Friday, March 23, 2012

Early Fall Container Garden

I have not posted about our container garden at our small backyard since last year. Well nothing really nice to see last summer. The plants were struggling to survive back then and not much growth. It still not very nice to look at even now. The mild weather has made some of the plants grow crazy and now they grow wild. The plants have a mind of their own now. For example this spot, I have to scratch my head trying to remember what is growing here~watermelon, capsicum, parsnip, lemon basil, purple sweet potato, okra, kailan and jicama. Can you tell which is which? If you have a small place or even garden on a balcony, this kind of gardening is still possible. This is about 1 metre X 1 metre. Suits for a location that received at least 6 hours of direct sun.

What is growing in this 30 cm X 40 cm polystyrene container?
Cucumber plants climbing on the trellis, banana capsicum and carrots.
Not supposed to be there beetroot also wants to grow there.

Half of our backyard receive morning sun and the other half received afternoon sun.Took the photo in the morning and you can see the clear line light and shadow separation.This is the spaggetthi squash that I sowed last January in container to replace the ones that died due to the extreme heat. Very happy with the attempt because we already have squash in March, did not expected that it will give us fruit so fast. Its actually 2 plants in the same container and each plant has fruit on it. One is hiding somewhere in the long grass. Hopefully this weekend, I have time to spend in the garden to cut the grass and sow some seeds.

The different length of the trellis? We pick them up from hard waste during spring cleaning week in our suburb. At the back, I have cleared some of the containers and sow some seeds for cool season vegetable here. There is one long dangling angled luffa can be seen at the background. Sweet potato harassing lemon grass plant. Sweet potato are becoming invasive as they start to sprout in many different places in containers and on the ground. Lemon basil also growing as they please.

It might be hard to believe but these sweet potato plants are actually growing from containers. There are a row of 4 containers. Now they entered other plants territories. This section has given me much headache and cause the biggest problem for other section of the container garden. Because of this, we have trouble with mice. The mice took shelter here from the heat. They come out during night and dug up holes all around the container garden which have cause many young seedling uprooted and direct-sowed seeds failed to germinate or possibly lost. I don't think I have much to harvest here since the mice might enjoyed some of the sweet potato tubers. But I will wait perhaps until May before I clear up this place for good.

Let me think what plants are growing here ( 1.5 metre X 1 metre) ~ okra, jicama, capsicum, bush bean, parsnip, purple sweet potato, water spinach (kangkung), carrots and bitter gourd. The jicama seems to like the mild weather now. But I must remember to harvest them next month because the edible root will rot when the weather drops below 15 degree Celsius in consecutive days. The jicama tuber won't be big cause they don't have enough sufficient growing time and those plants are just starting to produce flower bud. Last year the bud did not managed to bloom but let see will it bloom this year or not.

Hope one day we see many green balcony from tall buildings.
What's growing in your container garden?


Sean L said...

The sweet potatoes are really lush. Is that kangkung in the same box (second last pic)?

Dani P. said...

Wow, so many plants in your containers !!! I grow only flowers in pots. I should try some vegetables ...

tina said...

You do a great job with container plants. Everything looks so lush and full.

Liz said...

I find mice or perhaps rats like to chew on the polystyrene containers - some of mine have big chunks chewed out of them. I too have a sweet potato vine that is going a bit wild, mines in the garden though.

Sunray Gardens said...

You really have them full, but that is a good thing since you have so much more produce.

Cher Sunray Gardens

cikmanggis said...

The mild weather has made some of the plants grow crazy and now they grow wild...hehe Cm suka ayat ini:)...wah macam macam ada!kena perhatikan betul-betul baru dapat cam jenis sayur yg Diana tanam dlm bekas tu.

africanaussie said...

sweet potato shoots are great to cook in a stir fry - that might help to keep your plant cut back. I have also heard that pumpkin vine tips are good. Your have a permaculture forest there - you really do have green thumbs.

kitchen flavours said...

Wow, that's a whole lot of varieties you have in your containers! Sometimes I feel like giving up on gardening altogether! Our weather is extremely hot and humid, now it is raining, and the temperature is 31C!! All my seedlings have died, except the okra! Aiyoh!! I think I'll try growing some keledek after looking at yours! Did you grow from the tubers directly?

Sue Garrett said...

It's like a lovely vegetable jungle!

Jay said...

I love summer gardens. Sweet potatoes just help so much to keep the weeds down and the water in. Those are some beautiful pictures of your garden. Thank you for sharing them with us!

rainfield61 said...

I am glad my newly grown water lily starts to bloom.

Just cannot wait for the full bloom.

kitsapFG said...

Your excellent green thumb is showing. :D Those are some really great (thriving) container plantings. I totally seemed to ignore my containers last summer and I do not intend to repeat that this year. We are just starting our main growing season so I have lots of plantings I will do later in containers but so far, I have several containers on my deck - 2 are filled with onions interplanted with a little spinach (not purposeful but a happy accident) - and the other two have many varieties of lettuces growing. They all look really good. Even though I have a good sized garden, I think containers a great way to make good use of good sun exposure locations and it makes for a multi layered garden.

Wendy said...

your container garden is so amazing. Do you eat the sweet potato greens?

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Sean L~ Yes it is kangkung. That kangkung was the only one that survived through last year winter.Always found that the neglected ones seems to survive much better.

Dani~Some vegetables can look pretty ornamental in pots.

Tina~The polystyrene container seems to be doing a good job in insulating which is good for really hot summer and prolong growth in winter.

Liz~In time sweet potatoes can be very invasive. We have many sweet potatoes popping from unwanted places in the garden and pots. The veins are really hardy and can go dormant on mild winter, then came back to life when the soils get warms.

Cher~In summer we have too much sun so its better to plant the plants closely so they covered up the soil to make it less warm and keep moisture. But winter, space for each plants does matter.

Cikmanggis~Diana pun kekadang terlupa ada sayur yang terlindung dalam sebalik tu semua. Nak kena angkat-angkat gak alihkan daun keledek tu.

Africanaussie~We did cut some shoots for stir-fry sometime. Tried pumpkin vine tips a couple of years back but was not very keen with the taste. Cucumber vine tips too can be cook in coconut milk.

Joyce~Sini pula kering-kontang, air pun tak cukup nak siram.Cuba tanam terung sebab tahan panas macam okra. Here when it is too hot and dry, terung je lah yang paling dapat bertahan. I tried growing keledek with tubers and the young vein tips (the pucuk yang selalu jual kat pasar). Yang pucuk cepat sikit tumbuh lagi senang rendam dalam air sampai keluar banyak akar lepas tu tanam kat tanah.

Sue~A jungle that the mice really enjoy sanctuary there at the moment ;-).

Jay~They do keep the weeds down and the water in.

Rainfield61~Hope you show and share us your waterlily bloom.

KitsapFG~I tried interplanting onions with choy sum before to reduce the pest attack on the Asian vegetables.You just remind me to sow some lettuce seeds that we are now in fall.

Wendy~Yes we do eat the sweet potato greens. Especially when we don't have much picking of other vegetables available.

Sean L said...

Wah, tahan juga kangkung tu. Kira boleh jadi genetic material pokok kangkung tahan musim sejuk disana. Do they bloom and produce seeds there?

~TastyTravels~ said...

Great garden! Looks like you've been busy!