ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

My Small Vegetable Garden

Updated on February 10, 2017

How Did My First Raised Bed Garden Grow?

My small garden has proven to be a real learning experience! Yes, a raised bed garden makes growing vegetables and plants easier, but nothing ever really goes as planned. This page is a chronicle of the first summer season in my small, raised bed vegetable garden. I have included photo galleries further down this page that cover the months from April until September. You will see my successes and my failures.

The image above is of my raised bed garden. The photo was taken in early May (garden was planted in the month of April in the southeastern USA).

Sunlight is the most important ingredient to the success of a vegetable garden. At least six hours exposure is important for success!

Another very important ingredient to gardening success is a good fertilizer! Choose organic or other kinds, but you must feed your garden! My personal recommendations for fertilizers can be found by clicking here (opens a new page).

In my previous experimental garden, I used containers of various sizes and materials so I could move the location if needed.

I discovered that vegetables grown in pots are subject to blossom end rot. (The cure for blossom end rot: Add calcium or use a spray--this is the one I use: Fungicide Tomato Yield Booster-- opens a new page.) I also discovered that the dirt in the pots dries out quickly and that can hurt production on the plants and make them more susceptible to disease.

You can read about my adventure in growing tomatoes in pots here: A "Secret" Potting Mix Formula for Tomatoes (link opens a new tab)!

After all that experimentation with containers, I now have a location for my garden and have made a permanent raised bed garden. My husband built it in a day. Keep scrolling down to see how he accomplished that gardening task.

Unless otherwise stated, all photos are mine.

Based on a work at A Small Vegetable Garden.

(this article was written in 2009 and is updated about one time a year; it DOES contain timeless information and you are welcome to continue reading on)

NOTE: This page was edited in April of 2017. I try to update it about once a year. The information is classic and I invite you to read all about my experiences with a raised bed garden.

5 Tips for your 1st Garden:

1. Do not crowd your plants. Follow directions for spacing!

2. Buy the best wood you can for your planter or it will rot.

3. Do Your Research!

4. Use fertilizer.

5. Water every day in the morning.

Constructing A Raised Bed Garden

You must have a Plan!

We purchased these supplies for the raised bed:

14 landscape timbers (Note: buy the best you can! Mine developed termites because they were not treated. Read Raised Garden FAQ for advice for purchasing wood. Remember that treated lumber might contaminate your vegetables with unwanted chemicals.)

a box of 6" timber nails ($47)

the soil (3 bags 1CF top soil- $2.34, 1 bag 2CF Miracle-Gro Garden Soil-$5.36, two 50lb bags Black Cow Manure-$8.) SHOULD HAVE BOUGHT MORE!

Total: $62.70.

Ten vegetable/herb plants totaled $31.00. (Too many! My garden was too crowded and became prone to disease.)

I bought a flat of bedding plants (flowers) for $14.95--I know, too much, but I had a variety of plants in one flat. I did not use all the flowers in the vegetable bed. The flowers that I did put in the raised bed eventually died because I over-planted.

My husband built the box in one afternoon. He bought 14 timbers and had 2 left over. Approximate finished size: 70" x48" x10"

Before we put in the soil, I placed an old bed sheet on the bottom. I thought I would see if it would keep the weeds and grass from invading my raised bed from beneath! Originally, I was going to use newspapers, but decided to try the sheet instead. I tacked the sheet up the sides of the box as well so the dirt might stay put in the box. (I am holding up the edge of the sheet in the picture above right.) NOTE: the sheet worked for the first year. It eventually rotted, but it did no harm and did kill the grass under the raised bed.

For the square pots:

I purchased the soil and tomato growing mixture for the 2 large pots from a friend for about $45. He got the supplies at Classic Garden and Landscape in Center Point, AL. This garden shop has a "secret formula" for growing tomatoes. He and I wanted to try the method so we shared the cost.

So, I need to get approximately $138.00 worth of vegetables out of this garden to break even! (I am numerically challenged so if my totals are off, forgive me.)

2 Garden Fertilizers I Highly Recommend

Charlie Thigpen (used to work for Southern Living magazine) personally recommended the Dynamite fertilizer to me. It is organic and will not burn your plants. It needs only to be applied once a growing season--but feel free to add it if plant leaves start to turn yellow.

To see Charlie's website click Charlie Thigpens Garden Gallery.

1. Mr. Stripey Heirloom Tomato

Did not get many tomatoes at all--will not plant it again.

2. Talladega Tomato

Not many fruits from this plant either--it could have been too crowded.

3. Lemon Boy Tomato

(the was the best producing tomato plant)

4. Anaheim Pepper

A fun pepper to grow, had decent results.

5. Sweet Basil (herb)

Great herb plant! Learn to make pesto by visiting my Dixie Pesto Recipe.

6. Brandywine Heirloom Tomato (Produced lots of fruit and got top heavy--should have kept it trimmed back. This should have been the only tomato plant in the garden. See what I did with the green tomatoes from this plant.)

7. Pattypan (early white bush scallop) Squash

Grew very well--too well in fact; should have given it more room or trimmed it back.

8. Orange Bell Pepper

Did not get as many peppers as I had hoped for--it is more cost efficient to buy my bell peppers from Costco.

9. Red Bell Pepper -- see the above Orange Bell Pepper comment.

10. Lettuce Blend

I kept my lettuce growing all year long by reseeding. Grew right thru the winter. You must plant lettuce!

I planted extra lettuce seed along the outer edges.

I later added flowers for beauty and pest control (marigolds). (The garden was over-planted so my flowers eventually died.)

Raised Bed Garden Kits for sale: - Find a deal on a raised bed on eBay.

If you do not have a husband or a handy-person to do your building, you can buy a kit on eBay for your raised bed garden!

I would advise you to find a more permanent wood product than the garden timbers that I used.

Want to build your own and not buy a kit? Here is a very good article from Sunset magazine that has instructions for building a raised bed garden: The Perfect Raised Bed.

Patio Tomato is a great producer!
Patio Tomato is a great producer!

Tomatoes planted in 2 containers:

Will I get enough from these pots to justify the expense?

On April 17th I had tiny tomatoes. They are on the plant in the tan colored pot. It is a "Patio Cherry Tomato" variety specifically for pots.

In one of the square big pots, I planted one of each: Big Boy Tomato Plant; Bush Goliath Tomato Plant

In the second square big pot I planted one of each:

Bonnie Original Tomato

Patio Tomato (a branch that was broken off the other patio tomato--I hope it roots!)

Informative book about "gardening by the square foot" ~

Click the following to go to the Original Square Foot Garden website:

Welcome to my garden!

Square Foot Gardening: A New Way to Garden in Less Space with Less Work
Square Foot Gardening: A New Way to Garden in Less Space with Less Work

I have wanted one of these square foot gardens for a very long time. This is the book that will teach me the basics of Square Foot Gardening!

 

Growing vegetables in a small space! - A recommened book for every gardener.

Read this gardening book and it gave me lots of ideas and encouragement!

Fresh Food from Small Spaces: The Square-Inch Gardener's Guide to Year-Round Growing, Fermenting, and Sprouting
Fresh Food from Small Spaces: The Square-Inch Gardener's Guide to Year-Round Growing, Fermenting, and Sprouting

Beware. This is a dangerous book. Once you have read it, you will not be able to say: "I don't have enough space (or light, or the right climate, or soil) to grow any food." You'll have to find some other excuse.

From a review by Susan Wittig Albert

 

A Month By Month Gallery:

See how this raised bed did during its first summer.

April 14-16th in my garden: - Click on each picture to get a description of my gardening efforts:

Click thumbnail to view full-size
I have three pots this year. Last year, everything was grown in pots and I "did battle" with blossom end rot. These pots were planted on April 14th. There is a "Better Boy" in the upper left of the pot.A friend and I got a potting formula from Classic Gardens in Center Point, Alabama. It is supposed to be a really good medium to grow tomatoes in pots. We shall see.My husband built this raised bed for me in one day. I planted on April 14th. Three tomato plants are from the left to the right in the back row next to the fence.  Continuing the back row are pepper plants. There is another tomato plant in the front Another view of the raised bed.I am attempting to grow some lettuce in the round pot in this picture. It gets warm here in the south very quickly in the springtime, so I am not sure how it will do. The lettuce seed was planted about a month ago. I also planted lettuce seed in thePepper plants should not be planted deeper than the top of the container that they came in. Of course, take the plant out of the container if it is plastic, before you put it in the ground.My basset hound is behind the fence in the backyard. My raised bed is located between the driveway and the fence. It gets the most sun here--that is important!One of the heirloom tomato plants is shown here. Those are "wave" petunias that you see flowering in the lower right corner. These plants have only been in the ground for one day.Two more tomato plants. It is very important to plant "deep" with tomatoes. Pinch off the lower leaves, dig a hole and bury the plant up to the top group of leaves. Do not cover the entire plant! Leave the top group of leaves above the ground. Day onA tomato that is specifically for a pot. I lost the tag, so I am not sure what the variety is. It is probably a cherry. It was potted about four weeks ago and is doing very well. I need to remember to check the moisture in the dirt when I use a pot t
I have three pots this year. Last year, everything was grown in pots and I "did battle" with blossom end rot. These pots were planted on April 14th. There is a "Better Boy" in the upper left of the pot.
I have three pots this year. Last year, everything was grown in pots and I "did battle" with blossom end rot. These pots were planted on April 14th. There is a "Better Boy" in the upper left of the pot.
A friend and I got a potting formula from Classic Gardens in Center Point, Alabama. It is supposed to be a really good medium to grow tomatoes in pots. We shall see.
A friend and I got a potting formula from Classic Gardens in Center Point, Alabama. It is supposed to be a really good medium to grow tomatoes in pots. We shall see.
My husband built this raised bed for me in one day. I planted on April 14th. Three tomato plants are from the left to the right in the back row next to the fence.  Continuing the back row are pepper plants. There is another tomato plant in the front
My husband built this raised bed for me in one day. I planted on April 14th. Three tomato plants are from the left to the right in the back row next to the fence. Continuing the back row are pepper plants. There is another tomato plant in the front
Another view of the raised bed.
Another view of the raised bed.
I am attempting to grow some lettuce in the round pot in this picture. It gets warm here in the south very quickly in the springtime, so I am not sure how it will do. The lettuce seed was planted about a month ago. I also planted lettuce seed in the
I am attempting to grow some lettuce in the round pot in this picture. It gets warm here in the south very quickly in the springtime, so I am not sure how it will do. The lettuce seed was planted about a month ago. I also planted lettuce seed in the
Pepper plants should not be planted deeper than the top of the container that they came in. Of course, take the plant out of the container if it is plastic, before you put it in the ground.
Pepper plants should not be planted deeper than the top of the container that they came in. Of course, take the plant out of the container if it is plastic, before you put it in the ground.
My basset hound is behind the fence in the backyard. My raised bed is located between the driveway and the fence. It gets the most sun here--that is important!
My basset hound is behind the fence in the backyard. My raised bed is located between the driveway and the fence. It gets the most sun here--that is important!
One of the heirloom tomato plants is shown here. Those are "wave" petunias that you see flowering in the lower right corner. These plants have only been in the ground for one day.
One of the heirloom tomato plants is shown here. Those are "wave" petunias that you see flowering in the lower right corner. These plants have only been in the ground for one day.
Two more tomato plants. It is very important to plant "deep" with tomatoes. Pinch off the lower leaves, dig a hole and bury the plant up to the top group of leaves. Do not cover the entire plant! Leave the top group of leaves above the ground. Day on
Two more tomato plants. It is very important to plant "deep" with tomatoes. Pinch off the lower leaves, dig a hole and bury the plant up to the top group of leaves. Do not cover the entire plant! Leave the top group of leaves above the ground. Day on
A tomato that is specifically for a pot. I lost the tag, so I am not sure what the variety is. It is probably a cherry. It was potted about four weeks ago and is doing very well. I need to remember to check the moisture in the dirt when I use a pot t
A tomato that is specifically for a pot. I lost the tag, so I am not sure what the variety is. It is probably a cherry. It was potted about four weeks ago and is doing very well. I need to remember to check the moisture in the dirt when I use a pot t

My Garden on April 22nd - See how my plants are growing--click on pictures to read comments or get a larger size.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
As you can see, I added flowers: marigolds and zinnias.The piece of timber in the front middle of my raised bed was placed there to provide a level spot to put a sprinkler. I can also stand on it to reach the back of the bed if I need to.The lettuce can be picked! Mmmm, baby lettuce in my salads!The patio tomato plant is really showing progress!
As you can see, I added flowers: marigolds and zinnias.
As you can see, I added flowers: marigolds and zinnias.
The piece of timber in the front middle of my raised bed was placed there to provide a level spot to put a sprinkler. I can also stand on it to reach the back of the bed if I need to.
The piece of timber in the front middle of my raised bed was placed there to provide a level spot to put a sprinkler. I can also stand on it to reach the back of the bed if I need to.
The lettuce can be picked! Mmmm, baby lettuce in my salads!
The lettuce can be picked! Mmmm, baby lettuce in my salads!
The patio tomato plant is really showing progress!
The patio tomato plant is really showing progress!

My Garden on April 30 - Click on a picture to see it up close.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Two peppers!Notice seed case on the leaf of the bush squash!It looks like the branch rooted. Remember, I accidentally broke off a stem of the patio tomato?Growing like a weed--but it is a tomato with LOTS of little green globes that will soon be turning red!
Two peppers!
Two peppers!
Notice seed case on the leaf of the bush squash!
Notice seed case on the leaf of the bush squash!
It looks like the branch rooted. Remember, I accidentally broke off a stem of the patio tomato?
It looks like the branch rooted. Remember, I accidentally broke off a stem of the patio tomato?
Growing like a weed--but it is a tomato with LOTS of little green globes that will soon be turning red!
Growing like a weed--but it is a tomato with LOTS of little green globes that will soon be turning red!

My Garden on May 7th - I had to add supports for the tomatoes and peppers this week! You can click on a picture to enlarge it or read comments.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
I have been looking for cages for these tomatoes. My husband and I are not agreeing on what to use. I want to use bamboo and make a teepee shaped cage. He wants to add more wooden strips similar to the supports in the back of the pots.These photos were taken around 3PM.I am trying to save money by reusing cages from last year. I also had some short bamboo stakes that I put on the heirloom tomato plant in the front left corner.I had a small support in my stash that I put between the pepper plants. It might be too small. We were expecting some bad weather, so I just went ahead and used this trellis to give the plants some support. So far it is working fine. I have LOTS of bThe wave petunia bit the dirt (died) so I put a globe basil plant in its spot.Close up of the globe basil.This patio tomato keeps getting more little globes of green. See the closeup photos below.
I have been looking for cages for these tomatoes. My husband and I are not agreeing on what to use. I want to use bamboo and make a teepee shaped cage. He wants to add more wooden strips similar to the supports in the back of the pots.
I have been looking for cages for these tomatoes. My husband and I are not agreeing on what to use. I want to use bamboo and make a teepee shaped cage. He wants to add more wooden strips similar to the supports in the back of the pots.
These photos were taken around 3PM.
These photos were taken around 3PM.
I am trying to save money by reusing cages from last year. I also had some short bamboo stakes that I put on the heirloom tomato plant in the front left corner.
I am trying to save money by reusing cages from last year. I also had some short bamboo stakes that I put on the heirloom tomato plant in the front left corner.
I had a small support in my stash that I put between the pepper plants. It might be too small. We were expecting some bad weather, so I just went ahead and used this trellis to give the plants some support. So far it is working fine. I have LOTS of b
I had a small support in my stash that I put between the pepper plants. It might be too small. We were expecting some bad weather, so I just went ahead and used this trellis to give the plants some support. So far it is working fine. I have LOTS of b
The wave petunia bit the dirt (died) so I put a globe basil plant in its spot.
The wave petunia bit the dirt (died) so I put a globe basil plant in its spot.
Close up of the globe basil.
Close up of the globe basil.
This patio tomato keeps getting more little globes of green. See the closeup photos below.
This patio tomato keeps getting more little globes of green. See the closeup photos below.

May 14th--Still Growing! - You know the drill - click on a picture to enlarge it.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Howie the Wonder Basset! He Loves tomatoes! Honest!
Howie the Wonder Basset! He Loves tomatoes! Honest!
Howie the Wonder Basset! He Loves tomatoes! Honest!

May 21st ~ A Problem Arose for my garden! - The Roofers Came and wreaked havoc on my veggie garden and pots! Click on each picture to enlarge it or read comment

Click thumbnail to view full-size
This week the tomatoes did not get as much sun. I had to move the pots away from the house because of the roofing project.I hope the roofers finish soon.Use what you have on hand! Recycle old window screens to protect from flying shingles. I am hoping that this will protect the delicate tomato and squash plants that were doing so well.Side view so you can see that at least the raised bed garden is still there.This poor pepper plant was beheaded! I have noticed that there is a sprout coming up from the base of the plant that was not harmed.The blossom set seems to be doing its job. I have several tiny tomatoes on one of the plants in the pots. Blossom set spray helps when night-time temps are not warm enough in the late spring or summer for the blooms to germinate.
This week the tomatoes did not get as much sun. I had to move the pots away from the house because of the roofing project.
This week the tomatoes did not get as much sun. I had to move the pots away from the house because of the roofing project.
I hope the roofers finish soon.
I hope the roofers finish soon.
Use what you have on hand! Recycle old window screens to protect from flying shingles. I am hoping that this will protect the delicate tomato and squash plants that were doing so well.
Use what you have on hand! Recycle old window screens to protect from flying shingles. I am hoping that this will protect the delicate tomato and squash plants that were doing so well.
Side view so you can see that at least the raised bed garden is still there.
Side view so you can see that at least the raised bed garden is still there.
This poor pepper plant was beheaded! I have noticed that there is a sprout coming up from the base of the plant that was not harmed.
This poor pepper plant was beheaded! I have noticed that there is a sprout coming up from the base of the plant that was not harmed.
The blossom set seems to be doing its job. I have several tiny tomatoes on one of the plants in the pots. Blossom set spray helps when night-time temps are not warm enough in the late spring or summer for the blooms to germinate.
The blossom set seems to be doing its job. I have several tiny tomatoes on one of the plants in the pots. Blossom set spray helps when night-time temps are not warm enough in the late spring or summer for the blooms to germinate.

May 28th in the garden - Click on each picture of my garden to enlarge it and read any comments.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
I added bamboo stakes! I finally found some and it was not in a store!I am really pleased with the bamboo.Howie the wonder dog is jealous of the attention I have been giving the garden. Or maybe he is waiting for a tomato to drop off one of the plants.Yep, he wants a tomato. Yesterday I picked a ripe one off the patio tomato and put it on the wood siding for the bed. Howie found it right next to where he is lying today.No, Howie. The next ripe tomato goes to Griff.
I added bamboo stakes! I finally found some and it was not in a store!
I added bamboo stakes! I finally found some and it was not in a store!
I am really pleased with the bamboo.
I am really pleased with the bamboo.
Howie the wonder dog is jealous of the attention I have been giving the garden. Or maybe he is waiting for a tomato to drop off one of the plants.
Howie the wonder dog is jealous of the attention I have been giving the garden. Or maybe he is waiting for a tomato to drop off one of the plants.
Yep, he wants a tomato. Yesterday I picked a ripe one off the patio tomato and put it on the wood siding for the bed. Howie found it right next to where he is lying today.
Yep, he wants a tomato. Yesterday I picked a ripe one off the patio tomato and put it on the wood siding for the bed. Howie found it right next to where he is lying today.
No, Howie. The next ripe tomato goes to Griff.
No, Howie. The next ripe tomato goes to Griff.

June 4th In My Garden - Click on each picture to read any comments I have made:

Click thumbnail to view full-size
I am needing to back up to get the tallest tomato plants in the photo.Howie is eying the patio tomato plant!
I am needing to back up to get the tallest tomato plants in the photo.
I am needing to back up to get the tallest tomato plants in the photo.
Howie is eying the patio tomato plant!
Howie is eying the patio tomato plant!

June 12th in the garden! - Click on each picture to read comments I made about the vegetables:

Click thumbnail to view full-size
One plant grew at least a foot this week. See it on the extreme left.I am having trouble getting the entire raised bed in the photo!A patty pan squash developed this past week. I could eat it now as a baby, but it is the only one I have - so I will let it grow to maybe the size of my hand. The skin gets tougher as it grows, so pick a patty pan when it is youngish.My hand, one squash plant leaf!I these poblano peppers grew just this week!My decapitated pepper plant is surviving. New growth and new blossoms! Yea!
One plant grew at least a foot this week. See it on the extreme left.
One plant grew at least a foot this week. See it on the extreme left.
I am having trouble getting the entire raised bed in the photo!
I am having trouble getting the entire raised bed in the photo!
A patty pan squash developed this past week. I could eat it now as a baby, but it is the only one I have - so I will let it grow to maybe the size of my hand. The skin gets tougher as it grows, so pick a patty pan when it is youngish.
A patty pan squash developed this past week. I could eat it now as a baby, but it is the only one I have - so I will let it grow to maybe the size of my hand. The skin gets tougher as it grows, so pick a patty pan when it is youngish.
My hand, one squash plant leaf!
My hand, one squash plant leaf!
I these poblano peppers grew just this week!
I these poblano peppers grew just this week!
My decapitated pepper plant is surviving. New growth and new blossoms! Yea!
My decapitated pepper plant is surviving. New growth and new blossoms! Yea!

July 3rd in the garden - Gardens do not fare too well when you are on vacation!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Yep, they keep on growing.My son took care of the watering of the plants. He also harvested about 20 tomatoes while we were out of town.The patio tomato plant is spectacular!My third pot did not do well. My husband moved it to make it easier for Todd to water it. The move almost did the squash plants in. I moved it back to its original spot and trimmed the dead leaves.
Yep, they keep on growing.
Yep, they keep on growing.
My son took care of the watering of the plants. He also harvested about 20 tomatoes while we were out of town.
My son took care of the watering of the plants. He also harvested about 20 tomatoes while we were out of town.
The patio tomato plant is spectacular!
The patio tomato plant is spectacular!
My third pot did not do well. My husband moved it to make it easier for Todd to water it. The move almost did the squash plants in. I moved it back to its original spot and trimmed the dead leaves.
My third pot did not do well. My husband moved it to make it easier for Todd to water it. The move almost did the squash plants in. I moved it back to its original spot and trimmed the dead leaves.

July 31st--High Summer in the Garden - My garden has over-grown its spaces!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The two pots.The squash is growing over the driveway. And I thought they were supposed to be a bush!The cherry tomato plant.Howie waiting for a cherry tomato.How NOT to stake a tomato plant!
The two pots.
The two pots.
The squash is growing over the driveway. And I thought they were supposed to be a bush!
The squash is growing over the driveway. And I thought they were supposed to be a bush!
The cherry tomato plant.
The cherry tomato plant.
Howie waiting for a cherry tomato.
Howie waiting for a cherry tomato.
How NOT to stake a tomato plant!
How NOT to stake a tomato plant!

Photo Gallery of The End: September 22, 2009 - Click on individual garden images to read my comments and make them larger:

Click thumbnail to view full-size
What a difference a season makes. My garden is not so pretty any more.The two pots needed to be separated because they were getting bugs and such. Moving one to another spot created more air space around them and discouraged disease.Here is the other pot.This is the third pot that really did not produce well. Not sure why. I will ponder its failure this winter and plan for next spring.The patio tomato plant was one of the best producing plants. It was put into a bucket because Howie (my basset hound) knocked it over and broke the original clay pot. I held the broken pot together and put it in the bucket. I did not want to transplaAs you can see, the patio tomato survived the Howie attack and is still producing.
What a difference a season makes. My garden is not so pretty any more.
What a difference a season makes. My garden is not so pretty any more.
The two pots needed to be separated because they were getting bugs and such. Moving one to another spot created more air space around them and discouraged disease.
The two pots needed to be separated because they were getting bugs and such. Moving one to another spot created more air space around them and discouraged disease.
Here is the other pot.
Here is the other pot.
This is the third pot that really did not produce well. Not sure why. I will ponder its failure this winter and plan for next spring.
This is the third pot that really did not produce well. Not sure why. I will ponder its failure this winter and plan for next spring.
The patio tomato plant was one of the best producing plants. It was put into a bucket because Howie (my basset hound) knocked it over and broke the original clay pot. I held the broken pot together and put it in the bucket. I did not want to transpla
The patio tomato plant was one of the best producing plants. It was put into a bucket because Howie (my basset hound) knocked it over and broke the original clay pot. I held the broken pot together and put it in the bucket. I did not want to transpla
As you can see, the patio tomato survived the Howie attack and is still producing.
As you can see, the patio tomato survived the Howie attack and is still producing.

Cherry Patio Tomato Plant - watch how it grows! - Ate the first ripened cherry tomato on Friday, May 22nd. Oh so good!!!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
April 14thApril 16thApril 23rdApril 30thMay 7th--these will be turning red soon, I hope!May 14th. I have one tomato that is turning red!May 21st--I had to move the patio tomato because the roofers came.May 28th! Yep, harvest time every day.June 4th.June 12th. Notice how the tomato has grown past the support. I need to tie up the side vines.
April 14th
April 14th
April 16th
April 16th
April 23rd
April 23rd
April 30th
April 30th
May 7th--these will be turning red soon, I hope!
May 7th--these will be turning red soon, I hope!
May 14th. I have one tomato that is turning red!
May 14th. I have one tomato that is turning red!
May 21st--I had to move the patio tomato because the roofers came.
May 21st--I had to move the patio tomato because the roofers came.
May 28th! Yep, harvest time every day.
May 28th! Yep, harvest time every day.
June 4th.
June 4th.
June 12th. Notice how the tomato has grown past the support. I need to tie up the side vines.
June 12th. Notice how the tomato has grown past the support. I need to tie up the side vines.

Tomatoes In Containers: A Gallery

Cherry (or Patio) Tomato Plant in September

Cherry (or Patio) Tomato Plant in September
Cherry (or Patio) Tomato Plant in September

Tomato Yield Booster - Mickie_G uses this garden product!

Recommended product to help control blossom end rot. A must have product if you grow vegetables in containers.

More Excellent Squidoo Pages to help you grow a Square Foot Garden

Year after year I find the most wonderfully informative pages about gardening on Squidoo. I truly believe that the best and the brightest write here.

  1. A Square Foot Gardening Adventure:

    Just because you build it, you might not plant it the same year! Read about the journey one mom made to growing vegetables with her children.

  2. Square Foot Garden:

    Excellent page about using the Square Foot Gardening method. Personal experiences are the best ones to learn from.

  3. Waist High Raised Bed Gardening:

    How to garden when you cannot bend down.

What I have learned about vegetable gardening:


1. Water every day in the morning when there is no rain.

2. Do not plant tomatoes close together.

3. DO assume that all the plants will grow so allow for lots of room.

4. Do NOT assume that a "bush-type" squash will be a bush and not a vine.

5. Do not be afraid to try growing something new.

Please let me know what you think of my garden. I also welcome useful tips.

Thanks!


Plant Your Seeds of Wisdom About Growing a Small Vegetable Garden! - The Guestbook:

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      tcaldy 3 years ago

      Great lens. Give me a bit more courage to try a container tomato plant this year.

    • wiseriverman profile image

      wiseriverman 4 years ago

      With all of the beautiful photos of your garden I feel like I'm right there. If only I could reach out and pick one of your delicious looking tomatoes. Great job. I love this.

    • profile image

      LadyDuck 4 years ago

      Great lens and great work, your potted vegetables looks great. Congratulations

    • Mickie Gee profile image
      Author

      Mickie Goad 4 years ago

      @Mary Stephenson: I must try planting dill with the tomatoes. Horn worms drive me crazy! They are so hard to see and can devastate a tomato plant in no time. Thanks for the tip.

    • Mary Stephenson profile image

      Mary Stephenson 4 years ago from California

      I have always planted dill with my tomatoes. Have a huge problem with tomato hornworms and the dill keeps those ugly giants away.

    • Itsellcomua profile image

      Itsellcomua 4 years ago

      awesome garden!)

    • Mickie Gee profile image
      Author

      Mickie Goad 5 years ago

      @Leem54: Never heard of this. Must look into it. I would not want to eat any mushrooms that were grown using this wood in my garden.

    • profile image

      Leem54 5 years ago

      Your garden looks so nice. As you mentioned about the wood rotting, I wonder if it would be possible to inoculate the wood with mushrooms?

    • Mickie Gee profile image
      Author

      Mickie Goad 5 years ago

      @PickupTrucksFan1: My raised bed will be razed this year. I am not sure I will have another one. With the drought (you are correct that a raised bed does dry out!) in the South this year and last, a home garden is not practical for me anymore.

    • PickupTrucksFan1 profile image

      PickupTrucksFan1 5 years ago

      As you wisely note, treated timbers could contaminate your bed. In addition, raised beds are notorious for drying out fast, thus regular watering is a must.

    • madoc profile image

      madoc 5 years ago

      My summer project. Next summer..

    • malena10 profile image

      malena10 5 years ago

      I also have some vegetables on my balcony- I live in a block. Nice lens, congrats for Purple star!

    • profile image

      sally-james-56232 5 years ago

      Excellent lens, and love your garden. We grow everything in pots as we have no garden soil at all.

      Thank you

      sallyJames

    • profile image

      Tarra99 5 years ago

      Size doesn't matter ;) My garden this year is still a "learning experience"...has grown since last year but still learning from it...eg: this year I learned the chipmunk likes strawberries...lol

    • Anthony Altorenna profile image

      Anthony Altorenna 5 years ago from Connecticut

      Love your garden! It's amazing to see how much you are able to grow in a relatively small area.

    • Mandy Stradley profile image

      Mandy Stradley 5 years ago

      Nice information, I would love to start a garden! Thanks!

    • LovelyMom77 profile image

      LovelyMom77 5 years ago

      I am working on growiing a garden but I think other unknown seedlings had better ideas. Now I am NOT sure what I am growing.

    • hartworks lm profile image

      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      Lovely garden and lovely lens! It always makes me happy to see people learning to garden, as it's such a great way to get top quality food! We ate the first cucumber from our cold frame last night, and the flavor you can't get in stores!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      :D Awesome Lens

    • thingz1 profile image

      thingz1 5 years ago

      I'm ready to go "above ground" as our tomatoes plants in previous years have not been very productive. Thanks for the tips.

    • cynthiannleighton profile image

      cynthiannleighton 5 years ago

      Yum! Nice lens. I enjoyed it! My tip to add here? Enjoy eating your garden goodies as soon as practical after picking.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Need patience to reap what you plant. Thanks for your tips.

    • themeanviolets profile image

      themeanviolets 5 years ago

      I love this lens! I planted a garden of herbs just yesterday. Baby bok choy, rosemary, genovese basil, green onion, and spinach! All from seeds. Hopefully they become happy herbs! Thanks for a great lens!

    • profile image

      therustedgarden 5 years ago

      Well I am impressed with the tomatoes in containers. Looks like you conquered keeping them watered and fed. I like the comment too that all bush type plants might not be well... BUSH TYPE. Nice work.

    • DeannaDiaz profile image

      DeannaDiaz 5 years ago

      What a great way to make your life a little greener!

    • AlisonMeacham profile image

      AlisonMeacham 5 years ago

      I appreciate all the tips here. I have tried with container gardening but never had the success that you have had. I am going to use your tips this year! Blessings to you.

    • Wayne Rasku profile image

      Wayne Rasku 5 years ago

      Writing about what works and what doesn't is a great way to present information like this for guys like me who are just trying to figure out how to do a small garden. Thanks for the excellent information.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Great lens, informative.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      really a thumbs up!

    • earthybirthymum profile image

      earthybirthymum 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Beautiful Lense, you have put so much effort into this article. I too am looking forward to spring gardening, and cleaning! Many Blessings

    • Mickie Gee profile image
      Author

      Mickie Goad 5 years ago

      @JoanieMRuppel54: I have made a lot or errors and continue to make them. This year will, again, be a learning process for me--as is every year.

    • JoanieMRuppel54 profile image

      Joanie Ruppel 5 years ago from Keller, Texas

      Trial by error (or success!) is a gardener's creedo! Enjoyed your lens.

    • Scraps2treasures profile image

      Scraps2treasures 5 years ago

      I had a similar experience with Mr. Stripey. I was very disappointed with the yields. Your garden pictures are beautiful, by the way. I am itching for spring so I can get out in the garden again. In the meantime, I will have to be satisfied with surfing gardening lenses :)

    • Ilonagarden profile image

      Ilona E 5 years ago from Ohio

      This is a great garden lens. You not only made yourself a fruitful garden, you showed what is possible for people with limited space.

    • awesomedealz4u profile image

      awesomedealz4u 5 years ago

      Very interesting. Nice job!

    • flicker lm profile image

      flicker lm 5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your garden progress. Great photos! I use tall square tomato cages for my tomato plants. Seems to be the only way I can keep them manageable.

    • Einar A profile image

      Einar A 5 years ago

      Good information on getting started with raised bed gardening, and great photos, too! I grew those white "patty pan" squashes this past summer, but grew them right next to my yellow crooknecks, and the two cross-pollinated to produce some very unusual-looking squashes!

    • jballs6 profile image

      jballs6 5 years ago

      Great lens! I really like the way you have set it out and the fantastic photos. Well done!

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 5 years ago from Topeka, KS

      Oh my goodness but this is a wonderful article! I love the photos of how your little garden turned into a HUGE garden. :) I'm doing research for my own garden so thanks for the tips!

    • Serenity30 profile image

      Serenity30 6 years ago

      amazing lens!!! very well done, thorough and easy to navigate.

    • profile image

      djroll 6 years ago

      This is a wonderful lens. If found your timeline very interesting. Beautiful plants too.

    • MariaMontgomery profile image

      MariaMontgomery 6 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      Wow, so many beautiful photos! This is a great lens. Maybe I will have better luck with tomatoes next year. This year, not so much

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Hi Mickie_G,

      Wow . . . great tomato lense. The containers are a great way to grow them! Make it easy to harvest.

      N T T

    • Anthony Altorenna profile image

      Anthony Altorenna 6 years ago from Connecticut

      This lens is beautifully done, very informative and filled with great gardening advice. Garden tomatoes are the best, especially when you grow them yourself. Our yard is so rocky and sloped, that we had to build raised beds for our small garden.

    • PizmoBeach LM profile image

      PizmoBeach LM 6 years ago

      This lens has inspired me to get my herb and vegetable garden in order for the coming planting season. Thank you. A great lens.

    • RuthieDenise profile image

      RuthieDenise 6 years ago

      This is a well made lens. Lot's of nice photos too.

    • LisaAuch1 profile image

      Lisa Auch 6 years ago from Scotland

      this was indeed wonderful following your journey, i have not had much success with vegtables but you have ow inspired me to try again!

    • justholidays profile image

      justholidays 6 years ago

      Wow! You gave me some ideas for my own garden! Thank you for this!

      Blessed by a passing angel on Squidoo.

    • Mickie Gee profile image
      Author

      Mickie Goad 6 years ago

      @anonymous: I used the bed sheet as an experiment to see if it kept the grass from growing up thru the dirt. I put my new dirt on top of the sheet. It worked for me. If you are not building your raised bed over grass, then you do not need to try this. Plastic tarp is not a good idea, I believe. The sheet has rotted away by now--I am beginning the third summer for this bed.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Did the bed sheet reduce weeds? Would you recommend using bed sheet or plastic tarp or nothing?

    • profile image

      pawpaw911 6 years ago

      Nice lens. Interesting subject. Did a lens on Sunflowers, and thought I would check out some other gardening lenses.

    • Wedding Mom profile image

      Wedding Mom 6 years ago

      This is a great information! I love to garden, its just a great past time and planting veggies is the thing that I love most! This is truly an amazing lens,this will encourage people to make gardening as a hobby and planting vegetables too! Thanks for making this delightful lens!

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 6 years ago

      I'll be doing a very small patio garden this spring and summer, thanks for the great info.

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 6 years ago

      Your Giant Squid Award and purple star are well earned - great job.

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image

      June Parker 6 years ago from New York

      This is a great lens. I loved your story and tips about your small garden. Happy April Fool's Day! Leaving you with a Fool's Day Blessing (no April Fool's prank here). This lens has also been added as a featured lens on My Squid Angel Wings blessing lens too. Look for it in the April Fool's Day section for the "Home & Garden" neighborhood.

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 6 years ago from Australia

      I love looking at other people's veggie patches, so thanks for sharing yours :-)

    • lemonsqueezy lm profile image

      lemonsqueezy lm 6 years ago

      We are starting our first small vegetable garden this year. This is very inspirational.

    • profile image

      PrettyWorld 6 years ago

      What a cute little garden! Such a nice use of your growing space.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 6 years ago

      This is a WONDERFUL lens! I have bookmarked it and will refer back to it as we go forward in our attempts to garden. I especially like your emphasis on heirlooms. I tried to raise some heirlooms and they are difficult but I am committed to learning how to do it because tomatoes are so delicious and my daddy raised such great ones. Container garden is a great idea because you can do it in such small space.

    • giltotherescue profile image

      Gil Hildebrand 6 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      Those tomatoes look fantastic. Yum.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 6 years ago from Colorado

      Your lens really hit the spot today. I've been having such deep gardening cravings lately. It was wonderful to have this virtual growing moment. Thank you! :-)

    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 6 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      I've just been offered a small garden plot in a friend's garden. I"m so excited. I've really missed having my own garden. Your lens will be such a help.

    • jvsper63 profile image

      jvsper63 6 years ago

      I love the garden. I don't have one. But I can, I will get around to it, hopefully soon:) Nice job

    • jackieb99 profile image

      jackieb99 6 years ago

      I have a huge garden, but I always enjoy reading about other's experiences with gardening.

    • Barb McCoy profile image

      Barb McCoy 6 years ago

      Looking for ideas for my new smallish garden and your lens popped up! Thanks for the photo journal and the tips.

      Adding to my favorites and adding a special Angel Blessing.

    • profile image

      scss 6 years ago

      NOTHING on earth tastes as wonderful as home grown, sun ripened, organic garden veges and fruit! Keep up the great work on this garden - the rewards are priceless!

    • profile image

      poutine 6 years ago

      Your garden looks pretty nice to me.

    • jlshernandez profile image

      jlshernandez 6 years ago

      This lens inspired me to make a vegetable gardening. It is intimidating because I do not even know how to start, how to irrigate it, how to keep pests away. Thanks for sharing.

      Blessed by a SquidAngel.

    • Nightowl John profile image

      Nightowl John 6 years ago

      We've been talking about doing a raised bed vegetable garden for a couple of years. We'll be lining the bottom with a wire fencing of some sort to keep out the gophers! Squid Angel blessed.

    • profile image

      KDimmick 6 years ago

      Blessed by an angel :)

    • javr profile image

      javr 7 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I have had a lot of success with small plots. I recommend that more people try it for health and for relaxation.

    • profile image

      ZazzleEnchante 7 years ago

      Great lens! Informative, educative, interesting with great pics, and made all the more richer with author's experience. Blessed by a SquidAngel.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Gardening is one of the best hobbies and very satisfying. Love your garden and pictures.

    • Mickie Gee profile image
      Author

      Mickie Goad 7 years ago

      @AlisonMeacham: Thanks for the blessing!

    • Mickie Gee profile image
      Author

      Mickie Goad 7 years ago

      @elizajane202 lm: If you are talking about tomato plants, I use purchased wire cages. I also have a friend who has some bamboo in their yard. I use 4 bamboo stakes around a plant (kind of like a teepee), tie it at the top, then loosely tie the stems of the plant to the stakes. I like to use torn cotton strips to tie. This plan also works for pepper plants.

      Your question has made me do some thinking, so I am going to create a page about how to stake garden vegetable plants.

    • Mickie Gee profile image
      Author

      Mickie Goad 7 years ago

      @BuckHawkcenter: Thanks for the lensroll, BuckHawk! I love the friendly, sharing community here on Squidoo!

    • howtocurecancer profile image

      howtocurecancer 7 years ago

      I l;ove your garden. I wish I have one!

    • BuckHawkcenter profile image

      BuckHawkcenter 7 years ago

      From one gardener to another - congratulations on your beautiful garden. Lensrolling to my BuckHawk Garden Tour lens.

    • elizajane202 lm profile image

      elizajane202 lm 7 years ago

      I'm trying to grow my own, thanks for posting the diary. I must ask, how do you keep them from falling over. I can get them to sprout up but once they do they start leaning towards the ground and they have such thin stems they fall. ;( Help.

    • hlkljgk profile image

      hlkljgk 7 years ago from Western Mass

      what a great little garden. your harvest looks delicious. :)

    • AlisonMeacham profile image

      AlisonMeacham 7 years ago

      Obviously my husband (DrRichard) and I think alike as I just found this lens today. We love our square foot garden. Blessings to you

    • DrRichard LM profile image

      DrRichard LM 7 years ago

      Excellent stuff. We did a square foot garden too. 5 stars and favorited

    • WiscBear profile image

      WiscBear 7 years ago

      our round Recession Garden is now starting it's second year. Agree to lean and try something new.

    • profile image

      poutine 7 years ago

      I like the pictures that you added to this well described lens.

      Poutine

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 7 years ago

      Great inspirational lens. Been working in my autumn garden planting winter vegies today. Blessed and featured on Sprinkled with Stardust

      Norma

    • jcairney profile image

      jcairney 7 years ago

      The pictures are great, my mouth started watering when I saw the tomatoes....guess what I'm eating now.

    • eclecticeducati1 profile image

      eclecticeducati1 7 years ago

      I love your small gardens! I really want one. Great lens! Blessed by an Angel.

    • profile image

      marsha32 7 years ago

      It's wonderful!

      I seen your comment on my Cosmosphere lens and came to your page.

      I had to click here since I am just about to start building a lens about our garden this year that I will update as things grow (we got most of it planted today)

    • KiwiSanet profile image

      KiwiSanet 7 years ago

      Your lense is pictorial proof that one does not need acres of land to enjoy growing your own vegetables. I love it!

    • Grasmere Sue profile image

      Sue Dixon 7 years ago from Grasmere, Cumbria, UK

      Inspirational! I'm getting back into gardening, and I've added it to my "rediscovering and remembering" lens.

      Thanks for the guidance.

    • poptastic profile image

      Cynthia Arre 7 years ago from Quezon City

      Congratulations for winning the 2009 Giant Squid Award, Mickie! This is such an information-packed and well-presented chronicle of your garden adventures. *applauds* Your vegetable garden is beautiful - I am now inspired to start growing my own veggies this year as well (my spice garden wilted on me last year but I'm not giving up on gaining that green thumb).

    • mariatjader profile image

      mariatjader 7 years ago

      Great lens! 5* from a fellow gardener

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 7 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Congratulations on your well-deserved 2009 Giant Squid Award. Happy New Year and Best Wishes for 2010, Mickie! :)

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 7 years ago

      Great job!

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 7 years ago

      Cool! Congrats on winning the award for 2009! Blessed by an angel!

    • Laniann profile image

      Laniann 7 years ago

      Congratulations on being selected as one of the 2009 Giant Squid Award Winners for your Small Vegetable Garden lens.

    • profile image

      GrowWear 7 years ago

      Congratulations for My Small Vegetable Garden, 2009 Best Gardening Lens!

    • nebby profile image

      nebby 7 years ago from USA

      Congratulations on your Giant Squid Award! I love looking at your garden photos (we never have a garden)

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Congratulations on winning the 2009 Giant Squid Award for Gardening! Sprinkling a little Angel dust for your plants.

    • RhondaAlbom profile image

      Rhonda Albom 7 years ago from New Zealand

      Just stopped back to say congratulations!

      Blessed