Monday, April 4, 2011

Container Gardening for Kinder-gardeners (appropriate, eh?)

I've decided that container gardening is what I'm doing this year since my happily anticipated actual garden in the back yard never happened since it requires actually digging up the yard, raking and seeding. As much as I loved growing up in a rural community and eating foods picked from Mom's garden, and as much as I LOVE driving through what remains of the rural Garden State and the scenery of Lancaster County, and as much as it pains me to see the demise of the American Farmer, I'm afraid I'm just not one who can pull it off. However, I desperately want to grow my own veggies (especially since we use so many tomatoes, bell peppers and onions when we cook); so I've decided that I'll grow these things in containers with bagged soil (already full of nutrients and not the mystery chemicals that may be part and parcel of our back yard courtesy of a toxic dump next door that was to have had a school built on it. I kid you not! See the picture below. If the sign wasn't there announcing the building of the school (originally canceled because the state authorities in charge of the money SPENT all the money set aside for these schools on their own offices instead!), you'd be able to see our house as we're right on the corner!

Gloucester City - middle school to be built on Superfund site. Millions waste on cleanup and relocation of residents (

Gloucester City - Polluting industry located directly across street from proposed school on Superfund site.
Gloucester City - school located in an industrial zone on a Superfund site (we live on the left just before the street bends a bit to the left)
The area inside the yellow perimeter on the bottom left is where we live. See the bare area? That's the field where the school was to be built. We're directly across the street. (from
So, I think containers are the better way to go, no matter what. This despite the fact that somewhat behind the photographer here and to the right there is a community vegetable garden where people who can't grow at home can go to grow their veggies. Regardless, it's probably better than I do containers. 
I will, however, be putting my rose bush out back. It requires little maintenance and plenty of sun and water, AND we don't eat roses. I think I'm good there.
So, here for your perusal and use is a chart supplied by Ohio State's Extension service about which vegetables work best in which containers. Now I need to figure out where a child's beach bucket and a couple of 8 qt round totes fit in.

Container Size
Beans, LimaBush Baby, Fordhook Bush Lima, Fordhook 24212" wide, 8-10" deep
Beans, SnapBush Romano, Contender, Provider, Tendercrop Stringless, Bush Blue Lake8" wide, 8-10" deep
BeetsBaby Canning, Spinel Little Ball, Red Ace Hybrid, Burpee Golden6"-12" deep
BroccoliAny variety but Crusader20" deep
Brussels SproutsAll varieties12" wide, 12" deep
CabbageBaby Head, Dwarf Morden, Minicole, Fast Ball, Flash8"-10" wide, 12" deep
CarrotsShort root or round, Nantes, Gold Nugget, Best of the Bunch, Little Finger, Baby Spike, Short & Sweet, Thumbelina10" wide, 10" deep
ChardAny variety8-12" deep
Chinese CabbageBok Choy, Michihli, Wong Bok20" deep
CollardsAny variety12" deep
CornSpace saving varieties, F-M Cross, Golden Bantam, Kandy Korn, Precocious21" wide, 8" deep. Need 3 plants per container to assure pollination.
Salad Bush, Burpee Hybrid II, Bush Crop, Spacemaster, Burpee Pickler, Bush Champion, Fanfare, Pickalot, Picklebush, Pot Luck
20" wide, 16" deep
Dusky, Morden Midget, Bambino, Millionaire
16" deep
Maliner Kren
5 gallon or larger
KaleAny variety8" wide, 8" deep
KohlrabiGrand Duke12" deep
LettuceBlack-seeded Simpson, Red Sails, Salad Bowl, Tom Thumb, Green Ice, Little Gem8" wide, 6-8" deep
Bunching types work best: White Pear, Japanese Bunching, Beltsville Bunching, Crystal Wax Pickling PBR
10-12" deep
Little Marvel, Sugar Bon, Sugar Mel, Laxton's Progress, Sugar Rae, Melting Sugar, Burpee's Blue Bantam, Early Patio, Snowbird
12" deep
Any variety
16" deep
Charlotte, Kennebec, Red Pontiac, Irish Cobbler, Epicure
1-20 gallon containers
PumpkinsAutumn Gold Hybrid, Bushkin, Jack Be Little, Small Sugar, Baby Boo5 gallon tub
Cherry Belle, Early Scarlet, French Breakfast, Sparkler, Burpee White, Comet. Avoid winter radishes.
4-6" deep
Any variety
4-6" deep
Squash, Summer
Early Yellow Summer, Crookneck, Goldbar, Park's Creamy Hybrid, Straightneck, Scallopine, Peter Pan, Gold Rush, Pic-N-Pic Hybrid, Richgreen Hybrid, Sunburst
24" deep
Squash, Winter
Butterbush, Bush Acorn, Table King, Cream of the Crop
24" deep
TomatoesPatio VF, Pixie, Small Fry VFN, Yellow Pear, Sweet 100, Tumbling Tom, Container Choice, Rutgers, Tiny Tim, Husky Red, Husky Gold, Yellow Canary, Whippersnapper, Basket Pak, Red Cherry, Gardener's Delight, SundropDwarf--12" deep
Standard--24" deep
Any variety
10-12" deep
Courtesy of the Ohio State University's Extension Service.


  1. I'm more of a container gardener myself, especially now that I'm back to living in an apartment. Given the lovely superfund sites right next door, regardless of other motivations I'd say you made the right choice in gardening style.

  2. I had great success with container gardening a couple of years ago. I haven't even started seeds yet this year, but bought tomato seeds just this morning to remedy that.

    Popping in by way of the A-Z Challenge. I’m blogging at:
    Write, Wrong or Indifferent
    Marie Anne’s Missives
    In the Garden With Sow-n-Sow
    Every Day Crochet