Saturday, December 5, 2009

Redneck Container Garden Update

So, the fall/winter veggies in my redneck garden are doing pretty well for the most part and I figured it was time for an update. Sorry to say, but I haven't made any progress on the Nascar markings, but the racing season is over anyway. It is amazing to me how well these greens are doing. I bought them all as seedlings exactly 2 months ago, and we've been making salads from them for at least three weeks now. Granted, we aren't huge salad eaters, but a few nights each week at least and one large one for Thanksgiving dinner! Doesn't look like we'll need to buy greens for most of the winter.

The scrawny, neglected cauliflower seedlings are improving. We'll see if they ever produce anything.

These in the planter continue to thrive, especially the one on the end.

All my cheapskate containers lining the fence.

Remember my little heritage lettuces from last month?

I bought these as seedlings at the Master Gardener's Harvest Festival & Plant Sale, but from another group, possibly the Rare Fruit Growers Assn. They were in tiny, mixed 6-packs with no clue as to what they actually were. The big red one up top is just gorgeous and is really crowding the neat green one with the splotches next to it. There are two heads of some kind of bibb lettuce and this last one, a beautiful green & red specimen. Mind you, we've been taking leaves from these plants for about three weeks already.

The "Scarlet" chard is unfortunately the closest to the front door and seems to get snipped at a bit more frequently than it probably should. Doesn't help that it is absolutely delectable! The "Pot-O-Gold" is holding up better because wifey can't get at it in her slippers. I hadn't had fresh chard in several years and forgot just how tasty it is. If you don't have some in your own garden, you are definitely missing out.

Annie's "Bordeaux" spinach is doing great. It looks absolutely wild and tastes fantastic!

The recycling bins are performing just swell with more unique lettuce.

I mentioned last month that the soil media is all-natural and organic. I made the first application of all-purpose organic fertilizer today, hoping to take advantage of the rain in the forecast for the coming week. I think you'll agree, it just isn't that hard to grow excellent veggies without the chemicals.

Annie's thin-leaf Cilantro is still doing fine in the milk jug. We used a bunch of this in our fresh pico salsa on Thanksgiving and it was great!

Last month I posted that these trough planters contained spinach, but it is actually "Bright Lights" chard and are doing quite well despite sitting in their tiny seedling 6-packs for weeks before being planted.

Some of those wonderful greens about to be part of our dinner!

The green bell had three small peppers growing on it last month, which turned out to be four. This one is almost as big as a baseball.

Remember the Poblano flower? Turns out they will make fruit even in December around here, which is fine with me because I love them.

Had to do some yard cleanup today in advance of the coming rain. The Ornamental Pear tree in my back yard made an ornamental mess on the lawn. These trees have abundant fruit the size of acorns that start falling a while befor the leaves. Turns out the squirrels also enjoy tossing them at unsuspecting gardeners or cocker spaniels, causing both to make loud and obnoxious noises.

The culprit & it's colorful refuse.

I'm sure the original owner of this house had good intentions when he built the nice raised brick planter, but he apparently had no clue how large this tree would become. I love the shade the pear tree gives us in summer, but it probably should never have been used in such a small space.

There is also an apricot tree, a peach tree (scrawny) and a Meyer lemon tree in this tiny back yard.

This very productive orange tree is in the space between my driveway and the neighbor's. We enjoy a couple good crops of oranges every year.

That's a pretty complete update of what is going on in my small space. I will definitely be expanding my redneck container garden and will be much more conciencious about getting plants in the ground quickly. Hmmm, is it too late to add some root veggies? I think I know where to get more buckets.


  1. Those leaves are sure pretty. The oranges are good, huh? I've had some oranges from garden trees that were *not*. And I've had some that were, come to think of it. You're very lucky; in San Jose you can grow all kinds of fruit that people and other places can only grow some of. Enjoy!

  2. Yes, we are lucky in that respect. The oranges have always been wonderfully sweet even though the tree is terribly neglected (it belongs to the neighboring rental). Maybe that's the key; never water, prune or fertilize your orange tree. Never.

  3. LOVE the line "ornamental tree makes an ornamental mess". I'll definitely be using that one in the future....

    And wow - what a gorgeous bunch of greens you've got there! I really like that you're using regular 'ol buckets and milk-jugs for planters...shows you can have a garden without breaking the bank.

    Re: your skewed retaining wall - I lived in SF at the time of the SF Earthquake in the 80's, and there were so many sidewalks/walls/garages that looked the same way after the rumbling was done. Like they were picked up and set down a few inches away.

    Fun post - thanks!

  4. Being from WV, I'm qualified to say GREAT JOB! However, you also need a raised bed made from a tractor tire.

  5. Thank you Rebecca. I'll take my royalty in lattes please. Yes, gardening on the cheap is possible. Maybe not as supremely gorgeous as your yard, but still very productive & enjoyable. The house is around 25 years old now and we've been in it for 12 of those. The wall and adjacent path were fine as recently as 5-6 years ago. Apparently the tree had a growth spurt.

    Anon from West By God Virginia; If there were room for the tractor tire, I'd do it quicker 'n Granny could bite off a chunk of chaw. Have several old tires at work, but for now, the 5-gallon buckets will have to satisfy my Kentucky heritage. Thanks for the comment.

  6. Youre such a Horticultured Redneck Farmer Matt well done :) .