If you’re looking for a way to grow food that doesn’t involve a half acre of land and a strong back, consider setting up a patio vegetable garden.All you need to start growing today is a sunny spot on a relatively level surface, some containers, potting soil, and the right veggies.In this article, I’ll walk you through the process of setting up and maintaining a patio vegetable garden of your own.As a horticulturist, I grow dozens of containers filled with veggies on my patio every season, but there’s no need to create something so extensive.Thankfully, patio vegetable gardening isn’t super expensive, nor does it require a ton of labor beyond the initial set up.Yes, you will have to care for your plants all season long (more on how to do this in a bit), but maintenance is minimal when compared to an in-ground garden.That means when seeking out the ideal site for a patio vegetable garden, choose a location that receives a minimum of 8 hours of full sun per day.Feel free to set up the garden on a porch, deck, driveway, parking pad, or patio.Leafy green vegetables, like lettuce, kale, and chard, and some root crops, like carrots and radish, grow fine with as little as 4 to 6 hours of sun.However, if you’d like to grow heat-loving vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, beans, and squash, you’ll want to choose the sunniest spot possible.Use wheeled planters and pot dollies to move the containers from one side of the patio to the other each day to increase their light exposure.Another feature to be on the lookout for when choosing where to put your patio vegetable garden is a water source.10-15 gallons minimum for each extra-large vegetable, such as full-sized indeterminate tomatoes, winter squash, pumpkins, melons, and artichokes.This includes peppers, eggplants, tomatillos, dwarf blueberry bushes, cucumbers, summer squash/zucchini, and bush-type winter squash varieties.This includes kohlrabi, lettuce, kale, chard, collards, spinach, true micro tomatoes, and other greens.Making my own potting soil for my patio vegetable garden saves me a lot of money every year.Patio vegetable gardens can be really beautiful when planted in gorgeous colorful pots.Fill the pots and then stack them on top of each other to create a tiered food fountain for a corner of the patio or deck.Fill the pots with a mixture of edible greens, herbs, and compact tomato and pepper varieties.If you’re on a budget, consider growing your patio vegetable garden in repurposed milk crates.To grow multiple layers and maximize space, stack the crates checkerboard-style to create a “wall” of vegetable plants.They come in a range of sizes and have a removable drain plug so you don’t have to drill holes in the bottom for drainage.Each stock tank can house multiple plants and become a patio vegetable garden in just an hour or two.Once your patio containers have been planted, it doesn’t mean it’s time to sit back and relax.Watering is always the biggest maintenance task when growing a patio vegetable garden.Many vegetables produce better when regularly harvested, including beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and zucchini. .

11 Deck Vegetable Garden Ideas To Grow More In Less Space

If you’ve decided to create a vegetable garden on your deck or patio, these ideas and tips are going to help you in generating more growing area and crop productivity.Skinny Deck Gardening Bed for Growing Herbs, Vegetables, and Flowers.These skinny deck gardening beds here have tomatoes, lettuces, basil, oregano, dill, chives, and flowers like zinnia, daisy, and marigold.Carol from GardeningCook.com shares her valuable tips and knowledge for creating a deck vegetable garden in her article here.This excellent YouTube tutorial video shows how to build a planter box that hangs from a deck rail.This quick project at Craftivity Designs shows how to create a small deck rail herb garden.For this project, you’ll need an old shutter or reclaimed pallet or plyboard, a few large mason jars, herbs, hose clamps.First, make a 2 inches layer for drainage by adding gravel or small rocks in the bottom, then add potting soil and plant your favorite herbs.To grow more plants in a compact area like a balcony, patio or deck garden, a ladder planter is the greatest solution. .

Create a Patio Vegetable Garden

She combines her love of good food with a background in fine art to create kitchen garden designs that turn work into play.With innovative pots and planters that have self-watering reservoirs, it's easier than ever to grow fresh food right at your doorstep, whether it's a roomy patio, a wide front stoop or a compact balcony.Instead of digging a garden in the earth, plant a crazy quilt of herbs, flowers and vegetables in a collection of containers.By using elevated raised beds — where the planting surface is several feet off the ground — you can water, weed and harvest without bending over.By selecting functional, decorative planters and making careful plant choices, you can still have a front entry that is ornamental and edible.For larger planters, such as elevated raised beds, consider using soaker hose systems for thorough, efficient watering.Typical garden soil — even if it's fertile — is not the best option for pots, planters and raised beds because it doesn't drain well.When vegetables are grown in pots and planters, regular fertilization is crucial because most planting mixes are fairly sterile.Depending on the size of the planter, it's a good idea to start each year with fresh planting mix.Make a list of "succession crops" by season — early, midseason and late — so you know when to sow seeds.Choose crops that grow quickly from seed, such as basil, dill, chervil, mesclun greens or nasturtiums.Keep in mind that smaller pots will dry out frequently, so select to planters that hold at decent amount of planting mix, roughly 12 inches in diameter or larger.Many of the beds are designed to accommodate frames and covers that protect crops from pests, disease or intense sun.Trough VegTrug: Place this near a sunny dooryard and fill with aromatic culinary herbs, such as cilantro, dill, basil, sage, thyme, tarragon, parsley and chervil.Grow Bags are available in several sizes, designed to fit various crops, including tomatoes, potatoes and peppers. .

How to Build a Raised Garden Bed on Concrete, Patio, or Hard

Are you dreaming of homegrown veggies, herbs, and flowers – but the only space you have for a garden bed is on concrete, a patio, or other hard surface?Or perhaps you’re like us and have a good-sized yard, but want to maximize growing space by adding raised garden beds on your hardscape areas as well.Read along to learn tips and best practices for building a raised garden bed on concrete or other hard impervious surfaces.In this example, I’ll show you how we prepped a new wood raised garden bed to go on top of our asphalt driveway.Finally, we’ll also cover alternate options for putting planter boxes on hard surfaces – such as elevated raised beds and kits.Keep in mind that installing a raised garden bed on top of a deck may cause staining or water damage, unless drainage is controlled.Instead, we create a wire and fabric “basket” or bottom on our raised bed to both contain the soil but also promote drainage.If our example doesn’t suit your situation, read the “alternative options” for more ideas to add growing space to your patio, deck, or other hardscape area!Homestead and Chill gains a small commission from purchases made through those links, at no additional cost to you.Here is one alternate design that we’ll talk about near the end of the article: an elevated and mobile raised planting box.Even more, building a raised garden bed on top of concrete or other hard impervious surfaces brings about a whole new set of considerations.Instead, you’d likely want to protect your deck by using an elevated raised bed kit, or one that has a solid bottom and contained drainage system.On the other hand, the steps we used to modify our newest driveway garden bed will work well on top of concrete, asphalt, pavers, or similar surfaces.There is a common misconception that putting a raised garden bed on concrete or other hard surfaces will prevent it from draining well.A well-built raised garden bed on concrete will actually drain faster than one sitting snugly down within the soil of your yard.Well, excess runoff from your raised bed will run to wherever rain water usually collects on your hard surface.), quality soil (one with both adequate drainage but also good moisture retention), and the right bed height (taller is better!Most common vegetable plants need a minimum of 12 inches of soil to grow big and healthy.In fact, many plants prefer 18 to 24 inches or deeper, including tomatoes, carrots, peppers, eggplant, and even kale.With a traditional in-ground garden or raised beds open to the soil below, roots can grow deep and uninhibited.In contrast, putting a raised garden bed on concrete is essentially like creating a large pot or container.All that said, I suggest a minimum depth of 12 inches (preferably 18”) for any raised bed that will be put on a hard surface.Stacking four 2×6” boards to make a 22 to 24-inch deep bed is also great, but will take a lot more soil to fill.When it comes to filling a garden bed on concrete, invest in high-quality soil and compost to help compensate for the shallower root space.I suggest using a combination of some potting soil, some general planting or raised bed mix, and plenty of compost.Mulching the soil surface also increases moisture retention and reduces your need to water as frequently.It isn’t the best idea to add soil straight into a garden bed directly on top of concrete.I have heard it may slightly increase the pH of your soil over time when in direct contact with concrete.If you need any pointers here, please check out our detailed “How to Design & Build a Raised Garden Bed” tutorial.Next, we are going to line the inside bottom of the raised bed frame with hardware cloth wire fencing material.The hardware cloth serves as a sturdy and durable bottom for the bed, which landscape fabric will lay on top of next.It would also be easy to accidentally tear the fabric open on rough ground, such as when you’re setting the bed in place or if you ever move it.I’ve also found it helpful to stand inside the bed and step on the wire to press it into place.The common thin stretchy black plastic-like stuff will rip into shreds over time and make a huge gross mess.Add the landscape fabric to the inside bottom of the bed in a similar manner as the hardware cloth.It is important to leave the fabric very loose rather than taut, to provide give as it rests against the hardware cloth for support.Because there shouldn’t be much weight pulling down on the fabric, we simply used a staple gun to secure the cloth in place around the inner lower perimeter of the bed.When adding the landscape fabric to the bottom of the bed, I made sure we had plenty of excess and it sat loosely inside.I also pushed down on it, keeping the fabric flat against the bottom as I attached it, to ensure the staples wouldn’t pop out from being overly tight once soil was added.If this style and example doesn’t work in your situation for whatever reason, there are still a TON of other options to garden on a patio, deck, balcony, driveway, or other hardscapes!Others have a fully solid bottom and an internal drainage collection system, and you can direct runoff with a hose or valve.In fact, we have built our standard raised bed design and added a wood bottom on a few occasions!We drilled several large half-inch drainage holes in the bottom, before lining the interior with landscape fabric and adding soil.We chose this style because we wanted to elevate the small beds on heavy-duty furniture dollies with wheels, making them mobile.Otherwise, we personally avoid adding wood bottoms since they do inevitably inhibit some drainage and are prone to rotting over time.Plan to make beds that you wish to elevate on legs or dollies smaller than ones you’d put on the ground (either in depth, or width and length).We heavily rely on fabric pots or grow bags to supplement our raised bed gardening space. .

Everything You Need to Know About Container Gardening

In addition to growing flowers, gardeners limited to a balcony, small yard, or only a patch of sun on their driveway can produce a wide variety of vegetable crops in containers.Basil, chives, thyme, and other herbs also are quite happy growing in pots, which can be set in a convenient spot right outside the kitchen door.Houseplants summering outdoors in the shade also make a handsome addition to container gardening.Window boxes and hanging baskets offer even more ways to add instant color and appeal.Containers planted with a single species — rosemary or a bold variegated ornamental grass, for example — can be stunning garden accents.The best combinations depend on plants that feature handsome foliage and flowers produced over a long bloom season.One easy guideline for choosing the plants to combine in a container is to include "a thriller, a spiller, and a filler.".That's because large containers hold more soil, which stays moist longer and resists rapid temperature fluctuations.Small hanging baskets are especially prone to drying out, and during hot summer weather, you may have to water them twice a day to keep plants alive.Consider the size and shape of a plant's root system; whether it is a perennial, annual, or shrub; and how rapidly it grows.Rootbound plants, which have filled up every square inch of the soil available, dry out rapidly and won't grow well.If your container garden is located on a balcony or deck, be sure to check how much weight the structure will safely hold.In Northern areas, most need to be stored in a frost-free location to prevent cracking and are not suitable for hardy perennials or shrubs that will be kept outdoors year-round.Plain concrete containers are very heavy, so they are difficult to move and not suitable for using on decks or balconies.Choose sturdy and somewhat flexible containers and avoid thin, stiff ones — they become brittle with cold or age.Polyurethane foam containers resist chipping and cracking and also insulate roots against both hot and cold temperatures, making them a good choice for potting up plants that will stay outside year-round.Instead, prevent soil from washing out by placing a layer of paper towel or newspaper over the holes before adding mix.If your container is too deep, you can put a layer of gravel or Styrofoam in the bottom to reduce the amount of potting soil required.For larger containers, use a relatively coarse soilless planting mixture to maintain the needed water and air balance.If you are growing fragrant plants, such as heliotrope (Heliotropium arborescens), place containers in a site protected from breezes, which will disperse the perfume.Use your imagination and combine upright and trailing plants, edibles, and flowers for pleasing and colorful effects.When designing permanent containers, remember that the plants will be less hardy than usual because their roots are more exposed to fluctuating air temperature.Dwarf or bush forms of larger vegetables such as tomatoes, pumpkins, and winter squash are most suited to container gardening.Or plant a container with edible flowers such as marigolds, pansies (Viola × wittrockiana), and nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus).Geraniums, marigolds, wax begonias, coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides), scarlet sage (Salvia splendens), and flowering tobacco (Nicotiana spp.).Ornamental grasses are great in container gardening, too, as are dwarf conifers and small shrubs.To keep mixed pots attractive, dig out or cut back any plants that don't grow well or that clash.This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. .

How to build a basic, ground-level deck

This isn't possible for solid composite deck boards as they have one standard size of expansion gap.Work all this out before you cut and assemble the deck frame or add concrete pads.These should be the depth of the screw's head and wide enough for a ratchet or socket attachment to tighten them.Also known as countersunk holes, these recesses ensure the screw heads will be flush with the joist surface for a neat finish.Replace your drill bit for one that's thinner than your coach screw's shank. .

For Beginners: Four Can't-Miss Ways to Attract Birds to Your Yard or

Here are four proven ways to attract a maximum number bird species to your yard.The best way to “advertise” is to let them hear the water by using a fountain pump or a small drip hose.I like to think about migrant species such as warblers, vireos, and flycatchers stopping off for a refreshing drink (and snack) on their way from Canada to Central America.Different birds eat different things, so it helps to offer a variety of food types.Native plants that provide seeds, berries and insects are the best and most natural way to offer food for wild birds.These birds have a beautiful gold color and they are a pleasure to watch along with their cousins, the red-hued house finches and bright-colored buntings.Thistle seed requires a special bird (finch) feeder with smaller holes,.These birds have a beautiful gold color and they are a pleasure to watch along with their cousins, the red-hued house finches and bright-colored buntings.They are more likely be picked up by ground feeding birds, such as doves, juncos, sparrows or even squirrels.Suet is basically a cake of animal fat and is a healthy source of protein for birds, especially in the winter months.is basically a cake of animal fat and is a healthy source of protein for birds, especially in the winter months.There are a large number of bird species that stay on the ground to feed and seldom, if ever, land on feeders.They will often gobble up seeds that have fallen from the feeders and others will scratch around in small piles or mats of leaf litter you can place around the yard.The main thing about attracting birds to your yard or deck is to let it happen over time and enjoy it.Remember to keep up with the food and water supplies, especially in the winter when you can help dozens of birds survive the cold.We are fond of the National Wildlife Federation’s Guide to North American Birds because of its good reviews and reasonable price. .

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