collards, corn, cucumber, eggplants, most herbs, jerusalem artichoke, jicama, melon, okra, oriental melons, peanuts, peppers, pumpkin, peas, spinach, squash, sunflower, sweet potatoes, tomatillo, tomato and watermelon.

These are good for containers:

Amaranth, beans, beets, broccoli, some cabbage, carrots, collards, water cress, cucumber, eggplants, herbs, mustard greens, onions, oriental greens, peas, peppers, radish, roquette, shallots, sorrell, spinach [New Zealand], swiss chard, and tomato.

These are prolific producers:

Beans, brussels sprouts, cucumber, herbs, jerusalem artichoke, mustard green, oriental greens, peas, radish, spinach, sprouts, some squash, sunflower, tomatoes.

These are fast maturing:

Amaranth, water cress, most herbs, lettuce, mustard greens, onions [green], radish, roquette, spinach, sprouts, turnips.

When planting, stagger them a week or two apart, so that you will have continued supply of vegetables.

Soil & Fertilizer:

I use store bought potting soil and fertilize the plants according to individual plant requirements. Last season I use both compost and fertizer. Do a pH test on the soil you are going to use. Most garden soil range from 4.5 [very acidic] to 9[very alkaline] before adding any fertilizer. Some plants prefer either acidic or alkaline soil. And, follow label instructions when using/applying fertilizers.

Sunlight requirements:

Some plants requires a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight either under direct sunlight or bright sunlight in protected/shaded areas.

Watering:

plants in containers are subjected to drying heat, hot temperature, and reflected heat and wind that dries the soil and therefore need more watering attention. Water early in the morning; and, depending on the outside tempeerature, you may need to water more than once a day.

Culinary Herbs:

Basil, Chives, Cilantro, Dill, Marjoram, Mint, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Tarragon, Thyme.

Salad greens and flowers:

Arugula, Curley Cress, Endive, Leaf lettuce, Mustard, Radicchio, Sorrel + Calendula, Johnny jump up, Nasturtium, Pansy, Violet.

This year, I also used two hard plastic wading pools and planted them with white potatoes and cherry tomatoes.

Info from my collection of gardening books by various publishers, i.e. Sunset, Ortho, etc.


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Re: Table and Container Garden #126513
November 17th, 2005 at 09:30 AM
November 17th, 2005 at 09:30 AM
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Thaks Papito...I am seriously considering container gardening since we are renting right now.


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Re: Table and Container Garden #126514
November 17th, 2005 at 02:54 PM
November 17th, 2005 at 02:54 PM
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Quote
posted 12-08-2005 by papito: In my opinion, an all wood container doesn't last as long as plastic container. I don't use treated wood.
Papito, I want to pick your brain here, if I may: I wouldn't think that treated wood is good for growing edible plants in, anyway! (Am I right?) Some pretty nasty stuff (Creosote) is injected/pressed into the wood (when it's intended use is to be in contact with the ground or concrete), in effort to make it impervious to decomposition. So, wouldn't those chemicals leach into a plant's system, thereby contaminating its fruit & rendering it dangerous for consumption?

While I'm on the subject of wood in relationship to plants... I see that a lot of wooden planters are made of Cedar, yet I remember that Cedar chips/shavings/sawdust are a no-no in gardens. (When Hubby worked at a Cedar mill, years ago, we'd use the shavings from the planer mill in our chicken coop, to keep the bugs down. When we changed the shavings out, the 'dirty' shavings went into the burn pile instead of in the vegetable garden... something about Cedar having an acid to it that would delay growth or kill the plants or something!)

My question here is, what affect, if any, do Cedar containers have on plants when water leaches whatever Cedar's composition is, into the soil? Does that change the Ph of the soil? (Bottom line, I guess I'm asking if there are some plants that a person wouldn't want to put into Cedar planters?)

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Re: Table and Container Garden #126515
November 18th, 2005 at 07:55 AM
November 18th, 2005 at 07:55 AM
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Wow Patty...you have me shakin a bit here! Every garden I have has cedar mulch in it... shk


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Re: Table and Container Garden #126516
November 18th, 2005 at 12:59 PM
November 18th, 2005 at 12:59 PM
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I am not sure of the answer reguarding cedar, but I did find this: Respiratory toxicity of cedar


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Re: Table and Container Garden #126517
November 19th, 2005 at 01:31 AM
November 19th, 2005 at 01:31 AM
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Quote
I want to pick your brain here, if I may: I wouldn't think that treated wood is good for growing edible plants in, anyway! (Am I right?)
Yes.

Quote
Some pretty nasty stuff (Creosote) is injected/pressed into the wood (when it's intended use is to be in contact with the ground or concrete), in effort to make it impervious to decomposition.
Creosote is only one of the several chemicals used to treat wood. Check this:
Quote

1. Lumber and timber, mostly preserved with inorganic arsenic and chromium formulations
2. Railroad crossties, switch ties and bridge ties, almost all preserved with creosote
3. Poles, 60% preserved with pentachlorophenol, 23% preserved with creosote, and 17% preserved with inorganic preservatives.
4. Fence posts, pilings, plywood, crossarms and other products, mostly preserved with inorganics.
IMHO,the one to avoid the most are the Arsenic and Chrome treated wood. The most common chemical used is Chromated Copper Arsenate [CCA]. I think that CCA or other formulations with arsenic and chrome can longer be used to treat woods as of last year.

Quote
So, wouldn't those chemicals leach into a plant's system, thereby contaminating its fruit & rendering it dangerous for consumption?
If railroad ties or any treated wood are used to border raised beds, then there are possibilities that chemicals can leach to the soil and the water table. These chemicals can be absorbed through the roots of plants and vegetables. Is it dangerous? I really can't tell.

Quote
While I'm on the subject of wood in relationship to plants... I see that a lot of wooden planters are made of Cedar, yet I remember that Cedar chips/shavings/sawdust are a no-no in gardens.
Cedar woods has natural preservative oil that eliminates the need for further chemical treatment, unless the wood is in direct contact with the ground.

Quote
(When Hubby worked at a Cedar mill, years ago, we'd use the shavings from the planer mill in our chicken coop, to keep the bugs down. When we changed the shavings out, the 'dirty' shavings went into the burn pile instead of in the vegetable garden... something about Cedar having an acid to it that would delay growth or kill the plants or something!)
As Comfrey pointed out, plicatic acid is present in Cedar wood. Does this acid leach in the soil? Hard to tell because of the absence of hard data. Normally, this form of resin is extracted using other chemicals at high temperature. Polyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons [PAHs]are also present not only in Cedar woods; but, so are in tobacco smokes, smoke from wood burning stoves and fireplaces, creosote treated wood products; barbequeing, smoking or charring food over fire increases the amount of PAHs in food.

Cedar shavings are not recommended for pets. however, I read that Cedar shavings that are now being used as plant mulches to help control garden pests.

I don't know of any viable alternative for getting rid of treated woods, except in burn file. But that could only be part of solution and probably create more problems. How to get rid of burnt material? If disposed in landfills, there is that possibility again that chemicals could leach to soil and water table.

Quote
My question here is, what affect, if any, do Cedar containers have on plants when water leaches whatever Cedar's composition is, into the soil? Does that change the Ph of the soil? (Bottom line, I guess I'm asking if there are some plants that a person wouldn't want to put into Cedar planters?)
I have no experience with Cedar wood as planter pots because I use Oak wine barrels. But, from what I read, non-edible trees and both flowering and non-flowering plants will do well. IMHO, the untreated Cedar wood can be used for any plant. You may want to line the inside and bottom of the planter with heavy duty plastic liner. Don't forget to poke hole for drainage.

Quote
- Good gravy, have I confused myself again ? ! I hope what I've written makes sense! -
Yes, it makes sense to me, and you raised thought provoking questions for us gardeners.

BTW, did the White Ginger Lilly and Lemon Grass survived?


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Re: Table and Container Garden #126518
November 19th, 2005 at 06:39 AM
November 19th, 2005 at 06:39 AM
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Thanks, Papito! thumbup I knew that you'd probably know about stuff like that, if anyone did!
However,
Quote
I don't know of any viable alternative for getting rid of treated woods, except in burn pile.
I know 1st hand that it is 'unlawful' to burn treated wood with yard waste, in fireplaces/woodstoves, or campfires (who would want to?!), etc. A Fire Marshall told me, a few years back, that EPA could fine a person up to $1,000 for burning Treated wood, because of the toxins that are released into the atmosphere. thumbup


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