Freshen up Your Apartment Patio Space With Fruits & Veggies!
Apartment living definitely has it’s advantages. But for some nature lovers, at-home chefs or anyone who enjoys healthy eating, the lack of outdoor gardening space may seem a necessary sacrifice. Not so fast! You can produce bumper crops of vegetables, fruits, and herbs right on your patio! And, because many edible plants look as good as they taste, your mini plot can be as beautiful as any ornamental garden.
Apartment Residents, Use Your Patio Space Wisely
A patio can yield a big harvest if you use the space efficiently. You don’t have to spend a ton of money on containers for your patio garden. Repurpose canning jars or a shoe organizer to grow small plants like herbs and lettuces. Or, check out these other creative ideas for container gardening:
Hanging flower baskets are always pretty on a patio or balcony — why not a hanging basket of lettuces, tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, or herbs! The Topsy-Turvy Upside Down planter makes container gardening at your Fort Wayne Apartment easy!
Vegetables like eggplants, peppers and carrots need more space. Consider other options than standard large pots: metal or plastic garbage cans, wood or plastic crates, or even large plastic storage boxes work well. Just make sure to make holes in the bottom — use a drill or even a hammer and a nail — so that water can drain out. Large containers like these don’t need to be watered as frequently and they give your plants room to stretch out. Make sure wooden containers are made from untreated wood, otherwise the chemicals could seep into the dirt.
Make large planters more visually appealing by mixing in quicker growing things like lettuces and herbs.
Pick the Right Crops for Your Container Garden
Of course, plant things you like to eat! Look for compact or miniature varieties that will do well in pots. Some vegetables grow better in this part of the country than others — find out which ones here:
Plants with a quick rate of maturing are ideal for containers — things like herbs and small edible greens. You will likely be able to harvest them several times over the summer. Pepper, tomatoes, and eggplants all perform well in containers. Even root vegetables like spring onions, potatoes, carrots or radishes are happy in a container garden.
Take Care of Your Plants
Crops like lettuces, radishes, and spinach do well in cool weather — you could be harvesting them in just a couple of weeks. A need for warmer weather and a longer growing period means that you won’t be harvesting things like eggplants, peppers or tomatoes until later in the season.
Sunlight is necessary, at least 4-5 hours per day, and regular watering. It is best to water your plants in the morning, if possible, so that leaves have a chance to dry out. Water deeply until it is leaking out of the drainage holes.
Fertilizer: choose a water soluble one for faster absorption and will make for happy plants as well. Just don’t over fertilize — once every 6 weeks ought to do it.
And, here is another helpful guide from our friends at Purdue with lots of advice on how to care for a container garden:
Then what? Harvest and enjoy your own Apartment-grown food! (You will likely have even enough to share with friends and neighbors!) It will not only taste great, but it will also dress up your apartment’s patio!