Thursday, July 7, 2011

Container Gardening: Small Spaces + Green Goodness

container gardening

A couple of months ago, I posted about about how Robbie and I randomly bought a little organic basil seed kit on a whim while out running errands, and about how this kit lit within us some sort of massive gardening flame.  The "kit" cost $1, and contained just a packet of seeds, some dehydrated dirt, and a tiny pot.

porch garden

We didn't think much of it, as neither of us had ever really possessed the desire to garden before (nor a yard in which to plant even if we had).  But when those seeds turned to sprouts and poked their little bits of green goodness through that black soil, we were suddenly urban farmers with glowing green thumbs, ready to grow all sorts of food and lovely-to-look-at plants on our deck/terrace for summer.

tomatoes and sunflowers

Both of us are notorious for killing even the most impossible-to-kill plants, and with only the tiny deck and space below it to work, we didn't have the highest expectations despite our excitement.   Somehow, however, we've managed to (organically) grow that basil into a real, edible plant, along with red and yellow tomatoes, sunflowers, and lots of pretty plants that will bring some green cheer into our place when winter arrives.

patio garden

We've also learned a lot about container gardening and urban farming over the past few months.  There's an amazing potential to produce fresh, healthy food and visually beautiful plants and flowers, regardless of how small or unconventional the space.  And with farmland dwindling, urban sprawl increasing, and new signs of environmental destruction popping up everyday, the concept of small-space gardening might be more important for our future than we're aware. 

Do any of you have container gardens?  If so, what are you growing, and do you have any tips or tricks?

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  1. Yes! We love container gardening. Have you read back yard homestead? they arent containers, but have some great ideas on how to utilize space. The best tip I can give it so say remember to transplant!! in containers the roots are limited and can become bound quickly. if you invest in all size pots, you will be able to keep your herbs growing and thriving deep into the fall.

    here is what ours looked like last spring

  2. i have a black thumb, but i would love to try a small herb garden on my window sill! i think maybe i wouldn't kill it. or maybe i should just get a cactus :)


  3. I do! It's not much but they are doing really well. I have a cucumber plant, 2 basil plants, a rainbow heirloom tomato, cherry tomato and a better boy tomato. I love it!

  4. We get such awful sunlight around the apartment (we face east and any usable space is shaded) but I've always dreamed of having a rooftop garden-- next place we move is going to have a flat roof.. or i wont go. :)

    your plants are looking great!! let us know how those tomatoes turn out :) yum

  5. I have been hoping to try a little container garden, and this gives me motivation. Your plants look great and your pictures are beautiful!! Oh and I love your nail polish haha! :-)


  6. These are wonderful!

    I only have herbs and pretty flowers in our little space.
    I tried strawberries but I think the light's wrong...or the of the two...

  7. I've had a container herb garden for a few years now. We just recently built a raised bed in the yard and I sent off a soil sample to get tested yesterday. Once we know what kind of amendments we need for the soil, we'll be able to start filling the bed and transferring all of the containers over. Can't wait!

  8. I agree, small space gardening is essential, especially for apartment dwellers who want fresh food. I have a 6 X 12 foot patio space. I have two chairs, the BBQ and lots of plants. three tomotoes, peas, peppers, cilantro, lettuce, strawberries and ornamentals! Go for it world--give it a try!

  9. ha! just call me black thumb. i kill nearly everything.

  10. That is so exciting! Look at you guys and your green thumbs! I had sort of a similar experience recently with a spur-of-the-moment purchase of a $2 mint plant at a flower festival here in town. I love that little plant! I don't have any outdoor space in my current apartment but once I move, I would LOVE to get into container planting or small gardens. I get so excited from Minty (my mint plant), I can't even imagine how excited I'll be when I grow a pepper or something!

  11. I've never had a container garden but I used to have a real one and I know - there is nothing more rewarding than picking what you've planted...

  12. My boyfriend and I tried growing rosemary, basil, and a couple of other herbs in our apartment a few years ago. It didn't turn out that well. I think they really needed more light, and unfortunately, we lack any private outdoor space (no balcony or terrace). Just sitting by the window didn't work. I'm definitely going to try again whenever we move into a space with a patio or yard (probably won't be for a couple more years though). Your plants look great though!

  13. First of all, GREAT nail polish. Second, this is so inspiring! I live in a townhouse in the middle unit and have no yard, just a small deck. I've heard about container gardening but now that I see it's actually possible I want to try something. Yours looks awesome.

  14. I love reading everyone else's experiences/thoughts on this topic! There is definitely something about having a garden that I never quite got until I actually had one. And thanks for the transplanting/roots tip! I'll share more photos later in the summer. :)


  15. Me too! I love container gardening! Actually, this is my first garden in this house, and my backyard plot got totally destroyed by animals, but my containers are doing awesome. I'm growing kale, basil, tomatoes, lettuce and peppers! It's so much easier than a regular garden because you can control the soil, put your plants somewhere deer and rabbits can't get to them and move them around to make sure they're getting enough/not too much sunlight.

  16. Love your garden and your nails Melissa :)


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