Edible Container Gardening 101

Edible Container Gardening 101
Workshop at Eye of the Day Garden Design Center

4620 Carpinteria Ave, Carpinteria, CA 93013 (805) 566-0778
Saturday June 27, 2015 3-4pm – $10
Healing Grounds’ all organic plants and nutrients will be available to purchase at the event

Edible Container Gardening 101


Container gardening is a great way to grow in-season vegetables especially if there is no space to have a traditional garden. If you live in a condo or apartment, containers can provide valuable growing options in patios, balconies or court yards. If you have a shady yard, containers can offer space along brick walk or driveways or against fences. A container on casters provides movability to where the sun or shade is prevalent depending on what you want to grow and the time of year. And with a good fertile potting soil and a good topping of protective mulch you can get by with minimal water.

If you have never tried to grow edibles in a container or have not had much success in the past here are five key things to consider that will greatly enhance your efforts.

1.) What size pot is good for growing vegetables successfully?

It is important to match the size of your pot to the types of veggies you would like to grow in them. Bowl shaped pots that are somewhat shallow, say about eight to ten inches, can be great for growing lettuces and other leafy greens. Peppers, cucumbers, beans and larger growing herbs need a deeper pot, about 12- 18 inches deep. Tomatoes like pots that are 18-24 inches deep and about 12-14 inches in diameter.
2) What kind of potting soil is good to use?

I highly recommend choosing an organic potting soil that has lots of good compost, organic nutrients and important beneficial soil microbiology included. EB Stone’s 420 blend has all of the before mentioned ingredients.(Ask Brent what they sell). Plants can grow well in pots when they have a rich growing medium (potting soil) to grow in and regular waterings. Purchasing top quality potting soil is key to growing healthy, productive plants in containers.

3) Match the edible container with plants appropriately suited for the space you have available.

Sunlight and favorable temperatures are key to growing healthy plants.
It is important to observe how much sun exposure the area you have selected for your plants gets. Some plants can tolerate less sun than others. Morning sun exposure with shade in the afternoon is probably good for growing leafy greens such as lettuces, arugula or kale. Sun all day is great for tomatoes, peppers. Shade loving plants generally like ambient temperature range of 56-75 degrees. Full sun loving plants love temperature range 60’s to the mid to upper 80’s. You may find that you have spots in and around your home to grow a bit of both. Remember that the sunlight and temperature will vary throughout the year. So you may need to make adjustments to your growing selection and/or move containers around from season to season.

4) Good plant nutrition is essential for healthy, nutritious plants

As I mentioned above, a good organic potting soil will contain key organic nutrients in it. These nutrients not only provide an important food source for the plants they also provide nutrition for the beneficial soil microorganisms. Beneficial soil microbiology greatly help plants grow strong, nutrient dense and more disease resistant. I also recommend an all-purpose fish/kelp liquid fertilizer applied once weekly throughout the growing season to ensure that your edibles have access to a full range of organic nutrients in addition to what’s in your potting soil.

5) Efficient, consistent watering conserves a valuable resource and also aids healthy plant growth.

It is important to water plants in pots regularly, but efficiently. Contained environments can dry out more quickly than in regular gardens. While pots may require a bit more frequent watering, you do not need nearly as

much water at any one time. Water until you see it coming out of the drain hole at the bottom of the pot. This means that you have watered completely through the root zone which can adequately absorb it. Put a saucer under the pot to catch the outflow and retain it so the pot stays moist longer. The fertile potting soil will help retain moisture. Also adding a layer of mulch to form a protective coating on the surface will aid water retention. A plastic pot may dry out sooner than a terra cotta one. I do not have a preference to one over the other and feel that each has its advantages. As you get to know your growing environment you will be able to fine-tune your watering schedule.

Once you have experienced some success you can take growing to the next level by planting up new pots of your favorite crops in succession over the course of the growing season. Which is all year in our neck of the woods So don’t plant everything all at once. Start a little at a time with strategic new plantings at four, eight and twelve week intervals. Leafy greens can be successively grown every four to six weeks. Longer growing crops can be successively planted every eight to twelve weeks. So now you are ready to get started or advance your edible container gardening efforts With some good observation for growing potential in and around your home and care to provide your edibles with a good growing environment you will enjoy successful harvests on-going into the future

Plant Nutrition Workshop

Plant Nutrition Workshop

Saturday May 9th

Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church Gardens

909 North La Cumbre Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93110

3 – 4 pm

oscarmona@cox.net – healinggroundsnursery.com – 689-3044


Interested in maximizing on peak nutritional content in your home garden harvest?

Learn the fundamentals of creating optimal gardening conditions so your crops can maximum contain nutrient content.

Fertile soil, favorable growing conditions, timed harvests, and proper storage are important concepts covered during this workshop. Biodynamic compost, worm castings, essential organic nutrients and fertilizers will be available for sale after the workshop. 10% of sale will go to support the Trinity Garden programs.


Spring Gardening Workshop March 28th

Spring Gardening Workshop

Join Oscar Carmona, owner of Healing Grounds Nursery and local gardening expert with over 30 years experience!

Saturday, March 28, 3:00pm.  Spring Gardening Workshop
Explore Ecology 302 East Cota St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101 

This workshop will cover everything you need to know to grow the best Spring vegetables. Workshop will cover water saving tips, how to prepare your beds for growing healthy, strong plants and what to grow now.  After the workshop you can purchase everything you need to get started!  Compost, essential minerals, organic fertilizers the best tomatoes  and many tried and true pepper varieties, cucumbers, summer squash and much more will be available for sale at the workshop!!!
$10 entrance fee.

Cost:  $10 per workshop, at the door
Co-sponsored by Explore Ecology.
Healing Grounds seedlings, worms and worm compost kits will be sold at the end of each workshop.  

(10% of proceeds benefit the Explore Ecology Garden Programs).

Farmer’s Market Holiday Schedule 2014

Season’s Greetings From Healing Grounds Nursery
Please call or email for special holiday requests (805) 689-3044 – healinggrounds@cox.net

Farmers’ Markets Holiday Schedule

Saturday, November 22 YES, I WILL BE HERE
Saturday, November 29 NO, I WILL NOT BE HERE
Saturday, December 6 YES, I WILL BE HERE
Saturday, December 13 YES, I WILL BE HERE
Saturday, December 20 YES, I WILL BE HERE
Saturday, December 27 NO, I WILL NOT BE HERE
Saturday, January, 3 NO, I WILL NOT BE HERE

SUNDAY GOLETA MARKET (Camino Real Marketplace)
Sunday, November 23 YES, I WILL BE HERE
Sunday, November 30 NO, I WILL NOT BE HERE
Sunday, December 7 YES, I WILL BE HERE
Sunday, December, 14 NO, I WILL NOT BE HERE
Sunday, December 21 NO, I WILL NOT BE HERE
Sunday, December 28 NO, I WILL NOT BE HERE
Sunday, January, 4 NO, I WILL NOT BE HERE

Fall Home Gardening Workshop Series

Fall Home Gardening Workshop Series

Come learn from organic gardening expert, Oscar Carmona, who has 30 years experience teaching home gardening in Santa Barbara to area residents.

Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church 909 North La Cumbre Road (corner of La Cumbre and Cathedral Oaks Road)

Fall and Winter Gardening Strategies $10

Saturday, October 11, 3-4PM
Learn basic gardening technique and what to plant now.

Waterwise Gardening $10

Saturday, October 18, 3-4PM
Learn water saving techniques and basics about plant water needs.

Worm Composting $10

Saturday, November 8, 3-4 PM
Learn A-Z about home composting, including how to make your own bin.
(complete bin kits worm batches will be sold at the workshop)
Vegetable and herb seedlings, compost, mineral and fertilizer for sale 4-5 PM after each workshop.

Sol Food Festival

Oscar will be speaking at the Sol Food Festival on September 27th. The Sol Food Festival is a one day community created festival to raise awareness of the Sustainable, Organic, and Local food systems of Santa Barbara County. It is a place to connect, learn, create, network, and play our way to a brighter food future.


New Market Garden Entrepreneurial Program at Local High School for At-risk youth

I have been asked to lead a cutting-edge educational opportunity for at risk youth attending the Quetzal High continuation schools located on the La Cumbre Junior High Campus and at the Westside community center. I will be engaging the students in production gardening in order to market their produce, salsas and salad dressings. They will create a marketing campaign to sell their goods including designing a logo and tell their story as part of their promotions package. The students are fully engaged and enthusiastic about this new venture. The principal, vice principal and teachers at both locations are on-board too! I will keep you updated on our progress in future newletters. Stay tuned!!!!

Featured plant of the month: Champion Collards

Champion Collards, Brassica oleraceae- Collard greens are highly nutritious staple green “cabbage-like leaves” vegetable. Collards are one of the most popular members of the Brassica family, closely related to kale and cabbage and could be described as a non-heading (acephalous) cabbage. The plant grows up to 3-4 feet in height and bears dark-green leaves arranged in a rosette fashion around an upright, stocky main stem. 60 days to maturity.  Wonderfully nutritious collard leaves are very low in calories (provide only 30 calories per 100 g) and contain no cholesterol. However, its green leaves contain a very good amount of soluble and insoluble dietary fiber that helps control LDL cholesterol levels and offer protection against hemorrhoids, constipation as well as colon cancer diseases. Further, the leaves and stems are good in minerals like iron, calcium, copper, manganese, selenium and zinc.


Seed Saving Workshop and Lettuce Tasting! This Friday, May 16 1-3pm

Join us this Friday, May 16, from 1:00 – 3:00 for a seed saving workshop where we will taste lettuce to select the lettuce plants to collect sees from for next year’s crop and for sharing with the Foodbank and workshop participants.  We will also plant out another bed of lettuces.  This is the 2nd year running in our program of hands-on workshops focused on planting open pollinated lettuce varieties well suited to the cooler ocean influenced micro-climate of the Mesa area.

This workshop is free of charge and open to the entire community!  LET’S GET GROWING!!!

…You might also want to help us with harvesting the nectarines, uprooting the mallow, considering which trees need water, and continuing to prepare the ground for the new tree nursery.

RSVP:  healinggrounds@cox.net

Aquaponics Workshop Saturday, May 3 3:00-4:30pm.

Do Microbes Have A Sense of Hummus?

Tour and Workshop of Santa Barbara Aquaponics, featuring Oscar Carmona of Healing Grounds Nursery.

  • Aquaponics = Growing Fish + Plants Together
  • Composting Workshop led by Oscar Carmona
  • In the workshop we will explain & explore the relationship with growing medium.
  • Learn how to correctly build and maintain your compost
  • Learn the Value of worm castings
  • Check out the new Vermerponic system at Santa Barbara Aquaponics
  • We are leading the way!

RSVP:  healinggrounds@cox.net