Posts Tagged ‘container gardening’

Gardening in mid-air

Well, 10 stories up, that is.

Before the first freeze I wanted to give you a tour of my container garden and show you what can be done with just a little space, some soil, buckets, and seeds.


I even harvested carrots today!

I got Burpee’s “Short and Sweet” seed variety. They say to grow them in deep soil, but 5″ was enough to produce these beauties, almost 3″ long!


Simple strawberries

A deceptively easy “grow your own food” plant I’ve found is the alpine strawberry. Slightly smaller than regular strawberries, they grow really well in containers, indoor or out. The strawberries are small and have a bright taste with a subtle grape flavor. It’s like two fruits in one!

I have three plants in each 18″-long window-box style container.



They get watered daily since apparently they like to stay cool. They can get a little dry but not so dry that they wilt. Mine get full, hot sun and so far they’re doing okay. I also have two indoors in a bright window. They’re not doing quite as well though so indoors may not be the ideal place.

Okay, so how did I grow these awesome looking berries? I have to admit I think my secret is a little bottle of green liquid. My sister-in-law’s boyfriend said that the berry plants and tomoatoes will flower best if you use a fertilizer that has a good amount of phosphorus in it. Apparently you can figure out if your fertilizer has good phosphorus levels by looking at the numbers on the label. If the middle one is highest, then it should have enough phosphorus to encourage good flowering. I use Schultz’s all purpose plant food with a 10-15-10 Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium ratio. More phosphorus (to a point) = more flowers. More flowers = more berries. I may not like math much, but that’s some nice arithmetic there.

First harvest! Small but tasty. Glad the hubs is away with family–more berries for me!

Have you had any luck with strawberries?

New condo, new garden!

My super-long absence at least happened for a good reason: we bought a condo in February! We’ve gained a lot in going from renting to owning. Unfortunately one of those things we’ve gained is a large mortgage payment each month. But there a lot of good things!

1. An extra bedroom and bathroom! This brings us up to 1200 square feet. I was hoping to end up with less square footage, but we figure we’ll need the extra space when we have kids.

2. Lots of extra closet space. Now all of our junk fits well in our living space, even when we still own too much of certain things. Now we just have to fight the urge to fill up the closets.

3. A storage unit. It has a gigantic concrete pillar in the middle of it which should help us avoid filling it with lots of junk we don’t need.

4. A big patio! Southeastern exposure seems to be doing well for our plants. And I have a lot of those!


We’ve started lettuce, tomatoes, and spring onions.



Our lettuce is doing so much better than last year. Ready for the salad bowl!

oh why did I plant so much?

The coffee table garden is exploding! Everything has sprouted and I we just went through our first round of thinning the sprouts and transplanting. I can’t transplant fast enough. The carrots are starting to look like real carrots!


The basil has fared better than almost any of our other plants. It was also the easiest to maintain and it’s my top recommendation to start a small apartment container garden. One seed, one month, and you’ll be ready to make the world’s smallest margherita pizza!  basil(or just wait the full three months and make a normal size pizza.)

Our lettuce has gone crazy. It still looks very spindly. Anyone know why, or if I need to do anything about this?

Sadly not much is edible yet though. 1.5 months down, we should be able to harvest soon!

black-thumb yuppie garden

I’d heard about Aerogardens a while ago (probably from a TV infomercial). My concrete-bunker-office is not being hospitable to growing anything edible (the basil is already dead, sigh) so this seemed like an interesting idea. And being a yuppie, I just had to try it.

Not much for week one, but there are little sprouts in two of the cups. Too small to see though.

It’s really hydroponic gardening not aeroponic gardening. They say that anyone can grow anything anywhere with one of these.  You just fill the base with water, stick the little plant cups it comes with in the holes, turn the light on and watch it grow.

At the very least it seems to be good entertainment for my coworkers. The violets are enjoying mooching off of the 17 hour light cycle.  I have my doubts that this is an ‘eco-friendly’ product since it’s plugged in and running all the time  though. And gah, I swore I wouldn’t buy more stuff so I hope it’s worth it!

coffee table garden update

Things are actually growing! I harvested a lettuce leaf last week (okay, it broke off while I was transplanting it. I ate it.) Such a sweet taste! I planted another batch of lettuce to celebrate.

Basil’s doing well basil

Carrots are getting therecarrots

Steve suggested ‘short and sweet’ carrots (Burpee seeds). I found some at our local grocery store and I’ll plant them next week. I can smell carrot soup three months away!

Tomato and pepper are not doing so well. Or anything at all. Neither one of them seem to get any bigger (though pepper is flowering). What am I doing wrong?
tomato     pepper

(mostly) unkillable office plants

I finally asked myself why it was I didn’t have any plants at work, and all I could come up with  was “nobody else does.” Pretty silly reason! “I work in a windowless bunker” comes in as a close second. Turns out this is also a pretty silly reason. So I finally went out and got some of the plants that have done the best for me in the past. You too can get plants to grow in a vampire’s basement!

I prefer colorful plants (it’s bad enough that my cube is one color, so I feel a desperate need for my office plants to be more than just green!) My pink peace lily is the star right now. You can also get them in white, usually at your local grocery store. They need no direct sunlight and even seem okay with just flourescent (score!) and need a bit of water every few days. They can even handle a short vacation if you’re desperate. pink peace lily

The truly unkillable plant is the philadendron, also known as pothos. My coworker is the loving mommy to this plant, which, er, has survived the departure of more than one of its previous owners. The ultimate in unkillable plants. You have to ignore this one for weeks to kill it and even then it can sometimes be revived. Definitely a good place to start.

Spider plants are also a great starter plant for a cube. Unfortunately I haven’t managed to get my paws on any of those lately.

They newbies are my african violets. These prefer indirect sunlight, but mine seem to survive under the warm glow of my desk’s flourescents. I haven’t had these in a flourescent-only environment before so I have no idea how they’ll fare.


Herbs are also something new I’m trying. My awesome coworker is letting me borrow a corner of her slightly brighter desk as a home for this tiny little basil plant. It lives…at the moment.


We’ll see if it grows! Anyone know of anything else (preferably colorful) which grows in a dark environment?