Many people love the thought of having their own home-grown garden, but they think they’ll need lots of farm equipment and a large yard. While having several acres would be great, it would take a lot of time and effort to plant, maintain, and harvest that much food. There is another way.
If you have a home with a deck or patio, or if you have a condo with a balcony it's possible to plant and maintain a small garden using small planters or pots. Depending on the types of vegetables and herbs you want to plant, some of these may even grown in your kitchen.
First, you’ll need to go to your local home center or any store with a well stocked garden center. You can purchase the seeds, the pots, planting soil with or without fertilizer. You can even purchase some of your vegetable plants as starters, meaning they’ve grown to the point of being small plants. Starting from seeds is fairly easy, but may take several weeks longer to bring forth vegetation.
There are also small greenhouse kits that you can purchase, that come with little soil pods. You plant the seeds into the little pods, place the lid on, following the watering and lighting instructions and within a few days you’ll see green shoots sprouting up. It’s quite exciting to see new life growing right in your kitchen.
You’ll then need to transplant the seedlings into pots. Some will be able to complete their growth cycle in small pots, and some will need larger pots. Tomato plants usually need a five-gallon pot to grow to full size. Some smaller vegetables like chilies may take a smaller pot.
Moving the small plants outside after they’ve been transplanted can be tricky. Depending on the temperature they may not be able to be put in direct sunlight at first. Under the edge of the eave works quite nicely. Regular watering is so important. If you’re lucky enough to live where it rains regularly that can naturally help with the watering process. Just make sure they don’t ever get dry. Once they adapt to the outdoors, they begin to grow and flourish rapidly.
In just a matter of months you can have a whole patio or deck full of wonderful things like tomatoes, jalapeños, banana peppers, green onions, green and yellow peppers and strawberries. You can also have herbs like basil, cilantro, parsley, lavender, rosemary and many others.
So don’t give up on growing your own food just because you may be limited on space. Planting and gardening can be an exciting venture, and producing your own food makes it even more rewarding!
Debbie Bresee is a REALTOR® and Broker in the Brentwood and Nashville, Tennessee areas. If you'd like to browse through MLS listings of Nashville Homes and Condos please visit her web sites.
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