Today I want to talk about how to plant vegetables on your deck or patio. Mark and I have always enjoyed having a garden. We’ve learned over the years to grow lots of different things, and have tried to grow vegetables that we enjoy eating with our home-prepared meals. Life is good.
I’ve always wished we had more acreage so we could truly grow most all our fruit and vegetables. We’re at an age now that taking on more yardwork isn’t realistic, so making do with the small yard and raised grow boxes is how we roll.
I’ve grown to realize that many of my faithful readers have even less space to grow things than I do. I try to pass on ideas to these people so they can feel the joy of growing food sources with limited space. So, today we’ll discuss how to plant vegetables on your deck. Let’s get started with this fun post.
The Earthbox Gardening System for Planting Vegetables
I recently became aware of a great company, Earthbox, which has an efficient gardening system you can put in place on your deck, patio, or small side yard. I’m running out of room to put more of my garden grow boxes, so I decided to buy nine of the terracotta-colored gardening system boxes that we’ll highlight today. Here are the ones I purchased: Earthbox Set
It’s easy to make these usable for almost any location. I’ll give you the step by step approach below to make them work for you and your family.
The picture below shows the inside of an empty gardening system box. I wanted you to see the slot that acts as an “overflow” so you don’t put too much water in the box. If you put too much water your plants could experience root rot which can be a real problem.
This step entails putting in the grey screen which holds the potting soil that Earthbox calls “growing media.” This screen keeps the soil and plant roots above the water level. Note the two upper corners of the screen. Earthbox suggests you pack these corners with the soil as you fill the box.
My neighbor has several of these Earthboxes and showed me how he put theirs together. When he first purchased them, the soil kept “washing away” so he put down a single layer of garden sunscreen fabric before adding the soil. I bought this fabric to lower the effects of the high temperatures in Southern Utah on some of my grow boxes, but it works well for this as well.
This fabric draped over my tomato plants or other vegetables lowers the temperature by 15 degrees. That may not sound like much, but when the temps get over 110 degrees in the summer, this fabric rocks! Easy Gardener Sun Screen Fabric
In the top left corner is the fill tube that fits snuggly in a circle already cut in the screen. Make sure you push the tube down as far as possible so it won’t come loose. The black fill tube is how you fill the bottom of the box with water. You’ll want to add water every few days when the plants are young, and at least once every day as the plants reach maturity.
Now you’ll add the potting soil – planting mix. I really like Dr. Q’s Organic Vegetable & Herb Planting Mix. We’ve used this mix the past two growing seasons and have loved the results.
Spread the mix evenly throughout the box so it’s ready to receive the seeds or young transplants. We used about 2/3 of the 2 cubic foot bags for each box.
Now the box is full of potting soil it is ready for a treatment of your favorite fertilizer and the plants you’ve decided to plant. The instruction book included with your system provides some guidance regarding how many seedlings they suggest based on the type of vegetable. For example, you would put fewer tomato plants than you would carrots.
Proper placement of the gardening system boxes is critical. You’ll want them in a place where there is direct sunlight available, where you have access to the water hose, and where you can get around them to monitor weeds and do any thinning needed.
I placed three Earthboxes in one of my four foot by four foot by 18 inches deep raised garden beds. It’s getting harder to bend over to work in the garden now. The instructions show where to place the seedlings and where to put your fertilizer.
Make a trough to place your granulated fertilizer. Then cover the fertilizer with soil before putting the cover on. This first box will have two bush cucumber plants. I used this fertilizer: Miracle Grow Plant Food
This cover may look gray but it’s black. According to the instructions included, it states to place the black side up. If the peak growing temperature consistently remains above 85 degrees F, place cover white side up.
The instructions said to cut an X in the cover at the location you plan to place your transplant. Well, it was harder than it looks. I have a camera in one hand and scissors in the other hand. So, it’s a hole, let’s leave it at that.
Now you plant your seedlings, in my case my two bush cucumbers, one in each hole. Then water them like any new seedling near the base of the plant. I will water them through the black tube going forward.
This Earthbox will only have these two plants. I will add more pictures as I plant more. I ordered six more boxes. I’m totally stoked to use these this year.
I decided to plant some plants without the covers, right or wrong that’s what I decided to do. On my Food Storage Moms Facebook page a reader shared several pictures without the covers using several Earthbox units. So, this what I’m doing.
Here’s the deal, I still want the covers, IF I plant seeds and want to keep the young plants from freezing. It’s all good, just a different way to roll, or grow vegetables, in my case.
Crookneck Squash is in the top box and Roma tomatoes are in the bottom box. If you are wondering if I will water them through the black tube, yes I will be watering them with a hose into the tubes.
I will also be using tomato cages on my Roma tomatoes and the squash.
Please Check Out What To Plant Each Month:
- What To Plant In January
- What To Plant In February
- What To Plant In March
- What To Plant In April
- What To Plant In May
- What To Plant In June
- What To Plant In July
- What To Plant In August
- What To Plant In September
- What To Plant In October
These are my favorite garden gloves: DIGZ Garden Gloves They come in different sizes, that’s what I love the most. These are the best rose bush gloves: DIGZ Rose Bush Garden Gloves I have to get the large size for my hands. These are awesome!
I hope you liked my post today on how to plant vegetables in these Earthboxes. I’m always on the lookout for new ways to expand my vegetable gardens. I wish I had 5 acres, but I don’t.
But, I will tell you this, I produce enough veggies for 2 families to eat all summer. Don’t you love that first tomato? May God bless this world, Linda