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What to plant.....?

Discussion in 'The Green Patch' started by Dunerunner, May 11, 2016.

  1. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Monkey

    I have acquired two horse troughs. I have painted them (outside only) and have not decided what to plant. They have both had drain holes drilled into the bottoms the full length of the troughs. I haven't added soil yet, as it will have to be purchased. Zone 8 here and a cool coastal influence at 43° 58' 57" N Latitude. I would like to plant herbs and vegetables.

    Any suggestions?
    Seepalaces likes this.
  2. techsar

    techsar Monkey++

    The first thing that came to my mind was "lettuce."

    See what other folks come up with ;)
    Seepalaces and Dunerunner like this.
  3. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    What do you like to eat? cuz im only gonna say rosemary or sage (need little care and can be planted next to horse trough to shade more delicate plants like basil and lettuce) if you like to use them as herbs.

    So what do you like to eat?
  4. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey..... Moderator Site Supporter++

    Kale, yellow zucchini, rosemary, sage, carrots are my quick pics. Just stay the heck away from chocolate mint.... dern crap will take over any container or raised bed!!!
    Seepalaces, Ganado and Dunerunner like this.
  5. ditch witch

    ditch witch resident bacon hoarder Site Supporter+

    I don't know what your soil is like up there, but if that were my leaky horse trough I'd fill it with a really good, loose dirt and plant root crops in it. My soil up here is a lovely mix of rock and clay, neither of which contribute to beautiful carrots or potatoes. Rather than fight the ground I stand on, I put root crops in raised beds.
  6. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Monkey

    I originally thought... Asparagus, but it takes up a ton of space and there is limited yield. Lettuce is a definite but probably in a plant wall I'm planning. Tomatoes won't ripen well here, just not enough heat, maybe a patio tomato in a large pot.

    But, the soil here is beach sand and not much else. I will be importing good potting soil for these beds on top of some round river rock to insure drainage. Carrot, Beets, Onion, maybe some Chard...
    Seepalaces, Motomom34 and Ganado like this.
  7. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey..... Moderator Site Supporter++

    My tomatoes up here in WA, come in fantastic.... but I am more in the foothills....enough heat in the NW for growing certain things, is always so subjective, to exactly where you are located......(n)
    Dunerunner and Ganado like this.
  8. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    For tomatoes you need a variety like early girls in order to get great tomoatoes.

    Suggestion. just put sewer pipe in the bottom of the tank forget the rock
    You can water thru the sewer pipe (buy the kind with holes) you will want to add dolomite and fish emulsion for fertilizer. the fish v emulsion should be on the edge so your plants can reach for the nutrients. The dolomite can be mixed with soil.

    Any herbs? Basil, taragon, oregano? Chewing gum? (just kidding)

    You Can Put IN Asparagus and INTER Plant With COMPANION plants like tomatoes and marjoram and tomatoes.

    Beans? just don't put in same trough as beets. I love beets!
    Dont, Seepalaces and Yard Dart like this.
  9. zombierspndr

    zombierspndr Monkey

    That up there.
    Motomom34 likes this.
  10. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I eat vegetables. My friends are not vegetables.

    Strawberries, maybe.
    Seepalaces likes this.
  11. marlas1too

    marlas1too Monkey++

    use manure and you can plant anything I know I live in a zone 8 too and I grow a wide variety all in tractor tires
    Dunerunner likes this.
  12. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I eat vegetables. My friends are not vegetables.

    In setting up your troughs, you want soil that's rich & moist, but not too boggy.

    Hit the local Starbucks in the late afternoon with a lidded 5-gal bucket. Ask for the day's coffee grounds.
    Mix them in with your soil, along with anything else actively organic, such as veggie spoils from the local farmer's market and supermarkets. Turn your soil into an active compost bin with short-term compostables.

    Then, before you fill the troughs, lay down a layer of shallow pans. Old Aluminum baking pans are great, and so are junk dishes like coffee cups and small bowls. Just carpet the entire bottom of the trough with them, and then bury them deep.

    When you water, the trough will drain normally--but small shallow reservoirs will remain and keep the soil moist for a very long time. That means less frequent watering, and more grace time if the weather turns hot and you miss a watering or two.

    One great thing about troughs is that they're made to hold water. So with your next set, don't drill the bottoms at all. Instead, drill one 1/2" hole in the side about 3" above the bottom. The uniform 3" layer of water that remains in the bottom after watering will make your plants think they're growing in prime Mississippi bottom land.

    Also, don't forget to toss in a few earthworms--they help aerate the soil as well as composting it. Roots need oxygen as well as water.
    Last edited: May 12, 2016
  13. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Moderator Moderator Site Supporter++

    I love this post. I went to sleep designing gardens in water troughs. My first question was what color did you paint them? Also, are they exposed on both sides verse backed up against something? Are these for decoration but also a source of food? Here are some planting suggestions that I came up with.

    They have container blueberries. Really cute and will provide berries. The shrubs will also give you some Fall color and being deep, they should help the shrubs winter over and return the next year. Would be nice, the bushes do not get huge but would not leave the troughs bare like a normal garden after harvest.

    Beets would give you some nice color because the greens are pretty and they are a Fall crop so they would provide color all season. Sweet potatoes are nice greenery that would give you a lush look. Unsure if you are going for a show piece but also food source, one of those "hidden in plain sight" type gardens. If you wanted height, sunflowers, corn and artichokes are all tall.

    My Aunt did asparagus in planter boxes that wee set directly on the ground. She had asparagus volunteers popping up in her lawn. Since the troughs have bottoms that will not be an issue but the troughs will not be lush (sort of barren) for the first maybe second year.
    Dunerunner and Ganado like this.
  14. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Monkey

    Already have the rock in the troughs. Adding the aluminum baking dishes I would never have thought of! The top soil, 3 yards of it and two yards of 2" drain rock were delivered today. I forgot how much fun moving all that rock and soil would be....Ouch!!

    I think I will plant some Asparagus at one end of the trough, but I am worried it will eventually take over the whole area. I might try to divide the trough and contain the roots at one end. Something to work on...
    Motomom34, Yard Dart and Ganado like this.
  15. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    Asparagus sucks at expanding don't worry about it and plant tomatoes in between the crowns or peppers they are beneficial plants. also onions or garlic if you like those. my favorite are chives n with maters and asparagus

    Motomom34, Dunerunner and Yard Dart like this.
  16. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Monkey

    I know, just slow...

  17. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    those are beautiful nice color!!!

    RE: the asparagus, just order some crowns and plant them, don't try to seed asparagus as it doesn't propogate from seed well

    and what I really want to know is.... what kind of hops are you growing? [beer]
    Last edited: May 12, 2016
  18. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Monkey


    The Hops are Cascades and Cluster from cuttings I took this spring from my SIL's plants.... They are about 5" tall right now. :D
    kellory and Ganado like this.
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