Posted by Oliver Gardner on July 14, 2014
I have to remind myself occasionally that the core purpose of this blog is to help My Garden Post gardeners get the highest yield possible with the least amount of work and the most enjoyment. This past weekend, a few friends were invited over to celebrate my wife’s birthday. I was anxious to see them and took the opportunity to show off my “gourmet salad factory” (pictured below) and my ready to pick cucumbers and peppers growing on two My Garden Posts on the back patio.
I knew two couples were avid gardeners and owned My Garden Posts. I was surprised to hear them comment, “Boy, wish ours looked that good”. One friend said that maybe she didn’t use the same seed varieties that I had and that her drip irrigation system wasn’t being used. The other friend asked about my fertilization schedule. I suggested that we not spend time talking about it then, but mentioned that they had given me an idea. I said, “Read my blog post this week. I can help you.”
To impress my friends, I removed the two lower salad planters and replaced them with two large combo planters with zonal geraniums, alyssum and vinca vines. Together they make a beautiful and practical combination.
I’m retired and home much of the time. Still, I wouldn’t want to garden in planters without using an automated drip irrigation. Consistent and uniform moisture in the soil is essential to grow healthy herbs, vegetables, flowers and fruit. My Garden Post includes a fully automated drip irrigation system that always remembers to water at the right time. You can do everything else perfectly and still get disappointing results, if you don’t irrigate properly. MGP’s automated timer is the easiest I’ve found to use and the system takes less than a ½ hour to install. There’s simply no reason to have stressed and sickly plants due to lack of water.
The other essential is food. Vegetables, after they have set their fruit and flowers in bloom have great appetites. I feed my herbs, strawberries and vegetables weekly with fish emulsion. I use most any well balanced (20-20-20) water soluble fertilizer on my flowering plants. I’m also a big fan of Osmocote for my flowering and foliage plants. It’s a slow release fertilizer that lasts 3-4 months. There’s no real science here. Plants need food and water. Special mention: As plants grow they fill the planters with roots, which require that you irrigate twice a day. Irrigation tends to wash nutrients from the soil mix that has to be replenished weekly.
I have lots of cucumbers on the way. I’ve applied an organic copper based fungicide to my cukes this year and avoided all fungal and mildew problems.
My friend questioned if she had planted the right seed variety. The My Garden Post comes with a 16 page instruction manual. On the last page, I listed a good number of my favorite varieties of herbs, vegetables, flowers and strawberries. She was referring to salad greens when she asked about the variety I planted, so I’ll comment on that. Most seed companies offer blends of loose-leaf lettuce and mixes of mesclun in seed packs. They can be seeded directly into the MGP planters or started inside in March. It’s hard to go wrong with these “gourmet” blends. They make beautiful tasty salads with different colors, textures and flavors.
Harvesting Made Easy: With My Garden Post, there’s no weeding, bending or stretching and never a reason to get dirt on your knees. It’s ideal for senior and handicapped gardeners.
Just before I rolled up to my desk to write today, I harvested greens from all 5 planters on My Garden Post for the 8th time since setting them outside about April 15th. I could have harvested even more often. Frankly, I didn’t know this was possible. Years ago, I would go to the garden to cut greens 2-3 times and that would seem to be the end of it. MGP is located just a few feet from the kitchen and visible from the living room. That convenience allows me to make sure the plants don’t get overgrown and past the point of another harvest.
Today’s gourmet lettuce harvest just fits in 4 large Ziploc Baggies. It’s harvest #8 since April 15th.
I’m sure you don’t need my advice on sunshine, but here are a few words. Make sure your My Garden Post gets at least a ½ day of direct sun. As long as the planters are properly irrigated, you have nothing to be concerned about.
Five Small Planters on My Garden Post. Water daily and feed weekly, this arrangement yields a harvest every 7-10 days.
There are more benefits of growing on My Garden Post. MGP occupies only 4 square feet of space on your balcony, deck or patio and allows you to replace 20 sf of cluttered
planters with an efficient vertical garden system. It creates more room for you, your plants are healthier and everyone is happier.
See you back here in a couple weeks. Thanks for following, Oliver