Starting a Container Vegetable Garden

Raised Bed Garden that is Unused and Full of Weeds
Predecessor to Starting a Container Vegetable Garden

 

 

 

Starting a container vegetable garden is simple but it is not easy.  I’m going to tell my story using photos of my container garden.  There are a number of tips and tricks that you can easily find in a wide variety of books, but nothing compares to tried and true experience.  I’m going to walk through the high points of what I’ve learned while starting a container vegetable garden over the past few years.  We will cover

  • starting a container vegetable garden
  • potting soil for container gardens
  • container garden on your deck
  • drip irrigation for container plants
  • full sun container gardens
  • partial sun container gardens

By the end, you’ll have a clear picture of the basics of what you need to consider starting a container vegetable garden on your own.

Potting Soil for your Container Vegetable Garden

Mound of Freshly Dug Potting Soil for Container Garden
Potting Soil for Container Garden

Potting soil is one of the most critical elements of starting a container vegetable garden.  There are a wide variety of potting soils for a container vegetable garden available.  When I priced potting soil at the garden centers I was stunned at the high prices!  That may work for small planter boxes with flowers but certainly wasn’t an economic solution for starting a container vegetable garden for me.  Instead, I chose to call a local gardener who also specializes in garden soil mixes.  He delivered a truck load to my back yard for $25.  This picture is actually the remainder from last year’s planting so a truck load of potting soil for your container garden will easily last for at least two years, maybe longer.

 

 

 

 

 

Plant Containers and Planter Boxes for Starting a Container Vegetable Garden

Blue Planter Box Filled with Fresh Potting Soil
Container Garden Planter Box with Potting Soil

I found that Tupperware 18 gallon containers worked sufficiently for starting a container vegetable garden.  I placed about six inches of empty plastic bottle in the bottom to take up space and make it lighter to carry up the steps to my deck.  These plant containers worked fine for the container vegetable garden for the first year and only showed a few minor cracks in the second year.  I also took care to drill approximately 8 holes of 3/8 inch diameter in the bottom of each planter box to allow drainage.  To support that drainage, and make it easier to bend over and see the plants, I placed each plant container of the container vegetable garden on top of two cinder blocks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Starting A Container Vegetable Garden on a Deck

Row of Six Planter Boxes in a New Container Vegetable Garden
Starting a Container Vegetable Garden

I chose starting a container vegetable garden on my deck.  As you can see from the photo at the top of this post, I used to have a raised bed garden out in the yard but it failed due to lack of care.  It was just far enough away from the house that I would not take the time to visit it every day and tend it.  My deck container vegetable garden is right outside my backdoor and very easy to see, monitor and tend.  I also have two dogs and two cats who frequent the deck and they don’t seem to either mind or bother the setup.  I believe that ease and convenience are two of the critical aspects and benefits of starting a container vegetable garden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starting a Container Vegetable Garden Planting

Young Tomato Plant with Fresh Potting Soil in a Blue Container for Starting a Container Vegetable Garden
Starting a Tomato in a Garden Container

I over planted my plant containers last year while starting a container vegetable garden with as many as four tomato plants and two dozen cucumber plants.  I learned that density was too much for the plants to thrive.  This year, I planted only one tomato plant in each container and only six cucumber plants in each container vegetable garden.  The plants did much better without the extra competition and actually produced more fruit and vegetables than the more crowded situation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starting a Container Vegetable Garden Drip Irrigation System

Multiple Hose Adapters used to create an Early Drip Irrigation System for Container Plants
Early Drip Irrigation for Container Plants

Another critical aspect of the success of starting a container vegetable garden is an easy, systematic way to tend it.  I rely on drip irrigation – a simple system that can stand the test of time.  I also advocate simple, incremental testing as an approach to learning.  When starting a container vegetable garden, I simply used two hose bib adapters so that I could draw water for the drip irrigation system and still have a connection for my regular hose and the dog watering bowl.  This system worked adequately but was plagued with continuing problems of leaks and adequate pressure management.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drip Irrigation for Container Gardens – the All-Important Timer

Drip Irrigation Timer Displaying Time of Day
Drip Irrigation Timer for Container Garden

A container vegetable garden does not need water all the time.  My ideal watering times are 6AM and 6PM for five minutes each when starting a container vegetable garden until the plants reach maturity and then 8 minutes each thereafter.  A timer for the drip irrigation system makes this possible and very easy to do.  It also has a mode that you can immediately turn it on and off if needed.  It runs on a simple 9 volt battery and has worked well for two years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fertilizing and Drip Irrigation and Starting a Container Vegetable Garden

Drip Irrigation Fertilizer for a Container Garden Filled with Brown Liquid Fertilizer
Drip Irrigation Fertilizer for Container Garden

Fertilizing a deck container garden can be a challenge.  The containers are small and the nutrients available to the plants are very limited by the small amount of soil.  Adequate fertilizing is critical for success.  But, I didn’t want to have to manually fertilize the plants on a regular basis – that violates my principle of simple and easy.  I found a very useful fertilizer injection system and it connects directly into the drip irrigation lines and has a controllable flow.  This system worked well into it’s second year. There are a wide variety of drip irrigation fertilizer systems available.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Improved Methods for Drip Irrigation Systems

Shiny New Custom Hose Bib for Drip Irrigation for Container Plants
Customized Drip Irrigation for Container Plants

After a year using the initial hose bib adapters and having trouble with leaks and pressure management, I hired a plumber to build a proper hose bib configuration.  This approach has eliminated my problems with leaks but even more, allows me to manage the water pressure to each outlet very easily.  I was disappointed that the plumber didn’t accommodate spacing needed for my timer and thus needed to get a short extension hose to connect the timer to the hose bib.  I will take some time this winter to build a proper mount for the timer to get it off of the deck.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Protecting Your Container Vegetable Garden

Simple Three Sided Planter Shade Constructed of Particle Board for a Full Sun Container Garden
Plant Shade for Full Sun Container Gardens

Texas Summer heat is ferocious and the plants suffer mightily.  I’ve tried a number of different approaches to mitigate the heat transferred from the deck to the planter boxes.  One approach was building individual sun shades for each planter box.  This did work and lowered the temperature by 3 degrees but ti still runs approximately 10 degrees or more hotter than the ground temperature.  AN added benefit to this approach it that it drastically improves the view of the deck container garden.  These simple shades look much nicer than the blue Tupperware containers. I recommend you consider this when starting a container vegetable garden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Planter Boxes, Soil Temperatures and Full Sun Container Gardens on a Deck

Three Sided Planter Box Shade Installed on a Full Sun Container Garden
Planter Box Shade Installed for Full Sun Container Garden

I start with a full sun container garden and then modify from there.  The planter box shades installed provide two benefits – lowering the temperature and improving the view.  I also recommend, if you live in an area with high heat, that you buy and use a soil thermometer.  I made a huge mistake last year thinking that the plant’s poor performance was due to water volume or fertilizer.  I finally got an Ag Extension Agent to visit and she identified the problem within about 5 minutes – the soil was too hot.  In Texas, this is something that has to be managed on an ongoing basis.  I find that the plants do best in a full sun container garden until they reach maturity and then benefit from some shade and coolness as they begin to produce fruit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Helping Your Container Vegetable Garden Thrive

Full Sun Container Garden with a Row of Six Planter Boxes
Plant Cages in a Full Sun Container Garden

One of the challenges with tall plants in a container garden is supporting their growth in height.  Not all of my plants need this support but certainly the tomatoes and cucumbers.  I also tried a patio variety tomato plant and it never required any additional support.  It’s stalk and stems were thick enough to support it’s growth.  The only challenge I encountered with the patio variety tomato plans was that the fruits got so heavy that they eventually bent and broke the stalks.  I solved this problem by using stakes instead of cages.  For the cages, I found a hog panel at Tractor Supply and then used hose clamps and some inexpensive conduit.  These plant cages have worked well for two years.  They have adequate wiring to easily support and train the plants and the holes between the wires are large enough for me to reach my hand through.

 

 

 

 

 

Partial Sun Container Gardens and Summer Heat When Starting a Container Vegetable Garden

Partial Sun Container Garden Created Using a Shade Cloth
Improvised Shade for Partial Sun Container Vegetable Garden

As the plants reach maturity and the Texas Summer sun beats down on the deck, I add an inexpensive deck shade to convert to a partial sun container garden.  While it doesn’t provide complete protection, it does offer some and it also provides some additional shade for the dogs – who *really* own the deck.  I continue to use a soil thermometer to monitor and manage the soil temperatures as I move forward with the partial sun container vegetable garden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary for Starting a Container Vegetable Garden

Starting a deck container vegetable garden is simple but it is not easy.  I enjoy experimenting and learning and treat my garden like an ongoing learning lesson.  I doubt starting a container vegetable garden will out produce the local farmer’s market for you but the joy and pleasure of walking out your back door to make your own salad or vegetable side dish for supper is truly magnificent.  The biggest benefit is that the taste and texture of the fruit and vegetables that you produce on your own will far exceed that you’d get from the local market.  Take some time, do some research, prepare to learn, take lots of photos of you container vegetable garden and enjoy starting a container vegetable garden!

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Drip Irrigation Check Valves & Soil Temperature in Containers

Soil Temperature in Containers Measured with Soil Thermometer

Soil Temperature in Containers

Drip Irrigation Can be Tough During a Texas Summer

The Texas Summer heat is brutal and most of the plants are suffering.  To add insult to injury, my irrigation system for flower boxes and container gardens failed at the drip irrigation check valves and faucet connection as well.  Drastic action was needed to stop the drip irrigation system leak.  Furthermore, I finally figured out that my fertilizer system wasn’t working properly either!  Needless to say, with this comedy of errors, some of my plants just did not make it through June.

The soil temperature in the containers remains in the upper 90’s or lower 100’s every day during the day.  Night time temperatures in the soil can drop as low as the mid 80’s (yes, I set the alarm to get up and check them) but this is not enough to withstand the punishment of the daily heat.

Soil Thermometer on Ground to Compare to Soil Temperature in Containers
Soil Thermometer on Ground

In contrast, the soil temperature on the ground, even in a sunny spot, remains in the mid 80’s during the day and mid 70’s at night.  My plant shades are not working as well as I expected.  While the temperatures are lower than last year without the plant shades, they are not shielding the heat enough.  My plan is to try some insulation boards cut to fit inside of the plant shades and see if that has an impact.

Drip Irrigation Liquid Fertilizer and Stopping Drip Irrigation System Leaks

Drip Irrigation Liquid Fertilizer Problem at Half Full and Not Working with Drip Irrigation System
Drip Irrigation Liquid Fertilizer Problem

I noticed over two successive weeks that my automatic fertilizer system that uses drip irrigation liquid fertilizer on my inexpensive drip irrigation system did not need to be refilled.  That means that it is not siphoning off fertilizer and feeding it into the irrigation system for flower boxes and container gardens.  To confirm the problem, I emptied the fertilizer container and filled it just half full.  When the drip irrigation system for container gardens is working properly, the only visible change is the change of the color of the water in the fertilizer container from brown (when it has fertilizer) to clear when it does not have any fertilizer.  It should remain full of water all the time.

Drip Irrigation Attach to Faucet Y - Cheap Method Caused Continuous Problems
Drip Irrigation Attach to Faucet Y – Cheap Method

This is my second year using inexpensive AND expensive hose bib adapters to provide multiple outlets at the single hose bib on my deck.  I have three devices that I need to connect

  • water hose to fill the wading pool for the dogs
  • water hose to the automatic waterer for the dogs
  • drip irrigation attach to faucet which starts with the drip irrigation system timer and drip irrigation system check valves

I’ve tried inexpensive plastic Ys and expensive bronze Ys.  They all eventually begin leaking and then break off completely.  With the scarcity and high cost of water, it is very important to stop drip irrigation system leaks.  There doesn’t appear to be much pressure applied by the hoses or drip irrigation system to the Y adapter but there must be just enough to put an unnecessary strain on it.

New Drip Irrigation Attach to Faucet

Drip Irrigation Attach to Faucet in Custom Application for Three Hose Bibs
Drip Irrigation Attach to Faucet in Custom Application

So, I had a plumber come out and create a specialized hose bib system for me to eliminate this problem.  This allows me a direct drip irrigation attach to the faucet.  It cost about $170, which is about 30 times the average cost of the Y adapters but, more importantly, eliminates the surprise of the plants not having water for a couple of days and the cost of the wasted water that just spills on the ground.

Drip Irrigation Check Valves Remounted on Short Hose After Drip Irrigation Attach to Faucet
Drip Irrigation Check Valves Remounted on Short Hose

The new hose bib arrangement presented a problem.  The orientation of the hose bibs did not make it easy to put the drip irrigation system timer and drip irrigation system check valves back the way it was in the past.  So, I used a short hose to connect the drip irrigation system timer to the hose bib and just let the timer unit rest of the deck.  This, and the separate hose bibs for each device actually proved to be very beneficial!  When I used a single hose bib with Y adapters, the flow/pressure control was very tricky and had to managed across the hose bib itself AND the flow regulator valve on the Y adapter.  I found that the system seemed to work best at a lower pressure for the drip irrigation system.  Sure, I had some leaks from the drip irrigation system check valves, but who doesn’t?  When I changed the setup to the new configuration, I tested it by applying full pressure from the hose bib to the drip irrigation system.  Two things happened that pleased me.

  1. The system leaks disappeared
  2. The fertilizer system started flowing

I’m not sure if stopping the drip irrigation system leaks and the fertilizer system flowing are due to the new, higher pressure or from the new orientation of the timer unit on the deck which relieves some of the pressure it was causing on the hose bib and Y adapter.  Nevertheless, several problems were solved!

Gravity Drip Irrigation Kits?

On a side note, I would love to have a gravity drip irrigation kit to try.  My next project will be capturing rain water and creating a dedicated deck container garden drip irrigation system using a gravity drip irrigation kit. If you know of a good gravity drip irrigation kit, please let me know.

Drip Irrigation Liquid Fertilizer Fixed for Testing with Drip Irrigation System
Drip Irrigation Liquid Fertilizer Fixed for Testing

I’ve refilled the fertilizer system with drip irrigation liquid fertilizer for testing this week – I have high hopes for a return to successfully fertilizing my deck container garden.

Planter Box Irrigation Cucumber Nasties
Drip System Cucumber Nasties

My cucumbers suffered mightily.  They developed some sort of nasty looking fungus on the young cucumbers and then failed to produce any cucumbers at all.  I suspect the very high heat in the container contributed to this problem.

Deck Container Garden Cucumbers are Gone
Planter Box Irrigation Cucumbers are Gone

So, never one to beat a dead horse, I pulled up the cucumbers and let the weeds grow.  I suspect that, if I want to grow cucumbers, I need to start them much earlier or later and not try to grow cucumbers in the middle of the summer in a deck container garden.

Drip Irrigated Cherry Tomatoes Suffering from Soil Temperature in Containers
Drip Irrigated Cherry Tomatoes Suffering in the Heat

The tomatoes are another story.  While they aren’t producing tons of fruit, they seem to be doing OK and producing enough for a small salad every day across 3 plants.  The cherry tomato plant is struggling the most out of all of the tomato plants.  Some of this may have to do with the very sporadic watering they received during June when I had drip irrigation system problems.

Drip Irrigation System Patio Tomato Plant Enduring Soil Temperature in Containers
Drip Irrigation System Patio Tomato Plant Enduring Summer Heat

The patio tomato plant is the winner by far.  No matter the heat or water it just continues producing very nice and tasty 2-3″ tomatoes.  Probably the biggest weakness for this plant is it’s apparent inability to fully support it’s fruits.  Even though the stalks are very thick and short, it has problems with stems bending and breaking approximately half of the time.

Deck Garden Patio Tomatoes Ripen on the Vine
Drip Irrigation Patio Tomatoes Ripen on the Vine

The patio tomatoes are absolutely the most delicious of the three.  They are sweet with thin skins and a tangy after taste.

Deck Container Garden Yellow Pear Tomatoes are Thriving in Hot Soil Temperature in Containers
Deck Container Garden Yellow Pear Tomatoes are Thriving

The Yellow Pear tomatoes continue to produce but struggle.  These tomatoes are also very delicious and very very sweet.  They start out with approximately 10-12 little tomatoes in each bunch but only 3-6 will survive to ripening.

Peppers Fully Matured Using Drip Irrigation System for Container Gardens
Planter Box Irrigation Peppers Fully Matured

The chile pepper plants are abundant and love the deck garden setup.  That said, I’ve determined that I have little or no interest in the peppers in my daily diet.  So, I’m letting them ripen fully and then dry and die just to see what happens.

Deck Container Garden Strawberries Gone
Deck Container Garden Strawberries Gone

The strawberries are gone.  My daughter was sad but asked me to continue watering it and let the weeds grow as some sort of cemetery for the departed strawberry plant.

Summary of an Inexpensive Drip Irrigation System

June was a tough month in the deck container garden.  Drastic action was needed to stop the drip irrigation system leak at the drip irrigation check valves.  Two of the six plants did not make it.  Two of the six plants are thriving and two of the six plants are surviving.  The heat is expected to continue through at least August.  My next experiment is to try some insulation board on the inside of each plant shade to see if that can reduce the brutal heat.  The dramatic, if expensive, improvement to the hose bib  where the drip irrigation attaches to the faucet and inexpensive drip irrigation system should stop drip irrigation system leak at the drip irrigation check valves and ease the suffering of the plants and resume regular fertilizing.

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Refreshing the Planter Boxes for Starting a Deck Garden

Spring time has arrived in Central Texas and it’s time to take all the lessons I learned from last year’s deck container gardening and apply them to a new round of education, fun and starting a deck garden.  I had some success last year and am excited to get started again and take advantage of everything I’ve learned as well as try a few new things for my container garden on the deck.

 

 

What I Learned Starting a Deck Garden

I’ve summarized what I’ve learned starting a container vegetable garden but here are my key learning’s from last year:

My goals for this season are

  • is to determine the ideal plant/water/temperature ratios for my deck garden
  • teach my daughters the benefits of having a regular container gardening project that produces real results
  • have fun, learn and enjoy fresh food from my deck container garden

The deck garden sat idle through the winter season so the first step in starting a deck garden is do do a quick inventory of what we have and what needs to be done to restart our container gardening.

 

Drip Irrigation for Container Plants

Faulty Container Gardening Backflow Preventer
Faulty Planter Box Backflow Preventer

 

I use a drip irrigation system to provide a regular a measured amount of drip irrigation for container plants to each planter box.  I tested the drip irrigation system and everything appeared to work fine except for a leaky backflow preventer.  I replaced it for about $4 and tightened all of the connections before starting a deck garden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Potting Soil for Container Garden

Planter Boxes for Starting a Deck Garden from Last Year
Planter Boxes from Container Gardening from Last Year

 

Container gardening can be very tough on soil and planter boxes.  The soil in each of the planter boxes has become dry and hard and will need to be supplemented with some new potting soil for my container garden.  This is the first step in starting a deck garden.  Some of this is due to the very dry winter we’ve had and part of it due to the very high temperatures from last year.  I’m going to be much more rigorous measuring soil temperature in my deck garden with a soil thermometer this year.

 

 

 

 

 

Container Gardening on a Deck

 

Deck Gardening Planter Box Before Adding Dirt
Deck Garden Planter Box Before Adding Dirt

 

The planter boxes from last year’s container gardening on a deck remain in relatively good shape but definitely show some wear and tear.  They will probably last at least one more year but will need to be replaced after that if they continue to deteriorate and before I consider another year of starting a deck garden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Potting Soil for Container Garden

Fresh Dirt for Deck Gardening
Fresh Dirt for Planter Boxes

 

I have some great potting soil for my container garden left over from last year’s container gardening when I filled the planter boxes but it is covered over with grass.  If you order potting soil in bulk, you can get it cheaper and it will always be ready when you are ready for starting a deck garden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Planter Boxes for Starting a Deck Garden

Freshly Filled Deck Garden Planter Box
Freshly Filled Container Gardening Planter Boxes

 

Each planter box for starting a deck garden is about 18 gallons and weighs approximately 125 pounds when completely filled with dirt.  I filled two planter boxes with new, fresh soil and lugged them to the top of the stairs.  It was tough but sometimes, starting a deck garden can be a challenge.  I then distributed the new soil across the 6 planter boxes to top them off.

 

 

 

 

Full Sun Container Gardens

Deck Garden Planter Boxes with Fresh Dirt for the Container Garden
Planter Boxes for Deck Garden with Fresh Dirt for the Container Garden

 

I filled the planter boxes for the full sun container gardens fuller with soil this year than I did last year.  Underneath the soil in each container is a set of empty plastic bottle as a space filler.  I have no idea about the condition of those empty bottles or what the temperature may have done to break them down.  Last year, I measured the temperature with a soil thermometer.  This year, part of my plan in starting a deck garden is to monitor the soil temperature much more closely.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos of Container Gardens

Planter Boxes in Container Gardening Ready to Plant
Deck Garden Planter Boxes Ready to Plant

 

The planter boxes for starting a deck garden are filled and ready for planting.  This year, I’m planting

  • one planter box of cucumbers
  • three containers of tomatoes
  • one planter box of peppers
  • one container of strawberries

I’m a big believer of taking a lot of photos of container gardens – from starting a deck garden to the very end – to help me document my progress and learn from my mistakes.

 

 

 

 

 

Cucumbers in a Container Garden on Deck

Cucumbers in Deck Garden Planter Box
Cucumbers in Container Gardening Planter Boxes

 

Last year, I planted two types of cucumbers in the container garden on my deck and they did fairly well until the heat got them.  My mistake when starting a deck garden was that I over planted in two dense rows, one of each type.  This year I’m still planting two types – Sugar Crunch and Early Pride – but I’m planting them in two small mounds centered in the planter box with only 6 seeds in each mound.

 

 

 

 

Partial Sun Container Garden Tomatoes

Container Gardening Juliet Tomato
Planter Box Juliet Tomato

 

In my partial sun container garden tomato planter boxes last year, I planted four tomato plants and a pepper plant in each planter box.  The result was that the tomato plants tended to grow tall and stringy.  This year in starting a deck garden, I’m only planting a single tomato plant in each planter box.  I very much like the “grape” style tomatoes and the Juliet variety is well suited to this area.

 

 

 

 

Full Sun Container Garden Tomatoes

Patio Tomatoes for Container Gardening
Patio Tomatoes in Planter Box for Container Gardening

 

How could you have a deck garden without having a Patio variety tomato plant?  These prefer a full sun container garden so we’ll make sure they are placed on the end of the line.  Again, only one plant per planter box.  Last year, when starting a deck garden, I planted as many as four plants in a planter box and they were too over crowded.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Pear Tomatoes in Container Garden on a Deck

Yellow Pear Tomato in Deck Garden Planter Boxes
Yellow Pear Tomato in Container Gardening Planter Box

 

My youngest daughter loves little yellow tomatoes in the container garden on the deck and she had the advantage of going with me when I purchased the plants.  So, she selected the Yellow Pear variety for this planter box.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chili Peppers in a Full Sun Container Garden

Jalapeno Pepper in Container Gardening
Jalapeno Pepper in Planter Box

 

I love fresh Pico de Gallo – a typically Mexican relish with tomatoes, peppers, onions and cilantro.  It’s not salsa, which i usually chopped very fine and even cooked sometimes.  Pico de Gallo (chicken scratch) is a much coarser relish and made/served fresh.  I want to be able to make my own so I considered planting everything I needed to make it when starting a deck garden.  When I thought about it, though, I decided not to plant onions because they are soil depth intensive and I chose not to plant cilantro because it is so easily available at the store.  Neither of those appeared to be well suited for a full sun container garden.  So, I’ve only planted peppers and tomatoes.  This is a mild jalapeno variety.  Pepper plants don’t grow very large so I elected to plant two pepper plants in this planter box.

 

Cowhorn Peppers

Cowbell Pepper in Planter Boxes
Cowbell Pepper for Deck Garden

 

I’m not really sure about this pepper but the description intrigued me and I didn’t want two jalapeno plants and I wanted to try this one more than I wanted to grow my own serrano peppers.  This is a cowhorn pepper.

 

 

 

 

 

Drip Irrigation for Strawberry Plants

Planter Boxes Strawberry
Container Gardening Using Planter Box Strawberry

 

I’m not a big strawberry fan.  I like them but it seems silly to grow them when they are so easily available at the store.  They also seem to require enormous amounts of drip irrigation for container plants and that makes it tough to manage when you are starting a deck garden.  That said, my youngest daughter wanted one for “her” container gardening and she was with me when we bought the plants so she got what she wanted!

 

 

 

 

 

Drip Irrigation for Container Plants

Planter Box Drip Irrigation Watering Timer
Deck Garden Drip Irrigation Watering Timer

 

I set the drip irrigation system watering timer for twice daily, 6AM and 6PM for five minutes.  Each plant in the deck garden has a 1 GPH emitter.  Some planter boxes have two plants so they have two emitters.  I have not utilized any fertilizer at this point and I have not measured the soil temperature with a soil thermometer yet.

 

 

 

 

Starting a deck garden is fun but it can be a lot of work and hopefully, it will pay off with lots of learning, enjoyment and delicious vegetables.

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