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Am I Too Late?


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I guess I am trying to be what you would call an "urban homesteader". Can't keep animals or anything and live in a small rental house with a small yard that we can't dig up.


I am wanting to grow some herbs, vegetables and berries. My thoughts for containers is to get three or four plastic kiddie pools from Walmart, put dirt in them, and create gardens. I want to border them all with Marigolds to try to keep the bugs away.


However, it is now summer. I am wondering if it is too late to start planting all of this stuff before winter...keeping in mind that I live in South Mississippi and so winter starts later and isn't as harsh.


Anyone who knows anything, please let me know if it is too late or if I could still plant this year.

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The kiddie pools are going to be too shallow for most vegetables, but herbs might do okay. Onions. Chives. Parsley. Basil. Little things. Come fall you can plant those things full of salad greens.


I have put out little tomato plants in the middle of June in your area, and got plenty. Cherry tomatoes can take much more heat than full-sized ones. You'll need a half-barrel sized container to grow without having to water the things two or three times a day. Mix a spoon of epsom salts into the soil near the plant, and if you can afford them some water crystals too. Try to get plants already started. Pull off all but the top two pairs of leaves, peel off the container, cut the roots where they circled the container and matted at the bottom of it, and lay the plant sideways. Bury the stem up to the bottom of the remaining leaves. Water very well, but don't fertilize much. Especially don't put on much manure.


Okra will still do fine. Get transplants if you can afford them, but you can also start them from seed at this time of year. They do very well in containers, although I've never tried them in something as shallow as a kiddie pool. They might do okay. They're pretty, too. If someone asks what they are, say Hibiscus Esculentus. If a cop asks if they're smokable, give him your best eyebrows-up look and drawl, "You ain't from around here, are you?"


Hot peppers you can plant now. Put them a foot apart. They will produce until almost Thanksgiving unless there's an early frost. Sweet peppers might keel over and die of the heat, unless you can give them a little afternoon shade.


Eggplants will do okay. I don't care for them, but they are certainly heat-tolerant and give an extended harvest.


Squash. All kinds. You have plenty of time unless you need to germinate your own. Maybe even then. They're pretty, too.


Wait your green beans until it's a bit cooler.


Sunflowers. Your landlord might let you grow them in the ground?


If flowers are okay in the ground, get some Jerusalem artichoke!!! plant the big old-fashioned orange daylilies with them so they don't look so straggly and weedy.


If you can put in a tall evergreen hedge, make it blueberries! Just make sure you;re getting southern blueberries, not northern blueberries.


I have sweet potatoes on the brain this year. Maybe you could devote one of those kiddy pools to sweet potatoes?

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We planted purple hulls peas in a little blue pool last year, in the summer in Arkansas. They did OK, but they had some kind of bug I could not get rid of. However, my Daddy next door had them in the ground, and he had the same bugs. Can't remember what we had in the pool before the peas, but it didn't work well.

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aussiemama, I'm not sure what your climate is but I know that in my area we get high heat and I am successful with container gardening. I use 5 gallon buckets and 18 gallon totes. Andrea has a wonderful container garden...I'll put the link with pictures in it for you to see. And we have a whole area for folks who live in "urban/suburban areas" called Urban Homesteading forum.





A link to gardening in wading pools...





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  • 3 weeks later...

You're welcome. I didn't make the plans, though.


You'll find that you will do modifications to make them work better for what you have on hand. For instance, on some of mine, I used landscaping cloth to close up all the holes between the floor and the sides of the container, but on others I used left over fiberglass window screen.


Have fun with it.


Oh yeah, here's a publication from MD's Extension Office about container gardens. Lots of good info, along with plans for making a self watering container in a 5 gallon bucket.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Fritz Monroe, I too want to move in the next two years back to Tennessee and I'm renting so I don't want to destroy the entire lawn with a garden, though I did make a raised garden but its made of scrap so it's easy to remove. I have foods in the ground, in the raised garden and in pots. I am definately gonna plan for fruits next year that won't take long to produce like berries.

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