These are the sunflowers that grew out of one of our smaller pots. (SOUTHSIDER VOICE PHOTOS BY STEVE PAGE)
By Steve Page Correspondent
OK, a confession of sorts.
We have not yet planted the seeds that we checked out of the Decatur Township Library.
We first referenced them April 26 in the Decatur Township edition of the Southsider Voice.
My wife, Vicki, and I are more into flowers, especially sunflowers.
I did obtain some seeds for tomato plants and green beans, though we have not yet attempted anything like that on the third-floor deck of our apartment building.
But we will try.
After all, Vicki wasn’t convinced that the sunflower seeds I planted last spring would come to fruition. But they did!
See the attached photos.
So with that in mind, I did check out the library item that showed which plants grow best in pots: basil, carrots (which require a deep container, which we do not possess), cilantro, dill, garlic chives, kale, Allstar leaf lettuce, marigold, nasturtium, oregano, peas (which require some sort of support), peppers, radishes, spinach, Swiss chard, tomatoes and zucchini.
Of course, the old zucchini joke while I lived in Colorado was that you could just throw the seeds out the door and the zucchini would grow. We actually planted them in the garden, and yes, they did grow. I’m a fan of chives, and have always grown them in the container in which they arrived, already grown. They’re one of my favorites, because you can bring the container inside in the winter, and they continue to produce chives year-round.
I had to go online to look up nasturtium, and discovered that it is a flowering plant, with bright red and yellow flowers. Not sure if they’re edible.
Anyway, back to the containers.
Specifically, the containers on our deck.
The largest are about three feet across and three feet deep, though we do have some smaller ones that also produced sunflowers.
We discovered the bigger the pot, the bigger the sunflower, though ours, thankfully, were not those real tall ones you see growing by the side of the roads, especially in Kansas.
I do admit that I planted our sunflower seeds a bit late last spring, but obviously, not too late.
It’s all quite different for Vicki and I, since we moved from a house where we had a garden.
There, we tried many things, though we were entirely successful with tomatoes in large pots. One year, we didn’t plant until returning from vacation, and it was difficult finding any tomato plants. One place said that they had a windstorm and all the tomato plants ended up in a big bunch.
So I took the bunch, then spent hours separating them before planting them. Then they took off. We weren’t sure what they were, since they came without identifying signs. Turns out one of them was a tomatillo plant.
Once we discovered those strange-looking tomatoes, they turned out to be delicious, especially when it came to making salsa.
We let them grow as late in the season as possible. When the weather forecast finally called for frost and/or freeze, we picked them. One plant yielded 48 nice-sized tomatoes.
We let them finish ripening in the kitchen, though we had to watch for fruit flies.
We also grew green beans that grew well on a slatted fence. We tried strawberries and were told that after a year they would sprout out new plants, but that didn’t happen much.
We grew cantaloupe one year, but sadly discovered that you have to pick them before the bugs get to them. Tried okra once. Learned you cannot let them grow longer than a couple inches, or they turn to wood.
We’re ready to start planting our seeds, but I’m already interested in something that’s already growing in one of our big pots. It’s green, and a few inches tall, so we’ll probably plant around it and see what grows. Happy planting!
A large pot produced our largest and tallest sunflowers last summer, and at this juncture, they were still growing.
Sunflowers grow out of one of our small pots, with the buds just beginning to appear.
These are three of the plants on our third-floor deck last summer: a growing tomato plant on the left, chives in the middle and our coleus, which has wrapped around the deck rail on top.