After a semi-falling through of the community garden plot I was semi-supposed to have this summer, I’ve been gardening in a few different places – a plot across the street, and with some other people in a yard a few blocks from here. But with less access to land than I thought, I’ve decided to do some more experimenting with a container garden. I’m treating this year as a trial run to see what will grow well in pots and in the conditions that I have. If I know what works well, I can do more of that next year, and work on finding better ways of growing the things that don’t.
I’ve planted a number of seeds in the plot across the road: spinach, parsnip, radish, broccoli, and beans. But with my late start this year, I’m relying more on plants that have been started than I’d like. This weekend, I stopped off at the local nursery – which a friend who used to work there assures me is quite good, as nurseries go – and picked up basil, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, kale, celery, and chard to try out. They’re went alongside the rhubarb, thyme, mint, chives, and violets that I’ve already got going from earlier this year. I’m still considering a few more herbs, starting some quick-growing lettuce and peas from seed, and wondering about whether potatoes might somehow be doable out there as well.
I live in a north facing apartment with a balcony overhead. I’d like to grow on the patio, but there’s simply not enough sun, and what sun it does get doesn’t hit until mid afternoon. There’s also a retaining wall and shrubs to the north. This makes for a lot of shade, and not great growing conditions unless I prop my pots on or beside the wall itself. Having few other options, that’s just what I’ve done for now, until I come up with a better solution. I’m sure the people who mow the lawn aren’t super thrilled with me, but I think growing food – even little bits here and there – is hugely important. On the up side, I’m really pleased with what I have out there so far, and I’m hoping that it does reasonably well over the remainder of the summer.