I live in Ellicott City, Maryalnd and is in Hardiness
Zone 6b. In the Algonquian language of the indigenous
Native American Indian tribes, Ellicott City means
"Hard clay soil filled with rocks". ;)
In past years, my gardening has been limited to
Habenero Peppers planted as seedlings purchased from
My 2012 vegetable selection is Habenero Peppers (12),
Bell Peppers (3), Heirloom Tomatoes (3), Cabbage (2),
Lettuce (2), Eggplant (2), and Zucchini (2).
The Peppers will be planted in containers that will
winter indoors where they will get 8 hours of sunlight
daily from a lighting fixture I used to use for
hydroponics. My objective is a second harvest.
My concern is about the stability of containers given
my 2011 Habeneros were 60" (~1.5 meters) in height.
What is the optimal size container for these plants?
The Tomatoes, Cabbage, Lettuce, Eggplant, and Zucchini
will be planted in straw bales. Are any of these
vegetables inappropriate for straw bale gardening?
Are there any other vegetables you'd recommend for
straw bale gardening?
This will be my first venture into straw bale gardening.
So any advice on straw bale gardening of these vegetables
will be appreciated!
Why straw bales?
My back is held together by slugs of concrete and straw bales
will raise the height of plants which means less bending and
The use of containers and straw bales means my 9' x 4'
garden plot will be free for other vegetables that will
be maintained and harvested by my son whose only real
interest is an increase in his allowance. The plot
consists of 12" (305 mm) of well-composted soil atop a
landscape barrier. So it is relatively weed free.
My thoughts are Garlic, Onions, Shallots, Carrots, etc.
I'm indifferent as to when they should be planted and
when they should be harvested. Again any advice on
companion planting will be appreciated.