Keeping a Garden on an Apartment Patio

Teddy and I are lucky that even though we live in an apartment, we have a really nice sized patio.  As in 10 by 8 feet.  Pretty huge for an apartment.  As an added bonus, there’s no balcony over it, so we have pretty decent light a good part of the day.  We do have a privacy fence around it, which limits the light, but because of the direction we face, we still get maybe 6 hours of good sunlight a day.

Now that we’ve decided not to move, I can start planning our garden for this year.  I was poking around online and found this great post at Apartment Therapy called “Gardening Without a Garden.”  They give 10 really interesting ideas for keeping an apartment garden.

Last year, we got by with a few small plastic containers purchased from a big name hardware store.  We grew cucumbers, tomatoes, and green beans.  We also had herbs and some decorative flowers.  The lettuce never came in, and the cucumbers were pretty much a failure.  It took awhile to figure out the best placement on the patio to get optimum light (especially since neither of us were ever really home in the afternoon to see where the light fell).

This year, I’d like to do tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, and maybe some hot peppers.  We still have the curry plant and jasmine from last year, which have survived pretty well in the spare bedroom (soon to be nursery) over the winter.  We’ll use the same containers, but we’re also planning on some new patio furniture which will decrease floor space and direct sunlight.  So I’m thinking of some boxes over the privacy wall and under our dining room window (if that’s allowed by management, but I’m not sure).  I also have a double shepherd’s hook that I could do 2 hanging baskets from – I think this would be perfect from the herbs.

Of the ideas at Apartment Therapy, I really like the wall mounted spice rack (which I’ve eyed before on Pinterest), but I’m not sure if/where we could hang it in the space we have.  I also love the idea of growing citrus indoors – can you imagine the beautiful smell in the home having that?  And I spend a ridiculous amount of money on lemons every summer to make my amazingly yummy lemonade.  If I could actually make it from our very own lemons – wow!  Light would be a problem for us, but I wonder if Teddy’s dad would give us one of his lights?  (Teddy’s dad is a way better gardener than I will ever be and brings his entire container garden into the basement every winter, where he keeps the plants under solar lights.)

I’m excited to start thinking about planting, now I just need spring to realize it is spring now and stop with the snow.  Come on with the sunshine!

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