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In the Garden with
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landscape irrigation clock. So, if your inner farmer is being kept “inner” due to limited gardening space, you do have options. Planting in raised beds, choosing smaller-sized fruit trees and growing vegetables in containers can easily keep your hands dirty, your thumbs green and supply you with a harvest of incredible edibles.
by Randy Arnowitz “Mr. Greenjeans,” as he is known around Santa
Barbara, is a gardener, horticulturist and writer. He particularly enjoys working with roses, orchids and sharing the day with his golden retriever Peaches, who faithfully accompanies him in the field. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Incredible Edibles The Sequel: Container Farming
Coming Attractions – Gardening Myths: “I forget, why are we doing that again?” – Choosing The Appropriate Spring And Summer Flowers And Vegetables (or How Come My Lettuce Keeps Bolting?) – Letters from you. (I’m waiting by my inbox.)
Probably best not to grow broccoli in small, terra cotta pots.
bagged soil. Some garden supply centers sell a top soil/compost blend that is available in bulk by the scoop or yard. Okay, you’ve chosen your containers or built your raised beds and you’ve planted your seeds and starts. So, now how are you going to keep this stuff watered? You can pick up the hose and risk blasting your sproutlings out of their beds or you can install a simple watering system comprised of drip line and small misters or sprayers. This set up can be hooked up to a hose bib and turned on either manually or by a battery powered irrigation timer. If you want to live on the edge, you can even connect it to an existing hard-wired,
Randy’s Quick Pick
ust so you know, my partner in gardening crime, the artistically and verdantly gifted Michael Reukauf will be showing his work at the restaurant and gallery Roy. Michael’s surreal and often mystical landscapes have been described as sinister, mysterious and disturbing, yet at the same time, beautiful, playful and whimsical. Many of his paintings are inspired by his hours spent in the garden. The show is up for the month of February. Roy is located at 7 West Carrillo Street in Santa Barbara.
Wine barrels are sturdy, long-lasting and most nurseries sell them.
et’s review. Last time, we talked about growing edibles in your backyard, especially if you have space restrictions. We mentioned that containers are good alternatives to growing directly in the ground, as are raised beds. An important thing to keep in mind when using containers though, is to use the largest size that you can reasonably afford and comfortably manage in your garden space. Naturally, larger containers don’t dry out as quickly as smaller ones so you won’t have to water as often. Also, deep-rooted veggies such as carrots obviously need some room down there to send down their, uhmm, “carroty-ness.” I never use containers smaller than, say, fifteen-gallon size nursery containers. As previously mentioned, half-wine barrels are the Cadillac, or rather the Lexus, of planting containers because not only are they big but you can build or install a trellis in them if you’re growing string or pole beans in the summer or snap, snow or shelling peas in the winter. Since you will need at least six feet of height for most vertical crops, it’s best to attach the trellis securely to the sides of the barrel to keep it from blowing down once it’s covered in vines. Flowering sweet peas can be grown in them as well. It’s surprising how many blooms you can reap from just one barrel o’ sweet peas. Using garden soil in your containers is not a good idea, as it tends to compact and get hard and cement-like if allowed to dry out.
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All kinds of peas can be grown in containers. Install the trellis before you plant!
Speaking of Soil Potting soil is the best medium for container growing. I try to avoid the types that are too light and fluffy, as they dry out quickly. Although it costs more, I‘m a big fan of FoxFarm Ocean Forest potting soil. It has built-in nutrients, so you may not have to feed your plants for a month or so from the time you plant. Recommended by the best growers (I am told), it’s premier stuff and the graphics on the bag are even worth the extra cost. However, if you have large, raised beds to fill, it may not be feasible to buy that much
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Santa Barbara Film Festival 2013