Patio Garden Ideas for Apartment Dwellers
Do you have a small apartment patio or balcony and love to garden? This article is for you!
Top Five Plants to Grow on a Patio or Balcony
Tomatoes are probably the easiest plant to grow in a container. Here are some tips to growing a successful tomato plant.
- Start with a large container. My preference is a clay pot with adequate drainage. The bigger the pot the better. Tomato plants can grow quite large over time.
- The key to a large and healthy tomato plant is to give it a consistent amount of water. The goal is to keep the soil moist, but not wet. Too much water and your plant’s roots will rot. Too little water and your tomato plants will get weak and your tomatoes will get blossom end rot. Also, inconsistent watering – too little and then too much water and you will have cracked tomatoes.
- Tomato plants need at least 6-8 hours of sun a day. Sometimes with a covered apartment patio or balcony, giving the plant enough enough sun can be challenging but it is definitely possible. Check on your tomato plant throughout the day to make sure it’s getting adequate sunlight.
Growing peppers in containers is easy! Here are tips to growing a successful pepper plant.
- Just like growing tomatoes, starting peppers out in a large pot is important for a healthy plant. For the smaller peppers (under 12 ” tall), you’ll need a 2 gallon container. For the larger pepper plants, a 5 gallon or even 10 gallon container will give the peppers plenty of room to grow. Make sure the pots have adequate drainage
- Your pepper plants will need more frequent watering when being grown in a container. Watering should be done whenever you can stick your finger 1 inch into the soil and it’s dry (the tried and true method). Soon enough, you’ll start to recognize whether that means watering every day, every other day, etc. for your particular growing conditions.
- Some peppers may need to be staked or caged due to their growing habits. I usually find that bell peppers need to be staked, due to fruit weight. Large rangey plants like jalapenos may need to be caged if they start overtaking your container gardening area.
Radishes are actually a recommended vegetable for first time gardeners because they grow so well. You are sure to get a great harvest from growing your radishes in containers. Here are some tips to growing a successful radish plant.
- Container gardening radishes requires a wide gallon pot and well-drained soil with rich organic amendments. Use a vegetable starter mix, or make your own with a combination of compost and peat mixed with a small amount of sand or other grit. Mix in a vegetable fertilizer before planting to jump start root growth after radish seed germination.
- Make sure that the pot you choose has a good drainage hole and use unglazed pots that encourage evaporation of excess moisture. If you use a saucer, make sure it is not filled with water constantly.
- The roots are the edible part of the radish plant. They begin to swell and form the vegetable soon after radish seed germination. Watch the plants carefully and ensure that the tops of the roots are covered with soil to prevent splitting and drying.
Carrots can also be grown in containers and they will actually thrive throughout the year when cared for properly. Here are some tips to growing a successful carrot plant.
- Choose a deep enough container. Find one that is at least one foot (30.48 cm) deep or more. Carrots develop underground and the root system needs a lot of space to grow.
- Be sure to provide adequate water but don’t overwater. Growing them in containers is about the same as growing them in the garden. Make sure that your containers have holes for drainage and you should see some growth after about seven days or so.
Onions have been known to grow very well in containers. Here are some tips to growing a successful onion plant.
- Choose a planter that is at least five inches deep, which allows the onion to grow to full bulb size.
- Plant onion sets 4 weeks before the last average frost. When planting the onion sets in potting soil in your chosen container, you should be able to get several in a container, allowing an inch or so in between each set for growth.
- Onions grown in containers usually need more water than those grown in garden beds. Keep the soil slightly moist. As soon as it dries out, water again.
If you have any container gardening tips you would like to share please share in the comment section below.
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