Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Urban gardening

One thing I'm really looking forward to in the new place, is starting my garden. I'm having a hard time resisting buying plants, especially since I walk past Home Depot, which has lots of little plants on display outside, every day on the way to and from work. Unfortunately, the weather is still a little unstable (ie cold!) in DC to get started. Some lettuces could have already been planted but most things have to wait until the end of April or beginning of May.

Since I live in a condo, and not a house, gardening takes a little more planning to make sure I maximize my limited space. I will putting some pots out on my balcony, which is thankfully bathed in sunlight most of the day. This is a lot more restricted then if I had a yard to work with, but it's most space I've had to use yet in DC and I'm hopeful that I will fresh veggies and herbs to use in my summer cooking! If you don't have a lot of space, don't let it discourage you from planting vegetables! You just have to think about it a little.

What am I planning to plant?
-Cherry tomatoes, I could also plant the regular variety in a pot but I like the cherry ones better so I'm going that route.
-Bell peppers, these are a pricier veggie, so I'm hoping to get a lot from my garden and not have to buy any at the store.
-Cucumbers, normally you need a big space for cucumbers because they vine all over the place! However, my step-dad told me there is a kind of "bush cucumber" that I can plant in a pot, so I'm going to check that out.
-Basil, there is nothing better than fresh basil! I'm starting out with a plant this year, because my past attempt at growing basil from a seed was a dismal failure.
-Rosemary, hopefully I will be able to keep this over the winter as rosemary is pretty cold tolerant.

I also want to check out the options for more organic home gardening. Using produce in my kitchen that I grew myself is undoubtedly as "local" as food gets but I wonder about all of these packages of Miracle this-and-that at the store. Plus I spend way more time than the average person reading about the impacts of agricultural runoff on marine environments, soil degradation and pesticides. If you have any experience with organic home gardening, please let me know!

Are you gardening in a small space? I'd love to hear about what you are planting and to share ideas!

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