Apartment Gardening

Container gardening is about your only option if you only have a balcony or a patio. Don't fear; you can grow a great garden in containers. Here are some tips:

  • Good Plants for containers include tomatoes, peppers, and cabbage. The patio variety of tomato, or a cherry tomato like Sweet Million, Sun Gold, Sweet 100, or Small Fry, come highly recommended.
  • Make sure the container is big enough. Put tomatoes in two-gallon containers or pots that are at least twelve inches across.
  • Plant two or three plants in a half barrel.
  • Stake the tomatoes.
  • Use potting soil or top soil mixed with compost or peat.
  • If possible, put the containers where they will get six hours of good sunlight. If that isn't possible, just do the best you can.
  • Peppers can have slightly smaller containers than tomatoes. Pots should be at least eight inches across.
  • Water immediately after planting with a starter fertilizer. After planting, water often, since soil dries out fast.
If you don't have a balcony or patio but do have a window that gets a lot of sun, you can still grow a small garden.
  • Any herb can be grown in containers. Look for a long window box pot with several different herbs in it. Some herbs that do well include basil, bay, dill, thyme, parsley, chives, lemon balm, garlic chives, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, and savory.
  • Also, you can try some salad greens, like lettuce, Asian greens, or mustard spinach. Cut the greens when they are six to eight inches in height. You will often get a second or third cutting from greens. Most indoor grown plants want at least five hours of direct sunlight.
  • You can also supplement natural light with shop-style fluorescent lights. Position them so they are six inches above the top leaves.
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