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Hello fellow ladies of the best circle (don't let the others know!) I come seeking advice! Help!

I am getting keys to my forever home next week. It's a beautiful 1920's house I can give lots of love and wull own outright. I'm needless to say: extra excited and feeling very liberated.

The garden needs a lot of love and soil remediation, and I'll surely be begging for your wisdom on it soon but I want to start with outdoor food containers. I would like them to be elevated as chronic pain makes kneeling / stooping very painful.

Questions:

  1. I would like to grow chard, carrots, zucchini, yellow squash, and small potatoes (the finger sort). Ideas on depth of the raised planter? I was thinking two feet but I can't find any root length information for food crops....
  2. Since I live in a desert and will be moving from a zone 13 to zone 9b/10a am I going overboard in having the containers under a cover? I'll have a long side deck off my kitchen I would like to use. This should provide shade. FYI my UV index rating at my new home will be an 8 (I am in a 10 to 10+ area now).
  3. Has anyone ever "plumbed" their containers? I want to put in a drain at the bottom of each and then let that water drain off onto the ground where I can plant a fruit bearing tree that can use the excess. Any particular angling needed to ensure gravity "works" and they can all drain together?
  4. The community In moving to is very small and has cooperative food gardening, any high yield container crops I may be missing that might allow me to contribute extra crop and is nutritionally dense?

I've been collecting seeds and starting research but sometimes exposure to those with experience is best so I'm hoping some of you have ideas on how to help make my crazy plan work.

Thank you in advance!

Hello fellow ladies of the best circle (don't let the others know!) I come seeking advice! Help! I am getting keys to my forever home next week. It's a beautiful 1920's house I can give lots of love and wull own outright. I'm needless to say: extra excited and feeling very liberated. The garden needs a lot of love and soil remediation, and I'll surely be begging for your wisdom on it soon but I want to start with outdoor food containers. I would like them to be elevated as chronic pain makes kneeling / stooping very painful. Questions: 1. I would like to grow chard, carrots, zucchini, yellow squash, and small potatoes (the finger sort). Ideas on depth of the raised planter? I was thinking two feet but I can't find any root length information for food crops.... 2. Since I live in a desert and will be moving from a zone 13 to zone 9b/10a am I going overboard in having the containers under a cover? I'll have a long side deck off my kitchen I would like to use. This should provide shade. FYI my UV index rating at my new home will be an 8 (I am in a 10 to 10+ area now). 3. Has anyone ever "plumbed" their containers? I want to put in a drain at the bottom of each and then let that water drain off onto the ground where I can plant a fruit bearing tree that can use the excess. Any particular angling needed to ensure gravity "works" and they can all drain together? 4. The community In moving to is very small and has cooperative food gardening, any high yield container crops I may be missing that might allow me to contribute extra crop and is nutritionally dense? I've been collecting seeds and starting research but sometimes exposure to those with experience is best so I'm hoping some of you have ideas on how to help make my crazy plan work. Thank you in advance!

9 comments

Good for you, it's so wonderful that you have a little place to call your own.

I've grown chard in 50L (13 gallon) pots with no issues. Just be careful that you don't put them in a position to get sunburnt.

Potatoes also do very well in the same size container but grow bags instead of pots, when I harvested mine in summer I got a heap of really little one and they were so yummy. This year I'm doing some heirlooms as well as some standard varieties, I'm hoping that I get a bigger harvest if I leave them a few more weeks.

Anything from the squash family has to be hand pollinated unless you have a lot of bees around, I have a native bee hive so I don't ever need to worry about plants that need hand pollination. It's pretty easy to create a bee friendly garden https://www.agrifutures.com.au/wp-content/uploads/publications/12-014.pdf here's a 300 page free book that has so many plants that bees love. It's set up for Australia but you can find many of the same plants all over the world. No matter what more bees are good, you will always have a some kind of native bee population as well so bee hotels will go a long way.

The only problem with using run off is disease transfer but if you have healthy plants there shouldn't be an issue. It's very much worth the time to have a look at your local agriculture body to see it there are any serious plant diseases in your area such as Banana blight.

I have both a compost bin and a worm farm, if you eat a lot of vegetables and fruits it's a great way to reduce your waste, it takes a while but you will have gardening gold. Worms can be a bit tricky but the result is so worth is. It also cuts down on paper waste especially in summer when the organic matter is breaking down like crazy.

Consider having a small water tank as well, I have 2 100L tanks and they've been invaluable, I put the waste water from my fish tank in, water from heating up the shower, water from washing vegetables (as long as the water doesn't have any organic matter in it) and grey water.