Gardening in pots

by Farmer Liz
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?

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