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rebbel's avatar

Some questions on kitchen gardening. Can you shed some light?

Asked by rebbel (25207points) March 25th, 2012

Recently we started a kitchen garden, a small one on our balcony.
We put in different kinds of vegetable seeds; carrots, radish, cayenne peppers, spring onions, mini tomatoes, and some herbs.
I filled the box with ex-clay first, then potting soil mixed with special sow soil.
Should I press the soil so it is compact or can I put the seeds in the loose ground?
When the information on the seed sachets says to put them half a centimeter under, is that very important or does it not matter that much if I accidentally put them one or two centimeters under the surface will the seeds have more difficulty growing through the soil?
Untill now only the radish seeds have popped, can I consider the others lost or will they appear in due time I put them some eight days ago?
Besides answers to my questions; any other tips are most welcome!
I might come back to this thread with other questions concerning our little garden soon, because I am sure we will need more advice.
Thanks in advance!

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16 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Give it some time. Radishes are really early.Don’t compact the soil too much but make sure the seeds have good soil contact. And in containers you’ll need to fertilize during the growing season.

jaytkay's avatar

My experience growing root vegetables in a small space did not work very well. Carrots and radishes produced scrawny, skimpy crops.

Now I grow only hot peppers, basil and dill. I simply throw lots of seeds in the dirt (more than recommended, I weed out the extra later), cover with a centimeter of soil, and water every day.

Tomatoes work, too, but I get better tomatoes at the store.

My whole garden is two clay pots like this

Since I do not have room for a compost pile or box, I use a method I call “instant composting” – I put vegetable scraps in the blender and pour the green slurry on the plants.

marinelife's avatar

1. Don’t compact the soil.

2. Try to plant the seeds only as deep as it says.

3. The others may still be germinating. You are watering I hope.

bkcunningham's avatar

@rebbel, how big is your gardening box? That sounds like a lot of plants for one container. Also, what is the ex-clay you put in the bottom of the container? I’m assuming it is something for drainage, which is essential.

Also, I garden in pots, but I usually purchase the plants when they are starts and already germinated. It takes longer for some plants, especially tomatoes to germinate and some seeds may not germinate in the soil.

jaytkay's avatar

It takes longer for some plants, especially tomatoes to germinate and some seeds may not germinate in the soil.

People here at Fluther gave me great advice when they said I could germinate tomatoes in egg cartons.


Adagio's avatar

In addition to the other’s advice, make sure your little garden has plenty of light and receives a fair amount of sunshine; the deeper the soil, the closer together plants can be; water well but don’t overwater, seeds can rot; grow things you like to eat; keep a written record of when seeds are planted and when they germinate, also make a note of what is successful and what not so; I would also advise starting with seedlings instead of planting seeds. The very best of luck to you, enjoy your little garden… Oh yes, don’t forget you can grow the odd flower plant among the vegetables, adds a bit of colour to the mix.

rebbel's avatar

Thanks all, so far!
The stuff I mixed with the potting soil is special fertilized soil (worth two months of ‘food’).
I water them every other day, not splashes with a bucket but with a bottle with little holes in it as to not flood the seeds, and the other day I spray the soil with a nozzled botlle.
The container is 60cm by 80cm (20cm of soil).
The ex-clay is used to contain water for times of drought or forgetfulness of the watergiver.
And I drilled holes in the bottom of the container to let surplus water go.
Indeed there are many seeds in the container, but my idea was to re-pot them in big(ger) pots once they start to pop/grow.
I also made some hanging boxes for pots to hang from the balcony railing.

bkcunningham's avatar

I use stones in the bottom of my pots for drainage. I use lots of smaller containers so I can move them about if they aren’t doing good in one area. The one other word of advise I’d give is to have flowers near the plants to attract bees and butterflys for the plants that need to get pollinated. Have fun and learn from your mistakes. I love container gardening. @jaytkay your germinated seeds are beautiful. Good advise from Jellies.

rebbel's avatar

Good advice indeed!
I will definitely put some flowers (bulbs) in, or close to it.
For pollinating and for brighten the container up a bit.
Thanks guys and gals, I appreciate your input!

bkcunningham's avatar

Keep us updated. I’m excited for you and wish you a bounty of fresh produce and fun.

gailcalled's avatar

Various lettuces (started from seed( will work with container gardening.

rebbel's avatar

Just yesterday I planted some wild rucola seeds (and three artichoke seeds) in an abundant fridge container, @gailcalled.
We love lettuces, my girlfriend makes amazing salads!
@bkcunningham I will, and thank you!

gailcalled's avatar

@rebbel: What is rucola? And what does an artichoke seed look like? When I eat artichokes, i can’t remember anything that looked plantable.

rebbel's avatar

@gailcalled It is a kind of lettuce, and this one has a spicy, nutty taste.
The seeds are about half a centimeter big and they look like this.

gailcalled's avatar

@rebbel: Are we talking about what we call arugula or rocket in English?It looks like this and has a fresh, peppery taste. It sounds like the same plant, doesn’t it?

rebbel's avatar

Yep, @gailcalled, rocket is the one.
I forgot to mention that you know it as rocket after I checked the Wiki on rucola.

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