Zanoske
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Too late to start planting?

Hi everyone! Just joined the forums can't wait to start learning all sorts of new things! We just moved to northern NJ and we have a great little patio that the sun hits pretty nicely each morning. I have dabbled in growing veges and plants in the past but didn't have too much success. I'm looking to really get into it now so that I can grow some great healthy organic product for my gf and I to share ^^v I know it's alittle late in the growing season to start(mid-July) but I was wondering if there was anything I could still plant as immediatly as tomorrow to just get a start. I'm not looking for anything crazy serious(as in expensive or advanced) but I'm willing to put some serious dedication into this! We have a large ceramic pot already but that's about it. We're on a budget but I'd like to get one plant going just get some experience for next season. I'm pretty much a noob so if there are any plants I can still start this late please spell everything out for me >_< as in what to feed it, how often to water, what to do when it gets cold, ect. Thanks in advance can't wait to hear from you!

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rainbowgardener
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Well mid-summer in the middle of heat and drought isn't a great time to be planting stuff. But if you just want to try growing something, plant a few beans. Get some bean seeds, soak them in water over night, and plant them (not too deep, maybe 1/2") in POTTING SOIL in your container. Depending on how big your container is, maybe just 3 -4 beans.

When they are sprouted, they will need something to climb. Something like this would work:

[img]https://ohmyveggies.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/cucumber_in_container_6-6-12.jpg[/img]

That's a cucumber plant, which is bigger. you would plant one bean next to each stick. Or you can make straight sticks and wrap circles of twine around them for trellis. Or like this but with taller trellis:

[img]https://cdn-media.gardenguides.com/media/images/attachments/000000/29/44/000000/38/11/MTEzOA~~NDQyOTo1.jpg[/img]

But you said sun "each morning." Beans need at least 6 hrs of sun a day. If you don't have that, then you need some kind of shade lover. But then it gets real challenging, because the things that like shade, don't like heat....
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gumbo2176
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I'll second what rainbowgardener said about sunlight. My garden is in my yard and almost all of it gets 12 hours of sunlight a day. That is good and bad depending on the time of year. With our summer heat, it's not so good right now except for the okra, peppers, eggplant and yard long beans. Everything else has turned to toast and was pulled a few weeks ago.

Container gardening is more of a challenge than direct planting in the ground. You need to have large enough containers to handle the size of the plants. You'll also need to water more often since containers dry out faster. You can't overcrowd the container with too many plants or you'll wind up with no crop to speak of since they will all be fighting over the same nutrients and water.

What type vegetables do you like to eat? Check out sites relaltive to your growing zone and see what you can plant now, figure out how much space is needed for the plants and if it is practical to do so.

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applestar
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Rainbowgardener is on the right track. I would recommend bushbeans however, rather than pole (climbing) beans. You will need large planters at least 3 gallon (1 bean plant per pot), preferably 5 gallon size (think like at minimum 14-15" wide and deep) Or window boxes that are at least 11"-12" deep. Containers will need to be watered once a day unless it rains enough to fill a bucket with 1" of water.

Look for premium organic potting soil -- I like Gardener's Gold or Dr. Earth brand -- I'm currently using the one in orange bags with a goofy name like Pot of Gold :roll: These are not usually sold in big box stores -- look for them at a local independently owned garden center. See if they have any left over started vegetable plants as well. Maybe peppers.

I'm also about to start broccoli and cauliflower for fall crop. But if your patio doesn't get enough sun as rainbow was asking, you may not be able to grow something like that. We can explore what your patio may be able to support.

There are a number of other things that we will be planting for harvesting in the fall. This is the time to start thinking and getting ready.

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ReptileAddiction
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Im thinking that you could start peas inside now or in a couple of weeks. Since your just starting out I highly reccomend learning to start from seed it is the best part :D Peas are pretty simple to grow. Buy a window bok about 1 foot deep and a few feet long. Then start them in doors in little pots under a fluorescent light about half an inch to a quarter deep. Then once they are big enough plant them in your window box (and once it is cool enough to). Then fertilize them every 2 weeks with fish emulsion.

Zanoske
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XD

This was all so cool! Thank you for responding everyone! Tomorrow I'll time how long the sun hits my patio and that way I'll know for sure what I can work with. As far as what I like to eat I'll try anything that's good for me! I did alittle side reading as I was waiting for responses and came across things for cucumbers, beans, kale, and a few others. I like all those things! I realized I also need a bigger pot o_O The one I have is pretty darn small. But now that I know I can go get a bigger one! Thanks for the brands of good fertlizer and soil, that was a big help! I'll post back tomorrow evening with the results of how long my patio gets good light. Thanks again! ^^v

Zanoske
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Ok so today I checked on my patio here and there to see what the sunlight situation was during the day. From around 8:30am until 12:30pm I get pretty direct sunlight. From around 12:30pm to 6pm I get light but it's not directly on my patio. Not sure what that means o_O But hope that helps. At the moment I'm liking the beans idea and I'd like more information on what type I should begin looking at. I'm willing to give bush plants or vine plants a try. Applestar mentioned we're getting close to the fall planting season and time to get ready. I'm curious what those plants may be and if they can be grown in pots as well. Thanks again

Bobberman
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I will be seeds all through july. Get a large 3 gallon pot or even a 5 gallon bucket and put some light perlite in the bottom 4 inches then add soil. This makes the container lighter and easy to move but still givs you the depth. I even use empty sealed water bottles at the bottom or even styrofoam pieces. I like styrofoam some people don't ecause of the possible chemicals bu I use it all the time! Try to get a soil mix that will not dry out too quick. Smaller cntainers that you can water from the bottom are also great to keep in a water troff! that bottom feeds water. Flowers that are great are nasturtiums which lay over the edges of pots are are very attracive! Three beans in a 2 gallon pot will product several dozen beans!Parsley will grow nicely along with most herbs!
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applestar
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Well, four hours of direct sun is two hours short of "full sun" by definition. However, it might be enough depending on the quality of light, color of the building -- i.e. reflected light, etc. Is the afternoon shade solid shade from a building or dappled shade from trees? That will make a difference too.

For bush beans, Jade is one variety that has been highly recommended by several forum members including yours truly. :wink: Let's take that for an example. Jade is usually described as matures in 56 days (or some number close to that). This means if you sow the seeds now and they come up right away, you could start harvesting around beginning of September. Bush beans will bear for about two weeks.

I think with the return of normal 60's night temps in NJ, you could probably sow Swiss chard and have them sprout and grow. Swiss chard are good in salads when young and tender, and older big leaves (and stalks) can be used like spinach. Leafy greens don't mind less than full sun. Most people like Bright lights or Rainbow mix with colorful stalks. I have tried another variety called Luculus and that one has lighter colored, more tender leaves, I thought.

Now, even though shorter period of direct sun is thought to be not enough for fruiting vegetables, I just posted [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=266792#266792]photos of my patio garden[/url] and my patio is shaded almost all morning until the sun clears the trees in the back. Then the direct sun shines on it while the sun travels the arc from the trees to the house, then the solid shade of the house slams down. So the tomato/bell pepper corner, particularly, does NOT get anywhere near 6 hours of direct sun.

However, the sun reflects off the windows in the morning, and the rectangle of reflected sun washes over that tomato corner. 8)

Zanoske
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The reflecting light is very interesting. I have a white painted patio but I'm not sure how much that helps. I get direct sun for about the 4 hours listed previously. After that it's still plenty bright outside my patio but it's not direct light. I'm going to give the beans a shot but you're all listing beans I've never heard of! lol I was thinking of trying out String beans(good in everything) or kidney beans(chili!!!). Are these both bush or vine plants? The thought of growing bell peppers is also very promising! I'd practically have all my chili ingredients! Is it too late for peppers and how large of a pot would I need for them?

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rainbowgardener
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Sorry, but it is really too late to start pepper plants and get peppers this season. Peppers are very slow growing. I start my pepper seeds indoors under lights beginning of February and I just recently harvested my first peppers, about 6 months later.
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Bobberman
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Bush beans or a early pea would work fine. I like the yellow beans myself! Chives are nice in pots!
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applestar
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Jade is a variety of string bean. It's lighter green with straight rounded pod. :D but you can grow "string beans" from both bush and pole bean varieties in green, yellow (I guess often called wax bean), or purple colors both as round like pencil pods and flat pods (sometimes called Romano type).

Kidney beans would have to be grown to dry bean stage which I think might take a little longer than you have. I don't grow kidney beans but I like scarlet runner beans because you can eat them as young pods with beans just developing, shelled fresh beans, as well as dried beans. (but I'm not sure if you have enough time left for them this season -- I usually sow them around late May and start harvesting in late August until frost).

Couple of favorite online seed sources: southern exposure seed exchange, Johnny's selected seeds, Pinetree garden seeds. If you really want to grow beans try Vermont bean company.

IF you can find leftover started pepper plants, you could still grow them. I was at a garden center this morning (buying another bag of Pot of Gold potting soil, Bt because I found a whole bunch of cabbage moth egg clusters on my rutabaga, and a mill file to sharpen my garden tools -- the hoe that is -- couldn't find mine the toolbox :?), but I was in a hurry and refused to go in the plant area :lol: so I don't know if such a thing is still available.

My experience with fruiting vegs in less than ideal sun location is that you still get fruits, just not as productively.

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applestar
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I was just perusing a seed catalog and I think you can grow cucumber if you start now. Cucumbers don't mind a little less sun either. Pay attention to days to maturity when purchasing seeds. You'll need to add a week or two to compensate for shortening days when planting for fall crop.

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