There is nothing like the taste of home grown food and it’s something that most apartment dwellers think they can not experience. True they will never be able to live off of what they grow; but it is very possible to maintain a small garden on balconies, patios, hell even fire escapes.
I bought some of those Topsy Turvy Tomato dealies in the spring and I have harvested quite a few cherry tomatoes recently. My apartment only gets partial sun, so many of the summer veggies only fared so-so but I think I did ok. I am now preparing for the winter and last night built a self watering container which I am very proud of, no pictures yet – it was very dark by the time I was finished.
The idea of self watering is great. Not only do you save water, but you also save yourself some of the hassle of watering. One of the problems I have faced in apartment gardening is a lack of a water source, so I would have to fill up a bucket in the tub and lug it thru the house (usually dripping) and water the plants from the bucket. And without a container that holds drainage water to use later, I was making trips every other day. Now, I can cut that down to weekly!
So here are a few tips I’ve found helpful:
- Choose large or medium sized pots, depending on your space. Small pots restrict the root area and dry out very quickly.
- Make sure you have good drainage! If you have found the perfect pot for your garden, but it doesn’t have holes – you better come up with another drainage solution or you are going to have dead plants.
- Grow plants based on your sun exposure. Fruits and tomatoes need full sun for most of the day, while leafy greens can live in a good amount of shade, root veggies are somewhere in the middle – ask a garden center expert if you have questions.
- Start with something that grows quickly, like lettuce, mustard cress, beets and herbs, next to something that takes longer. The quick turnaround will give you a preview of wonderful things to come.
I hope this helps. Good luck to all that give it a try, please tell me how it turns out!
Cherry and Arugula Salad
Large handful arugula
Large handful cherry tomatoes
One clove of garlic, sliced
Juice from 1/2 lime
1 tablespoon mint, chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Dash of curry powder
Lightly saute the sliced garlic until soft, then add arugula and tomatoes and cook for until the leaves start to wilt. Remove from heat and let cool.
Drizzle lime juice, sprinkle curry powder and mint and toss. Season with salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!
I just found this window curtain planter irrigation dealie that is so cool, here is a diagram and a link, check it out!!!