Urban & Small Space Gardens 2011 - Container, Balcony or Patio - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-31-2011, 12:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sorry!  My garden philosophy this year seems to be - better late than never.

 

I have to admit, I used to get a little jealous of some of the other threads, reading about folks with big gardens. So I started a thread for others like me - little space to plant.

2008 thread here
2009 thread here

2010 thread here

 

I consider my little experiments a great success. My Garden - 2008 & My Garden - 2009 (without a camera most of the season and into 2010).

 

Since I have a lovely new camera, I hope to document things better this year.

***

- Do you have to urge your upstairs neighbor to move that un-registered vehicle so you can have the one sunny place in your shared yard?
- Do you have to come up with wind screens so you can plant on your balcony?
- Do you see empty paint buckets and think, "oh planter"?
- Do you grow you strawberries in a bag, upside down because that is the only place you have for a plant?
- Do your culinary needs get met by a hodge podge of tire planters, windowboxes and earth boxes - commercial and homemade?

Then, this is the place for you and I've included some of my favorite links and small space blogs:

http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/1000/1647.html
http://www.ext.vt.edu/pubs/envirohor...6/426-336.html

http://www.containergardeningguru.com
http://www.garden.org/urbangardening...=container-veg
http://www.stretcher.com/stories/02/02mar04h.cfm

http://urbanhomestead.org/journal
http://www.yougrowgirl.com
http://greensandberries.squarespace....garden-journal
http://www.urbanorganicgardener.com
http://www.gardengirltv.com
 

 


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Old 06-01-2011, 10:57 AM
 
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I'm not a small-space gardener (although, how many of us don't have less space than we wished we had ;)), but I look forward to seeing your posts through the growing season!

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Old 06-01-2011, 07:31 PM
 
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I'm in on this!  I have a 1/4 acre lot that is pretty much sand. We have pockets around the yard that have been enriched by trees over the years but mostly it's not suitable for gardening as is.  I'm composting and working on creating micro-climates in areas but mostly right now things are getting grown in containers or I'm using native/xeriscaping plants.  I am in zone 9, coastal central Florida.  

 

My goal is an edible landscape using a mix of native/wild edibles, drought resistant plants, and containers.  I may try sunken beds at some point later on once I have massive amounts of compost.  I will also grow tropicals as long as I can afford to water them, I really want rain barrels soon.

 

Since it's the beginning of summer and I just moved in this is my current inventory of growing plants:

 

sweet potatoes in large pot

prickly pears in ground

native/wild/medicinal flowers-snakewort, portulaca/purslane

blueberries in ground

 

trees all either dwarf varieties or I'm using the backyard orchardist approach and plan on heavy annual pruning to maintain small size. all in ground.

mango, avocado, lemon, key limes, valencia orange, satsuma tangerine, papaya

 

Today I just bought one of those upside down planters at the store for 3.99 and plan on putting tomatoes in it this fall (my gardening is all backwards compared to the rest of the US).

 

 

 


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Old 06-02-2011, 01:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My camera has lost itself.  LOL figures.

 

But I have, three varieties for peppers, two varieties of tomatoes, string beans & cucumbers going.  I hope to get melons, zucchini and greens going soon.  I decided against eggplant this year because I am the only one out of five who eats it.  But have been contemplating brussel sprouts.  


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Old 06-09-2011, 07:11 PM
 
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Oh yay :D  Just the perfect time for me to 'find' this thread again!  I have moved from a house with a small but big enough yard, to a house with an ITTY BITTY yard *sigh*  But I love the area, and rental homes in this area are pretty much like that so I'll cope!    I have only been moved in for a couple of months so I have planted nothing yet but I am itching to!    

 

My backyard is an L shape that is literally about 1.5metres wide at all points.  There is an open 'pool fence' at the back that blocks off the VERY steep 'garden bed' of shrubs.  The ground slpes at a 30+ degree angle I'd guess... crazyness.  I DO think I might try digging a couple of holes near the gate inside that bed, and filling them with compost and putting a couple of tomatos in to see how they go :)    I'm going to get the stuff to plant up my stacking planter (it's like a giant strawberry pot sort of, about a metre or a little more tall) and put in lots of herbs.  Mum is stalking another one if she can find the guy at the markets, so I can plant it up with strawberries for spring.  

 

Almost anything else will have to be in pots as well, unless the owner gives the ok for a small garden bed of some sort.  And the long side of the L that is my yard?  NEVER has good sun... the ground is perpetually damp and is even gross & slimy almost up at the far end ... so it's useless unfortunately. 

 

Look forward to seeing everyone's pics and sharing how it goes :D


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Old 06-21-2011, 09:22 PM
 
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Happy to have found this thread! I just moved from an urban farm (3 acres, in the city limits of a pretty major metropolis) to 1950's suburbia. The backyard is 100% deck or gravel, and the front is a tiny lawn. I have a few pots going with peas and carrots, some peppers, tomatoes, and artichokes in the ground out front, and herbs started in a 2' X 15' brick planter that might not get enough sun. I had to give up the chickens (and dreams of dairy goats), and I have never had a lawn to mow before! I haven't figured out here or how to do a compost bin in such close quarters. The whole neighborhood thing is new to me, and I feel like the neighbors, with their perfectly manicured lawns, are judgemental.

 

I am looking for suggestions of cheap/free pots that are fairly conservative looking (the neighbors already think we're weird enough) and any ideas for the strip between the sidewalk and the street. It now has a thinning layer of weathered bark chips over some sort of rotting plastic, lots of weeds, and a few ornamental cherry trees. I think if I do something pretty spectaclar with that strip (what is it called?), I may be able to talk the landlord into letting me put raised beds on the lawn next year. I was thinking of a wildflower patch, but I don't really know how to prepare the soil. I am afraid to plant food crops there because I found a shed full of round-up, chemical fertilizers, and insectisides when I moved in. I will only plant in raised beds, pots, or where I can control the soil. Or if I learn how to repair the soil.

 

 


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Old 06-21-2011, 10:15 PM
 
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I am a brand-new small space gardener. This is my first year growing stuff (well, I tried some flowers last year, but everything died pretty quickly). I have a small porch and very limited yard space, and I'm growing strawberries, tomatoes, peas, beans, watermelon, pumpkin, carrots, lettuce, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and I'm planting potatoes in a grow bag this week. I also put in a lilac bush and a rose bush this spring, and I'm growing a host of flowers, mostly from seed. I'm contemplating trying a dwarf fruit tree in a large container, too. I'll try to get around to taking some pics this week. Looking forward to hearing about others' small-space gardens!


A, wife to R and mom to 3 boys: D~ 10/05, J~ 8/07, and B~ 12/09 and welcoming a new little one in May 2015
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Old 06-22-2011, 01:25 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamarhu View Post

 I haven't figured out here or how to do a compost bin in such close quarters. The whole neighborhood thing is new to me, and I feel like the neighbors, with their perfectly manicured lawns, are judgemental.

 

I am looking for suggestions of cheap/free pots that are fairly conservative looking (the neighbors already think we're weird enough) and any ideas for the strip between the sidewalk and the street. It now has a thinning layer of weathered bark chips over some sort of rotting plastic, lots of weeds, and a few ornamental cherry trees. I think if I do something pretty spectaclar with that strip (what is it called?), I may be able to talk the landlord into letting me put raised beds on the lawn next year. I was thinking of a wildflower patch, but I don't really know how to prepare the soil. I am afraid to plant food crops there because I found a shed full of round-up, chemical fertilizers, and insectisides when I moved in. I will only plant in raised beds, pots, or where I can control the soil. Or if I learn how to repair the soil.

 

 

I live in that type of neighborhood too... here it's fancy nice houses, tiny yards, but everything has to LOOOK the look if you kwim?    I definitely wouldn't go any edibles in the nature strip (at least that's what we call that little strip of half dead grass between the sidewalk & street!)  if only for the fact that car exhaust and whatnot might have caused nastyness to settle into that soil.  Anything you put there would need to be pretty sturdy, as it is prone to being trampled I'd imagine?  I have no brilliant suggestions at this point ... it's been a long day!   Maybe some low-ish flowering ground cover type plants?  There are some lovely ones on the link below!

 

http://landscaping.about.com/od/groundcovervines1/ig/flowering-ground-covers/
 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dantesmama View Post

I am a brand-new small space gardener. This is my first year growing stuff (well, I tried some flowers last year, but everything died pretty quickly). I have a small porch and very limited yard space, and I'm growing strawberries, tomatoes, peas, beans, watermelon, pumpkin, carrots, lettuce, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and I'm planting potatoes in a grow bag this week. I also put in a lilac bush and a rose bush this spring, and I'm growing a host of flowers, mostly from seed. I'm contemplating trying a dwarf fruit tree in a large container, too. I'll try to get around to taking some pics this week. Looking forward to hearing about others' small-space gardens!


Holy moly, for a new small space gardener it sounds like you've packed a TON into your small space!!  How's everything growing? 

 

I've just put in a 'tower' of herbs & strawberries... and transplanted 4 itty bitty black russian tomato seedlings into bigger pots.  As soon as I have the $$$ I'm going to get bigger pots.  In the neighborhood I'm in, I'm not going to tempt fate by having 'ugly' pots ... my backyard is on a slope (back fence is about level with the ground of our patio level!) so anything out there is completely on display... and yeah, more than a few weenies live in the area and someone would complain to be sure.  I don't want to be the neighborhood eyesore lol

 

Here's my little tower!  ARggh.. or not!  cannot save this pic right!  Will try again later :)

 


 

 


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Old 06-22-2011, 06:43 AM
 
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We have gone another route with our lack of space! We share dirt and work with another family. Have to run to get the kids ready for swim lessons. I wrote an article on it but the pictures are what I like. The link is on my blog. Http://rebeccakielpages.blogspot.com. It'll take you to I'm Organic's blog. We even have chicks! Have to wake the kids. More later!!
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Old 06-22-2011, 09:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am going to have some ripe cherry tomatoes any day now.  I can't wait. joy.gif


My family of 3 (plus pup) Indigo (Aimee), Rob (dp), Ryne (ds) & Phebe (dog), plus my BIL's family of 3.

 
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Old 06-22-2011, 05:22 PM
 
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I am trying my hand at gardening this year...well, technically I tried to be a bit too ambitious last year and everything died pretty quickly as I was not very attentive. bag.gif  Our backyard is pretty small and available space for a garden is limited. I decided to start small this year with 3 planters/pots. I'm growing zucchini squash, basil and roma tomatoes. I am thinking about adding a few more herbs.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Indigo73 View Post

I am going to have some ripe cherry tomatoes any day now.  I can't wait. joy.gif


I have my first little green roma appearing. orngbiggrin.gif

 


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Old 07-01-2011, 10:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indigo73 View Post

I am going to have some ripe cherry tomatoes any day now.  I can't wait. joy.gif


Oh nice!!   My little tomato plants are about double the size they were when I potted them (about 2weeks ago when I posted :)  which is pretty impressive since we just passed mid winter lol.gif

 

I wandered the garden centre the other day... Because I live in a snooty area, I can't have 'ugly' pots where people can see them *sigh*  but I found some nice glazed pottery ones that were under 30bucks each (I Only need 2 or 3 tops) and I am plotting a future purchase of a 'lots-a-lemon' plant, and either a mandarin or navel orange dwarfed variety.   I have already picked out spots on the veranda for them and got hubby on board winky.gif  I also have 2 x 1.2metre square garden bed frames in the garage (brought along from our previous house).  I don't have the yard space to set them up as is (my strips of pathetic yard are about 1.5m wide all the way around the house... and one whole side is nothing but pebbles and has difficult access)  BUT I have hatched a plan to get hubby to cut the side panels down... I CAN fit a couple of 1.2m x 60cm beds along the fence! 

 

I'm not going to ask for landlord permission... I figure tis better to beg forgiveness than as permission hehehe.  When we eventually move on, we can pull them up and throw down some sod/turf and call it good!     Must get this cunning plan underway, as those tomato plants are going to want a permanent home in the next month or so! lol


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Old 09-15-2011, 06:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I just wanted to pop on and say howdy.  This year's container garden while not a complete bust, was extremely sad.  LOL  My one pepper (on one of 4 plants) never ripened.  My beans never flowered and I only got a handful of smaller tomatoes on my "big" tomato plants, nothing past flowers on my cherry tomato plants.  Oh well.  I have plants for three or four raised beds next year in a different part of the yard.  I think my driveway was too bright for my pots. Although I plan to try my hand at herbs in containers in my side yard.

 

In other news, we have chickens, quail & pheasant, quite the little urban flock.  They are pretty much under the care of my BIL & SIL who live with us.  I hope to have some pictures up on my Flickr this weekend.


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Old 11-10-2011, 10:28 PM
 
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I have an in ground garden. I just planted 19 broccoli plants and spinach seeds. (We live in Tucson so this is the time of year to do this.) I hope to freeze enough for next year. We'll see how this experiment goes.

 

BUT, the reason I am posting here. I would like to do some container planting. However, I worry about chemicals from the pots leaching into the soil and then the plant. Does anyone know anything about this?


Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.

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Old 11-10-2011, 10:49 PM
 
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BUT, the reason I am posting here. I would like to do some container planting. However, I worry about chemicals from the pots leaching into the soil and then the plant. Does anyone know anything about this?


May have answered my own question. http://www.urbanorganicgardener.com/2010/08/is-growing-food-in-a-plastic-container-safe/

 


Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.

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