growing vegetables in boxes

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Anna

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growing vegetables in boxes
« on: September 15, 2013, 09:16:01 AM »
My little grandson says he wants to grow vegetables but the soil in my garden is very heavy and we have lots of pine trees.
So I guess I need to buy planting boxes or big plant pots. I know he wants to grow tomatoes but I don't know what else. 
How deep should the planting boxes be ?
Any other hints on growing vegetables in planting boxes would be helpful - I don't want him to get discouraged.
thanks
anna

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JTh

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Re: growing vegetables in boxes
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2013, 09:40:56 AM »
Our neighbour has a huge vegetable production in old barrels (there are at least 70 of them), some of them are split in two, and even that height seems to be sufficient. I’m not quite sure what kind of soil he uses, but I see some sheep ‘pellets’ here and there, so I guess he uses that as fertilizer. He grows tomatoes, cucumbers, aubergines, zucchinis, peppers and beans, plus some herbs, and he keeps us  supplied with vegetables as well.

I’m sure you r grandson will be able to grow something that he will enjoy, as long as he knows that you have to water more often when growing in containers.
Retired veterinary surgeon by training with a PhD in parasitology,  but worked as a virologist since 1992.
Member of the MGS  since 2004. Gardening in Oslo and to a limited extent in Halkidiki, Greece.

Umbrian

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Re: growing vegetables in boxes
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2013, 06:55:58 AM »
Some new young neighbours of ours who are having three small houses restored became frustrated at not being able to get on with the garden due to workmen trappling everywhere and building materials and machinery littering the whole site. This spring they used some of the ever increasing packaging, that is deemed to be necessary in this modern world, into "growing boxes". Slatted wooden crates, about 150cm by 150cm, that had contained floor tiles etc were filled in by breaking some of them up and using the resulting pieces of wood to fill in the gaps. These were then filled with compost and used to grow vegetables such as those mentioned by Jorun. They were rewarded with wonderful crops and great feelings of satisfaction. Obviously things grown in such conditions with regular watering according to need are more likely to succeed but what a splendid way to encourage you grandchildren since learning the necessity for regular attention and seeing successful results is the best way to ensure they are hooked on the delights of gardening. As regards the depth of such growing containers - even root vegetables such as carrots do not need to be too deep, I suppose the secret is to ensure the soil/compost does not become spent and a proportion is replaced each time they are replanted. Good luck with your project :)
MGS member living and gardening in Umbria, Italy for past 19 years. Recently moved from my original house and now planning and planting a new small garden.

David Bracey

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Re: growing vegetables in boxes
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2013, 05:16:21 PM »
I have been growing vegetables in raised beds for many seasons, also potatoes in large flower pots.  I build a 1 x 1 m box about 20cm deep.  1 x1 is too wide to reach the middle, so I suggest say0.5  x 1 m and 20 cm deep.  THe problem with a deep bed is to find sufficient compost to fill the bed. I fill my beds with compost which I make the year round.  It does not have to be well rotted, just the top say 5 cm so that you can prepare a seed bed.  I throw in spent flower pot compost, clippings and cuttings at the bottom, a few bags of anything that is bulky and cheap at the garden centre. I also add a good handful of fertilizer for good measure.

I have grown tomatoes, lettuce, radish, mache, okra, garlic, herbs,aubergines etc both from seed and plants.  I find that squash etc take up too much room.  I plant as thickly as possible, harvest early and try to keep a succession going...even if i loose some at either end of the seasons.

Homegrown vegetables give freshness which is the key to taste.

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 I have gardened in sub-tropical Florida, maritime UK, continental Europe and the Mediterranean basin, France. Of the 4 I have found that the most difficult climate for gardening is the latter.