Matt and I have have been wanting to start an edible garden for years. We would always talk about it, but could never commit to a spot in the yard, what to grow, how to start, etc. We were easily defeated by the daunting task of creating a thriving garden.
With the addition of our back patio cover, we now have a lovely spot that gets about 5 hours of morning sun, but skirts the harsh afternoon sun. We also have access to drip irrigation on the edge of the patio and the area gets a light sprinkling from the lawn.
While I wanted HUGE containers for our edible garden, the biggest, most economical solution for our containers were horse feed troughs. We got referred to Tempe Feed and Tack and they had 4 x 2 x 1 galvanized steel troughs for $115/each.
We got the troughs home, set them up on the patio and began to prepare them for the garden. We drilled several 1/4" holes in the bottom of the troughs. Then, we lined the bottom of the troughs with weed paper, which will allow water to drain, but not the soil. We also lined the interior of the trough with plastic sheeting, to prevent leaching of the metal into the soil. We filled each trough with 3 big bags of soil and proceeded to transplant some of our seedlings and plants into the troughs.
We are growing tomatoes, zucchini, red onions, green onions, cilantro, red grapes, strawberries, blueberries, basil, jalapenos, sage, leek, sweet peppers, cucumber, cantaloupe and eggplant. We hope to see some success with our first edible garden. If we fail, we'll try again. Wish us luck!