Howdy, from Vancouver (not BC), Clark County (not Nevada) Washington (not DC)!

What do you grow in a planter?


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David the Deaf

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Hi, I just found this forum after seeing you discuss it on a basil YouTube video. I have successfully started some Columnar Basil in a mason jar, with baby roots coming out!

About myself, my family has lived in WA since a territory, and my family has been farming since who knows how long (we traced my gramma’s mom’s dad’s parents to Cornwall, England in early 1800s and they were listed as shoemakers but had been farmers in Quebec and in Minnesota.) While I live in an apartment, I have gardened here until last year during Covid in 100 degree days the managers decided I had to remove it all to make “uniformity” to the chagrin of everyone here who loved it.

So it is funny how nature defies them and now I have strawberries, raspberries, marrionberries, purple oxalis, and hybrid seedlings of grapes popping up all over where they tried to remove it! (Also came back some flowers including peonies!)

They said everything we grow must be on our porches now. Okay, do not challenge me. I created my own small porch raised planters. I got jostaberry, red gooseberry, strawberries, pine berries, kale, onion, many herbs, fennel, peas, beans, nasturtium, cucumber, and many flowers growing over a porch rail, and in cat litter boxes that had drainage holes over a horizontal trellis. I kinda shocked and awed some friends of mine, but I cannot live without a garden.
 

David the Deaf

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C84CB274-E8CC-4C80-B752-9568AFF431FF.jpg

Here is a full width view of the porch with planters in front of rail, on top of rail, behind rail.
 

Davidwood1983

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Looks really great. I think the answer is you can grow almost anything in planters if you have to. Sure it’s better to grow in ground but if your building managers are that annoying then planters will do the job, deeper the better. Who wants uniformity anyway?!?!
 

David the Deaf

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Looks really great. I think the answer is you can grow almost anything in planters if you have to. Sure it’s better to grow in ground but if your building managers are that annoying then planters will do the job, deeper the better. Who wants uniformity anyway?!?!

I made a bit of an error, only a couple of the Greek columnar basil took roots but the Amazil Basil went nuts with roots very fast, and I planted them outdoors in several of the containers days ago and they are thriving the best. I can definitely say Amazil Basil is a must grow.

In directly reply, I had been growing flowers there in the ground with manager permission since my late grandma lived in this apartment. We were the original tenants, no others lived in this unit. Just the same some things in the photo can be seen that are nature in defiance of them removing all the lush garden during Covid. There is about to bloom a very tall fluffy pink hollyhock. There are a few types of lilies that have foliage out and will send up tall stocks of pink flower trumpets in fall. Not seen are some random Iris, and to the left looking like leaves only now are peonies, two kinds survived butchery and some are popping up as babies all over now. Also growing over the bark dust seems to be several kinds of strawberries including red, pineberry, and ornamental Pink Panda. Marrionberry and Heritage raspberries are coming up, as well as self-seeded white currants, and likely hybrid grape seeds. I lost my cedar arbor and lovely two grape vines. Also this spring came up surprisingly some daffodils and tulips, as well as grape hyacinths I transplanted from a former property where they are likely from the 1950s.

Yes, if I am no longer allowed to plant anything into the ground, and nobody can put planters or ornamentation even a flag outside, in order to be sterile, uniform, and boring, then I will make the most abundant, glorious, and prolific potted garden and make people awe with that. So far so good! Smile

Here are photos of the past old garden in latter years (iris and peonies were there since 2008 and got huge), and the defiant sprouts of 2021.(My cat is in one, but she is likely to pass on tomorrow or the next day, so consider this her memorial photo.)
 

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Davidwood1983

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Looks better there, very neat too. Don’t know what their issue was. Need to get the tenants on board and force a change. They just want an easy cheap life paid for with fuel and chemicals.
 
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David the Deaf

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Looks better there, very need too. Don’t know what their issue was. Need to get the tenants on board and force a change. They just want an easy cheap life paid for with fuel and chemicals.

Well run by a management company, but orders were from Vancouver Housing Authority, which is HUD. To tear out one old disabled woman’s huge tomato plants just destroyed her, she told me she will never garden again after that. They threw away her unripe huge ones and hurried her, then three months later painted the housing and put in the Home Depot plants. She could have had them ripened!

I did write to my elected state house representative, who showed me a letter she wrote to VHA president, but he never replied to her! He simply wanted to do all this work during the hottest part of summer, 100 degree days, through Labor Day, and during the wildfires when we were supposed to stay indoors. VHA had posted up due to covid to stay away from all your neighbors, so I could not unite with them.

Sadly, most who live here are vets, elderly, disabled, depressed, mentally ill, young families with tiny kids, and in poverty or formerly homeless. There just is no motivation for the tenants here to fight the city/state/feds. Some of our best neighbors moved when bistro sets were banned, and our former 10 year long manager retired/quit. I had planned to stay here until I died and leave to them the garden and the cedar arbor, which things I planted were high quality nursery stock. Now I regret having stayed here nearly all my life, and wish I could buy a home not far away and let this place just become the ghetto.
 

Davidwood1983

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Sounds like the residents need a garden more than most. Especially during a pandemic lockdown. We have family in north Vancouver, bad image for a city usually so praised for resident happiness. Keep into the representative, motivate them to take it further.
 

David the Deaf

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Sounds like the residents need a garden more than most. Especially during a pandemic lockdown. We have family in north Vancouver, bad image for a city usually so praised for resident happiness. Keep into the representative, motivate them to take it further.

Are you referring to Vancouver, WA or in Canada? Here in the first Vancouver, in WA state, there is no resident happiness laude. Our homelessness rate has been skyrocketing since 2012, and the KKK headquarters moved here from Idaho in 2017 so it is full of people who disregard those who they feel are beneath them. I see all people as equal, so that is what made my blood boil. It was not just my loss of plants and planters belonging to my late mother and grandparents, it was the major depression and devastation by people who do not live with us and rule over us.

I agree we all deserve a garden here, and I had just prior to the removal of our gardens requested permission to TEACH them how to grow things on patios. Know what the president of VHA did instead? He had wooden raised beds, only 4 of them, built between the buildings, in full shade under huge trees. Yeah, and I even tried to tell them they were failing again. They sent out a letter saying there are a limited number of families who can have one, then a list of rules to follow including no perennials, no garden decor allowed, only one brand of fertilizer allowed, and no winter crops or flowers. In addition, our new young manager added we could lose our right to a bed if we are not polite to her/conduct. Yeah, no thanks, I will put my stuff in pots on my patio in full sun/part shade, and it will be gloriously growing overwinter too!

I am unsure those who run this place know where their food comes from.
 

David the Deaf

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We had record heat in Vancouver, WA and made national news. 106 was our record, for August, but it came in the last weekend of June, followed by two days of 115 degrees. Before you say anything, the record in Washington State is actually 118, and in another town, set in the 1920s before we had automobiles. :p

The heatwave cooked many people’s plants, but I had prepared for the worst when I made this planters! I used soil moist pellets, lined the coconut fiber planters in black plastic with drainage holes cut in, and got planters that hand bottom wells to hold excess water. I lost very little! I took the metal and coconut fiber ones off the patio rail and put on top of the horizontal cedar trellis I am using like a table with airflow, and watered well every other day. I was not home (no Air Conditioning most apartments here, so stayed with someone who had one) on the hottest day yet they lived. This is a photo from this morning and as you can see some things even thrived!
DC80D39D-473B-462F-9E27-3C0B75817BBA.jpeg

Sadly the management decided to pull out my two lovely peonies that have been in the ground there since about 2007, which I planted for my late gramma. They also threw away roots and all the pink hollyhocks. The server here says the last photo I took of them is too large so I am not able to show you.
 
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