Deck Container Garden

This is my back deck. It looks like a nice big sunny place to plant a garden in containers rather than the ground.
I collected some large containers, bulk plastic bottles as fillers and a small irrigation system.
I laid the irrigation hose out where I’ll be arranging the containers.
The containers arranged and up on blocks to prevent water collection and rot on the deck boards.
Each container got an emitter.
The entire watering system was controlled with a simple timer valve connected to the spigot.
And the emitters worked fine.
Drip irrigation connectors can sometimes leak. It’s not a problem out in the dirt but it is a problem up on the deck!
Seeds and stems ready to plant!
Each container has several drain holes drilled in the bottom.
Old plastic beverage containers work well to provide fill and air/water space below the soil.
Some containers had just a few and some, needing shallow soil, received more.
Good garden dirt is precious and always worth the effort and cost.
The containers are filled and ready for planting.
First crop is in and watered.
The spigot needed more spigots. This device eventually failed and was replaced by a plumber with a professional, hard installation rather than an attachment.
Injecting fertilizer directly into the drip irrigation stream sounded great. I didn’t notice much of a difference though.
At first, things went well!
And the vining plants quickly needed supports.
But soon enough, problems started to show. This tomato split the skin due to high heat.
Literally roasted peppers on the vine!
The problem with my container garden is heat. The soil temps in the containers can easily reach 100 degrees during the middle of the day. The 2010 planting did not succeed due to this heat.
In 2011, I built shades for each container thinking that blocking some of the direct and reflected sun light might reduce the high temps.
Heck, I even added a shade to see if it would help!
It didn’t. Soil temps were regularly near 100 during July.
And the plants suffered.
Lesson learned and 2011 was the last year I tried a deck container garden. The ground acts as a natural heat sink to keep ground temps in the 80s. With the containers off the ground up on my deck, there was no sink to draw away excess heat and the temps soared.
I live in the Central Texas Area and our summers are too hot for deck container gardens.

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