“The Upside Down Patio Garden planter produced by Flambeau has an upper usable planter section measuring 14” X 14” X 5.5” which is the equivalent of 1078 cubic inches of area of planting space,” explained Debra Hopkinson, former owner/partner in the DanDe Greenhouse here in Clinton, Tennessee. “After careful consideration and a sizable amount of concern surrounding the specific vegetables, flowers, and/or herbs to include in our first experiment planting this patio container, we have chosen the following vegetables:
1 upside down cherry tomato plants
2 yellow straight-neck squash
3 slicing tomato
5 bell pepper
6 banana pepper
The picture at the upper left shows our planting plan. As much as possible, guidelines for companion planting were followed, however, our personal selection of vegetables coupled with the limited space that this patio planter offers, presents some definite challenges and limitations. The key to making such a combination of plants in such a small space work will be to provide a substantial amount of tender loving care, making sure to provide adequate daily sunlight, regular watering as needed, and at least one feeding per week with a liquid soluble fertilizer to all plants in the container. As we said, this is an experiment, and we may find that our plan incorporates too many vegetable plants for this small space, or that our choice of vegetables and their placement within the planter has adverse effects on the other vegetables in the planter. In this initial experiment the planter will be positioned against the south-southwest exterior wall of our house where it will receive full sunlight for at least 8 hours each day. The lettuce (#7) color-coded green in the picture, along with the squash and zucchini plants will be against the wall. The squash and zucchini on each end of the lettuce, along with the slicing tomato plant in the center and the bell pepper and banana plants in the front corners should provide adequate shade for the lettuce throughout the course of the day. Remembering that the cherry tomato plants (#1) in the picture will be hung upside down through the holes in the bottom of the upper planter section, there are two sides with several inches of additional planting space, which we may choose to utilize once we actually begin to plant our unit. Should the need arise for the lettuce to receive more sunlight, the unit could be turned to provide more to that section of the planter either in the early morning or in the late evening. Additionally, if plants needing full sunlight for 8 or more hours each day were planted in the unit, the entire unit could be set on a dolly with casters and easily turned a couple of times each day. Our plan is to be able to have this mini-garden planted and well on its way to maturity before cool weather sets in, and then bring it inside in the hopes that it will provide fresh vegetables well into the Fall.”
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