Monday, June 30, 2008

EDIBLE LANDSCAPE & PATIO TOMATOES





Interest in patio vegetable gardens and edible landscapes is going through the roof. I knew this explosion was going on in Europe because of some of the garden blogs I read. I wondered if it would hit here, too. After the scare we are having with out tomatoes, lettuce and other veggies this year, it was just a matter of time. Big veggies like zucchini squash, acorn squash and Windsor pumpkins are being grown in large patio containers. Other containers, not so large, are filled with peppers, sweet ones and hot ones like Cheyenne. Although I have a garden, I also grow peppers and patio tomatoes in containers. You can grow lettuce in a bowl on your patio. Grow them in window boxes, hanging baskets, all kinds of ways to grow veggies. I mix flowers and veggies in my garden and in containers around the property.

Sales in vegetable seeds and transplants have taken off. Edible landscapes and small square-foot or intensive-type gardens like mine are gaining in popularity. Look for transplants at local garden centers as well as seeds for some quick sow-grow-and-harvest products like cilantro, that key ingredient for salsa and fajitas, ( I love fajitas) or basil for Italian pesto sauce. I am growing two types of basil this year. One I grow alongside my tomatoe plants, since it is talior made to go with tomatoes and the other I use in pork dishes. I grow it on my back porch in a container. It is stronger than the other one so it is good with pork.

There is a new eggplant out this year , SLIM JIM, that I am trying to locate... It can be used as the thriller plant (see another post for this) in a mixed container. I can also plant it in my Lantana bed with my yellow and orange flowers. I think it will be a winning combination -- plus, I will be eating eggplant parmesan which is one of my favoirte dishes.

8 comments:

DP Nguyen said...

I gave my grandma patio tomatoes in a hanging pot. Sadly, the leaves on hers are very dry and the plant barely has grown any new stems or leaves. What do you do to maintain your?

Eve said...

Once planted and soaked in, keep the basket moist, but not dripping wet. This is easiest done by using the two-knuckle water checker… your index finger. Don't water daily, don't water weekly, don't water on any given time schedule. Water only when the plant needs it
.
Over watering is the nastiest, because the roots start to rot. Typical symptoms (besides soggy soil) are yellowing leaves on the lower and inner parts the plant, and possibly wilting leaves. And naturally the plant will not grow any new stems or leaves. This could be the problem with your Grandmother's plant.


RE feeding: I use organic fertilizer for my patios and put about a half cup around the plant every few weeks and water it in.

Some people swear by Miracle Grow. I don't hesitate to use it if I think my plants need it even though I don't use it in my veggie garden.

this is my patch said...

Thanks Eve for leaving a comment on my gooseberry post. They are lovely fruits but only if you leave them to ripen, eat them unripe and they are very sour! We may both have the same calendar next year? I have three tubs of tumbling cherry tomatoes at the green stage at the moment. I only grow this sort, they are so easy to look after. x

Dave said...

Gardening does seem to be going through an explosion right now. After I built my raised beds two neighbors did the same thing. I can't wait for those tomatoes. Hopefully they'll figure out what the problem is with the food, but the best way is to grow your own or eat locally I think. Although that's not always possible!

Laurie Fischer said...

I love the hanging tomatoes. With the price of food costs going up, I am rethinking what veggies and fruits to plant next year. My neighbors have blackberries and he is going to cut off a shoot and start it for me to plant, and I am thinking of growing strawberries in a pot next year as well. I have my orange tree that will hopefully produce again this year. As far as veggies, lettuce and a variety of tomotoes and peppers will always be in the garden. I may make a tripod out of sticks and grow some beans.

Lee17 said...

I really dig this tomatoes in a hanging basket idea - I am certainly going to give it a try!

Skeeter said...

When we lived in Germany, we had cherry tomatoes in pots on the balcony. We shared them with our German friends and soon we became partners in a Gartenplatz! German garden. The wife (German) had never gardened in her life and we taught her so much. We planted grass and made it an area for their grandchild to play in. Maria, was in her 50’s when she mowed grass for the first time! She would beg to mow the grass. Her hubby was American from South Carolina that did know about gardening and he would yell at her for watering too much. She loved to play in the garden. She and her daughter had never seen zucchini or crooked neck squash before and when she picked it, she did not know what to do with it! We had to give her recipes for it. It was so much fun sharing that garden with our German friends. We left Germany 8 years ago, her hubby has passed away and she still has the garden!

Eve said...

That is a wonderful story. Gardens are a nourishing thing to have. They remind us of how life keeps renewing itself. I think there is great comfort in watching things grow. I'll bet it helped her through the sad times after she lost her husband and look what a gift she passes on to her daughter. You sowed good seed there.