Grit Blogs > Adventures of Old Nebraska Dave

Container Planting for the Poor Man's Patio

A photo of Nebraska DaveFinally the containers for Poor Man's Patio are planted. The final count for containers to be watered is 24. Up from last year's 10. That watering issue will be bigger this year. There are too many containers to water for just one leg of drip system so I will have to either have two legs or figure out something different. I came up with my own special mix for potting.  It was equal parts of vermiculite, Miracle Gro potting soil, and Omagro compost (composted yard waste sold to the public and landscappers). It should be the best ever. I might have over planted just a little, but when container planting it's always good to over plant some.

Mixing Potting Soil

My makeshift potting table is nothing more than just a couple old rickety saw horses and my loading planks for the truck. The whole process of planting the patio took about 2 hours. Then it was off to the Goodrich store (ice cream store) for a giant butterscotch malt for supper. I planted the pole beans in the two pots and hope that they will do well. The Morning Glory soaked over night and will be planted today or tomorrow. I hope they do better outside than in the sprouter. I just haven't gotten the hang of using the sprouter yet.

Filling Containers

I got day lilies from my friend, Carol, this week when I brought over the ladder so she could clean out her gutters. I wanted to plant the day lilies interspersed with the Daffodil and Tulips that are now dying back.  I've discovered that day lilies are not bulbs but are called fans and are a clumping plant. The day lilies are not going to work out like I wanted. I think the hostas will be just fine, and the area will be covered with mulch. I didn't know that day lilies were clumping and got so big. That height will block the small hostas in front of the foundation bushes. So Day Lilies go somewhere else for sure. It's been a learning process for me on how to plant flower beds.

Poor Mans Living Patio

Well, here is the Poor Man's Living Patio for this year. It looks a little different than last year.  It has Dusty Miller, Begonias, Impatiens, Vinca, Wave Petunia, and in the trellis pots pole beans, Morning Glory, and the new addition to the patio is the trellis.  I hope it turns out like the picture in my mind.  Once I got the potting mix made it was not too long to get everything potted up.

Well, that's what's been happening around the Urban Ranch this week.  I'm getting a little tired from all the mixing and potting so I'm going to sit back and enjoy my cup of Joe while taking in the view.  See you next time and leave a comment and tell me what you been planting.

oz girl
7/2/2010 7:25:18 AM

Looks awesome Dave... can't wait to see an updated photo with everything growing like crazy!! :-)


nebraska dave
6/18/2010 2:55:10 PM

@Hank, the trellis blocks are not anchored to the patio. I placed the blocks so that the holes in the blocks lined up. Then I built the trellis so that the treated 2X4s would set all the way to the bottom of the blocks. The bottom two blocks are filled with pea gravel and packed around the 2X4s. The top block level I poured sand to filter down around the pea gravel and fill up the top block. We have had some mighty strong winds without a single wiggle in the trellis. I think as we get rain I’ll have to keep filling the top blocks with sand as it washes down around the pea gravel. It seems to be a solid structure for not being anchored down. The neighborhood kids haven’t thought about climbing it yet and I’m not going to give them any ideas. I’ll have to post the building of the trellis for you and others to get an idea about how it’s built. Thanks for stopping by and I’m always glad to answer any questions about my posts.


hank will_2
6/17/2010 8:44:32 AM

Dave, are the blocks anchored to the patio some way? I really like the concept of a removable trellis. Here in Kansas, if the trellis isn't bolted to stakes sunk 3-4 feet in the ground or to concrete footers it blows over a couple of times a year. I figured the trumpet vine would eventually support its ill-anchored trellis in the wind ... I finally relented and sunk treated 4 x 4 stakes to 3 feet to keep it upright. Lucky for me the trumpet vine is hardy and flexible enough that it never seemed to care when it would suddenly and violently find itself under the trellis instead of covering it.


nebraska dave
6/13/2010 8:06:01 PM

@Cindy, potted ditch lilies. That’s a great idea. I never thought about container perennials. That’s like a duh moment. That opens up a whole new idea concept for me. I am exploding with new thoughts and concepts this year. What ever will I do? Many more choices than I expected. Thank you so much for all your input. You always make me think. The pole beans jumped another four inches and are stretching their vines toward the sky and the Morning Glory were transplanted into bigger pots and put in their high up places to grow across the top of the trellis. I attended a 50th anniversary over the weekend and was away for three days. Everything looks so much bigger when I returned. The tomatoes are blooming, the cucumbers are climbing with little flower buds, and the potatoes are almost ready to bloom. So far it’s been a good year. We have had almost eight inches of rain this month but not in flooding down pours, at least not in my back yard. I think the eight inches of Omigro compost in the raised garden beds are better at absorbing and holding large amounts of rain. Are you getting any of that rain I’m sending your way? I’m trying my best to shove it on across Iowa toward Michigan.


cindy murphy
6/10/2010 9:39:33 AM

Hi, Dave. Everything's looking good on the patio. I bet you'll find your own potting soil mix will hold up much better throughout the season than if you'd just used a straight mix from the bag. Oh...and can you stand one more comment from me about daylilies? It fits right in with the topic of container planting here. Since you mentioned in the comment section of your last entry that the daylilies from your friend are common ditch lilies, you might want to just add them to the poor man's patio. Daylilies will last for years in a pot - and they'd be nice burst of color for the patio when they flower, and a good bit of greenery for the rest of the season. Enjoy your day.


nebraska dave
6/9/2010 11:05:18 PM

Chuck, do not apologize for the smallness of your garden. I want to encourage you to grow what you can even if it’s just for one meal. I think you are to be admired to want to try to grow a container garden on your small deck. The experience you learn from starting small perhaps will expand some time in the future. It’s always worth the effort even if it’s just one small pot. I wish you well with your very poor man’s patio. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Come back again some time and let me know how your little garden grows.


chuck mallory
6/9/2010 9:01:07 PM

Your "poor man's patio" is gigantic compared to my Chicago deck! I think I will have to call mine "very poor man's deck"! I have room for herbs and I am defiantly going to grow at least one container of tomatoes. They will last one meal, but at least I'll feel like a gardener.


nebraska dave
6/8/2010 10:49:59 PM

MW, it’s good to see you back again. Yeah, I know, I’m with you on the butterscotch malt. I have to really pace myself use it for a special reward or I would never be able to get my pants buttoned. It’s by far the best and Goodrich a local ice cream place makes them the best. The ice cream is scooped out of the three gallon containers and mix up with the old fashion malt mixers of the past. Nice, thick, and takes a large straw to be able draw it up into the taste buds of the mouth. Oh man that’s even better than coffee but way more expensive. I once read this article about planting carrots in the fall. I’m not talking about a fall crop of carrots but planting seed in the very late fall when there’s no chance of the seeds germinating until Spring. It actually worked and we had a fairly decent crop of carrots. It’s the only time I really tried to plant carrots and had any kind of crop. I planted some grass seed last fall in the same fashion. When the ground was destined to be frozen, I scratched the soil, threw the seed out, and covered it just a little. Spring came and I could still see the seed peeking out from under the dirt. As it warmed up and the soil temperature started climbing, I’ll be dog gone if the seed didn’t actually start growing and now that part of the yard that was covered with bare spots looks great. Thanks again for stopping by and leaving a comment.


nebraska dave
6/8/2010 10:33:37 PM

Shannon, thanks for coming by and leaving a comment. I left for five days with no sign of growth in my bean pots. When I returned home my pole bean pots were filled with growing plants about eight inches high. I am off to a good start and now hopefully I can keep them growing. Of course while I was gone it rained two and a half inches over the course of five days. That may have helped some. Even the Morning Glory pots had plants up four inches and they are supposed to take 10 days to germinate. Wow that potting mix I mixed up must pack quite a wallop. I am more concerned about the foliage and not the bean production, but that just might a wonderful side effect. Red flowering bean foliage would look good on the trellis. The Morning Glory will have blue flowers so the mix should be great if it works out. Thanks again for stopping by and I hope you get that rabbit issue under control.


mountain woman
6/8/2010 4:12:39 PM

Nebraska Dave, You had me at the giant butterscotch malt. Wow, does that sound amazing. I never knew day lilies weren't bulbs. How interesting. Your patio is just beautiful and you planted all my favorites. I can't wait to see it as the summer progresses. I've been planting carrots and I'm going to write a post about my carrot adventures and finally my giant pumpkins are in the ground. Enjoy the coffee (but I'd rather have another butterscotch malt :-)


s.m.r. saia
6/8/2010 1:48:48 PM

Your patio looks great. I'm sure it'll be really nice when things start growing up that trellis. I thought about you this weekend when I noticed some amazingly red blooms appearing on my scarlett runner pole beans. I thought those red flowers would look pretty on your trellis.