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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Side Salad

By Jennifer

I am growing peas, spinach, carrots and lettuce in pots on my patio. Small tomato cages offer support for the vining peas. I think this will make a charming planter -- some pea tendrils climbing up the metal spokes, others cascading over the pot's edge. 



I positioned the tomato cage on the north side so it -- and the vines that will cover it -- won't cast too much shade on the emerging lettuce and carrot seedlings seen behind. In a few warming weeks, however, shade may be desirable for the lettuce, and I can simply rotate the pot. (Lettuce likes cooler weather and will quickly bolt and go to seed in intense heat.)

If you'd like to try such a planter, a great pea seed variety is Lincoln. In my zone, Zone 5, it can be planted as late as June, and will still produce in 90-degree weather.

I planted the pea seeds in a circle, with the idea of slipping a tomato plant into the cage later in the season. Here's a picture of last year's "side salad" of cherry tomatoes and lettuce.



How are you including fruits and vegetables in your container plantings? Share with us your ideas and pictures!

10 comments:

Glenda said...

grooovy, I am gonna try this on my back patio...
thanks,
glenda

MAYBELLINE said...

Pots have dwarf citrus trees.
Baskets have strawberries.
Raised beds (containter?) have tomatoes, onions, garlic, peppers, radishes, beets, carrots, basil, parsley, strawberries, chives...

How do you get lettuce to grow in the summertime? Summer is the only season I cannot grow it.

Jennifer said...

It's harder to grow lettuce in the summertime because it doesn't like heat. I've found that growing lettuce in shady areas or underneath bigger plants (as you see it beneath my tomato in the pot) can prolong its growing season a bit.

By the way, chard is a leafy vegetable that can sail through the heat of summer.

Your containers sound great, Maybelline! What zone are you in to have citrus trees? Do they go indoors in the winter? I would love a sunroom just for that.

Window On The Prairie said...

Good idia about using a tomato cage for the peas. So far in our garden we have planted potatoes, onions, lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, and sweet corn. Cucumbers will go out into the garden this weekend hopefully.

marisa said...

Maybelline,

Does your dwarf citrus tree produce well in a pot? How large of a pot do you have to use? I would love to see a picture of it.

Anonymous said...

I used to plant herbs and lettuces in pots. But as I got older, stooping to harvest my "crops" became more difficult. Now I plant lettuce, chard, and herbs in plastic trash cans. That way I can snip off a meals worth of salad or herbs at almost waist height.

Laura @ Getting There said...

This is great. I am growing parsley and chives in pots right now, but I'd like to grow some other things--I just need to buy some pots, and I'm kind of dragging my feet on that because I haven't found any for cheap.

MAYBELLINE said...

I'm in zone 9 - Bakersfield, California.

My Satsuma mandarin was growing and producing fine until recently. I believe I have lost the fight to keep it alive & will need to replace it. In another big pot, I have a dwarf variegated pink lemon. It is thriving and producing.

You can see photos and read about my garden here:
http://maybellinesgarden.blogspot.com/search/label/citrus

Julie said...

I have tomatoes, jalapenos, ancho chilis, strawberries, rosemary, and thyme in pots. My lettuce died but strawberries are doing great and starting to get little green fruit on them. Its been so fun to watch, this is my first time gardening ever. I have a dwarf citrus in a pot also but its not producing anything. I am hoping it does better when it heats up (I should have just left it inside, it was doing fine then).

Nishant said...

am gonna try this on my back patio...
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