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Gardening in pots

I miss my garden!  It was just starting to get very productive and self-sufficient - I mean, I had a lot of perennial plants growing and other things self-seeding, so I didn't have to do much to it, and now I have to start again *pout*, but my new garden will be even better, eventually.  For now I just have pots, and thanks to everyone who suggested what to plant in those pots.  This is what I have to far...

1) Celery in a self-watering pot from our Nanango produce share.  I wouldn't have thought to choose celery, but I'm pleased to have it as I like to use it to flavour casseroles and roasts, so it will get used.

2) Chard also from the produce share.  It was nice to get this as a seedling and have a headstart on some greens as I've been slow to get the rest of it going.

3) Peas and radishes - I wanted to plant things that you can keep harvesting, so as much as I love carrots and turnips, I thought they were best to wait for next year, and peas will get me a better harvest, however I hope I've timed this right and can remove the radishes as the peas grow...

4) Asian greens - I have saved seeds from various asian greens in two pots (will do a third when the first two are up), quite thickly, the idea being I can harvest micro-greens as very trendy thinnings and let the rest grow out/up and replant more throughout the season.

5) Kale - planted separately from the asian greens as I would like to let it get bigger, I don't want to accidentally harvest all the kale as microgreens and not get any big plants.  I really like kale cooked in butter.  I planted old seeds and they didn't seem to come up, so I bought a punnet of kale seedlings and now of course the seeds are also sprouting!

6) Strawberry plants - already in pots and rescued from my old garden, ready to plant into my food forest when we have water set up.

7) Lemongrass - in self-watering pot, both from the produce share some months ago and also rescued.

8) Various other rescued herbs from my old garden, just keeping them going until I have somewhere permanent to put them, including winter tarragon, lemon balm, rosemary, winter savory, comfrey, soapwort, oregano, peppermint and spearmint, brahmi, yarrow, chillies etc!

9) Various trees, including mango, avocado, mulberry, jacaranda, dwarf lemon and lime - some that I have been nurturing in pots for years, I hope I get the opportunity to plant them out soon.

10) bonus parsley plants in the lemon tree pot!  The beauty of self-seeding gardens!

In the pots, I started with a layer of flat newspaper, then scrunched up newspaper (to hold water) and mostly potting mix, then cow poo (I could only find old cow poo, so I soaked it in water first, you'd think with all the cows I could find fresh poo!) and more potting mix.  Seeds planted directly in the top layer, watering by tipping out the dirty chicken-water-buckets on my way past to refill with clean water.

We are probably going to get some raised garden beds from our local tank maker, just need to work out what size we want and how many to start with.  Might also get a small one to put near the kitchen door for herbs and a few greens.

This is what my old garden looks like, a jungle again!  I pop in there when we go to pick up more stuff, and I can still harvest beans, tomatoes and greens.  There are still lots of plants that I need to get cuttings from, including cardamon, galangal, mother of herbs, greek basil.... we dug out a few of the paw paw trees already!

How is your garden growing?  Do you miss it when you are away from it (I lasted 2 weeks!)?  And what would you plant first if you had to start again?


  1. Your new garden is looking good. I can relate a little, as we regularly take cuttings with the thought - what if we had to relocate. There's so much to love in an established garden, that picking what comes with you, is so hard.

    If I were to start again in a new place, I'd broadcast as much seed as possible, and let what comes up, come up. Not knowing the lay of the land, or what grows there, I'd dump the numbers game in the mix, like nature does and broadcast multiple seeds. The first year is always the hardest, because you're learning what works on a completely different site.

  2. Our first year here I was gardening in pots and got some great harvests I hope yours do well

  3. Great that you've got so much growing in pots, ready to plant out when you can. I love coming back to my garden after we've been away on holiday to see what has thrived and/or survived if the weather's been really hot. If I had to start over again, I'd want to get some mulch plants going and some veg. Meg:)

  4. Hi Liz, Just south of Vancouver BC Canada I have planted peas, pole beans, tomatoes, spinach, radish, kale, leeks and carrots. My espalier apple and pear trees are in full bloom and the golden plum has just finished.
    BUT I am now in The Netherlands as we have arrived for another twelve weeks of canal cruising on our small boat and will travel into Belgium and France.
    My neighbours all enjoy the fruits of our planting and will keep things picked in the hope that the tomatoes, beans, leeks and herbs will keep going till our return in August.
    This year I put dozens of bean seedlings and parsley plants out on the street for people to take. At the end of July we usually put out hundreds of pounds of plums for people to take. It gives me great pleasure to share my harvests with the locals but for the next few years I will be out of the country for most of the harvesting season. It is surprising how much I can grow in my three 12'x4' raised beds.
    Our city lot is only 50'x120'. I also produce enough garlic to last the year and until this year it had supported three bee hives.
    Unfortunately one cannot be in two places at once but I do my best.
    Enjoy hearing about your Qld acreage .
    Regards Janine

  5. A great selection of plants Liz. I love to harvest the mass self seeded kale and mustard plants as micro greens and leave a few to grow to full size. A few years ago we were given an old galv tank which we cut into three to make raised beds that were approx 1.5metres in diameter. However, we discovered they were such water guzzlers during the heat of summer, drying out so quickly, they required twice daily watering. I even stacked bales of pea straw all around the edge to prevent them being exposed to the heat, with minimal success. Now I have just one of those beds left and plant it only during our winter wet months whilst the remainder of our vege patch is in the well composted ground where we can water on alternate days during the heat of our dry summers.


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