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Budae Jigae
All -

Since I moved to the city only last summer, I have not had a garden in the city (let alone elsewhere), but am plannign to do some herbs and veggies this year.

Anyone out there have any container gardens? What grows well?

I have a great deck that is about 6x12 and gets tons of sun. Debating on either taking a kiddy pool (or building a small box) and planting a garden, or going all pots.

Any tips from any expert urban gardeners?

(BTW, I know this borders on the edge of culinary chat, but I thought I would pluck it into this forum - sorry mods if this is incorrect)

Thanks in advance!
I always do a large herb garden. They all do well. I also do some pepper plants: thai, pimento and some other small peppers.
Tomatoes don't do well because I do not have enough sun. But if you have sun, use a pickle bucket and a tomato plant should do really well.
Best of luck
I've bought live plants from The Chile Woman (http://thechilewoman.com/) for several years, and had good results with her hardened seedlings (it helps that they're only as far away as Indiana). She has a huge variety of chiles, tomatoes, and is about the only place that sells tomatillo seedlings that I've found. Quite a number are marked as good for patio or container growing.

Prices are NOT cheap, but quality is high.

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Want to go out and either get some seeds or seedlings today.

Where should I head? I live in Lakeview area. I wonder if that place in Old Town is open (although I am guessing I would pay a fair premium there).
I'm not too much of a gardener, but Gethsemane Garden Center in Edgewater seems like a nice place. Probably not the cheapest, but probably cheaper than Old Town, and it's huge, and every time I've been there, the staff have seemed really nice.

Gethsemane Garden Center
5739 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60660
(773) 878-5915

Joe G.

"Whatever may be wrong with the world, at least it has some good things to eat." -- Cowboy Jack Clement
jpeac2 wrote:Want to go out and either get some seeds or seedlings today.

Where should I head? I live in Lakeview area. I wonder if that place in Old Town is open (although I am guessing I would pay a fair premium there).

I think you're in for dissapointment if you plant today. We're likely to get another freeze or two before it's all over. I wouldn't recommend planting until at least the end of April...and that's pushing it (unless you have some sort of greenhouse arrangement).

Steve Z.

“Eating crappy food isn't a reward -- it's a punishment.”
― Drew Carey
Yup. Still WAY too early, even for peas and radishes. And the soil is way, way too wet to cultivate, as well.

Just be patient. If you're hell bent on gardening right this very second, buy a seed starting set-up and some seeds for cool-weather crops, and start your own plants.
My official rule for planting outside is Mother's Day in May. You can start seedlings as early as february and get them ready. If you really want to get started and add some color to your balcony what will work now are Pansies. There are many beutiful varieties and colors...Gethsemane Garden Center in Edgewater has them now. Best of luck.
Well all, about time for me to go out and buy some seedlings.

There is a place somewhat by my house in Lakeview on Diversey that I am thinking about checking out.

How is everyone's garden thus far?
We planted three kinds of basil, some dill, and parsley, plus there are cilantro plants coming up from where last year's crop went to seed. And we have a perennial oregano plant. We don't have enough sun for tomatoes or cukes which is sad, because I like growing veggies.

When you pick your containers, think about how quickly pots will dry out in full sun, even faster if your deck is windy. That's the main thing I remember from container gardening (we're in actual dirt now).
My garden is up and running. I found some interesting seeds at a nursery near Harpo Studios on Randolph. They were lettuce leaf basil...from italy the package was all in italian. I planted a huge tray and they are all coming up. We will see...
I searched but didn't find any comments about where to find inexpensive large container pots for tomatoes and other veggies. We put our seedlings into 12" diameter pots for now, but they will quickly outgrow them. Adams & Sons (by our home) has 1/2 barrel pots for about $30. Anyone find anything of comparable size for a better price? I hate to shell out about $200 for six large pots if I can get them for maybe $10-20 somewhere else...


- Mark

Homer: Are you saying you're never going to eat any animal again? What about bacon? Ham? Pork chops?
Lisa: Dad, those all come from the same animal.
Homer: Heh heh heh. Ooh, yeah, right, Lisa. A wonderful, magical animal.
wino66 wrote:I hate to shell out about $200 for six large pots if I can get them for maybe $10-20 somewhere else...

Depends on how concerned you are about aesthetics. If not, you can buy large plastic storage bins at Target, etc., and punch drainage holes.
Last year, I bought some large plastic containers that actually looked pretty good at Costco fro about $20-30 each. I know they had something similar at the LP one a few weeks ago but haven't been there since. Since they are plastic and hollow (or insulated), they don't dry out as fast as terra cotta. Good luck.
If you do some looking around in discount stores, you should be able to find the giant composite pots (the faux-stone ones) on the cheap. I've seen uthem at Wal-Mart, AJ Wright, Family Dollar...but unfortunately not consistently in any one of those places.

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