Patio and Deck Vegetable Gardening Ideas

We haven’t had a good vegetable gardening video for quite some time, so here’s an excellent little intro to Paul Beaudette’s deck and patio vegetable garden. Take a moment and have a tour of the vegetable gardening containers all over his deck. Lovely and light, nothing major to think about. A perfect few minutes for a Saturday afternoon when reading is too much work.

Vegetable gardening is easy if we let it be

I think we new gardeners tend to overthink a vegetable garden if we’re not careful. If it’s too much work, it’s a lot more satisfying to do our harvesting in the Produce department of the local supermarket. If it’s too little work, it’s easier to forget it’s out there on the patio and ignore it completely. I, for one, don’t want to turn into a vegetable farmer and compete with Green Giant.

This, of course, is coming from the gal who’s an expert at slaying Roma tomato plants (or ‘vines’, as they’re called by some) and who is still glaring at the upstart green onions that would do much better if planted outdoors a few hundred miles to the west in a fertile valley.

To your garden success!
Casey – the Garden Lass

Location: Change is not always a Good Thing

Growing in a bad location leads to the compost bin

Composter? or plant cemetery? RIP, my little squashlings.

This morning every single one of my month-old yellow squash plants (and I use the term loosely) are dead. Collapsed in their 8″ pot, in what started out as a great location for little squash to grow —which turned deadly due to my own lack of forethought.

“Whyyyyyy!?” my screams of anguish echoed off the patio walls, as I invoked the seven names of the traveling gardening gnomes.

They were off to a solid footing in their little cardboard nestings, trailing happily over the pot’s edge in relative safety and mottled shade.

How a good location can morph into a bad idea

Our patio is a partially shaded cement pad in the high desert. Toasts my feet mightily when I walk there outside the shade lines in midday, and my feet are over sixty years old. Imagine what that superheated surface did to innocent month-old yellow squashlings that had previously been thriving in the “shade” of the long-unusable hot tub.

Then we got the hot tub fixed.

There it sits in the corner, chuffing away in its brand new glory, with a nice dark cabinet and nice white cover. The nice new plants that used to snuggle up in the shade of formerly battered sides had to step away — and away meant less shade, and less shade meant more heat, and more heat meant — well, you do the math.

Dynamics of a location can change. Sometimes those changes catch us off-guard. I wasn’t paying attention to where the plants were getting their sunshine after the move. That sunshine bounces off the nice shiny glass patio doors and turns the shady plant place into an oven.

RIP, little squashlings. Sorry I cooked ya before you grew up and were edible.

To your garden success!
Casey – the Garden Lass


There’s a new tomato-grower born every minute

Roma tomato green on vine

There are actually three Roma tomatoes there.

Just how long -does- it take to grow a tomato?

When I read through the Now Growing list this morning, it struck me that that Roma tomato in the Topsy Turvy on the patio is the same Roma tomato that first showed up on June 7. It’s now the 22nd of June, and that Roma tomato still looks very green and not very big. Is it growing? Is it plastic?

I don’t even like tomatoes. But I do make one kick-butt pasta sauce from scratch. And to do that I need more than three runty poorly motivated Romas.

I’m not letting logic get in the way of a fine obsession. I know full well I could go down the road to the grocery store and pick up a couple of jars of perfectly good pasta sauce. I could even go back to the Produce section and hand-select a couple of dozen freshly arrived Romas in a little eco-compatible biodegradable seagull-friendly tray, and make my sauce from those.

But where’s the fun in THAT?

Actually, a little logic is already in play. The tomato plants in the house are leaving as fast as I can find them new homes. They’ll produce fine big red juicy Beefsteak tomatoes for someone, someday. For now, I need them to go away and quit making my eyes itch.

Why, then, am I growing tomatoes, if they make my eyes burn like a bad hay fever attack? Because “everyone grows tomatoes.” Because “tomatoes are one of the easiest plants to start with when you’re learning to garden.” Because I fell for the hype.

And I’ll probably do it again next time. Fall for the hype, that is.