These days everyone is thinking about down sizing. Moving into tiny houses and getting rid of huge yards that take upkeep, money and time to maintain. If you find yourself in an apartment, condo or high rise here are few tips for potting up a few veggies. You don't need a large plot of land to grow a few fresh and healthy vegetables, especially if you do them in terra cotta pots or bowl pots.
Even lots of folks with homes prefer to grow vegetables in garden planters and pottery. It makes moving them easier and more portable. You can place thepots by a back door for convenience or on a patio for fragrance and color. However if you are living in a smaller space you can still grow fun vegetables in flower pots. Make sure you select clay planters that have a drain hole and leave some room for the vegetable root systems to spread a bit. Many vegetables have short roots so even a garden bowl on a patio table can work nicely.
Fill talavera planters or mexican pots with leaf lettuce, spring veggies, and herbs. They all work great in garden bowls that don't need much room and can be fairly shallow. However if you want to grow veggies that climb like tomatoes, snow peas or green bean you will have to put a metal cage in a large pottery planter, and use a garden trellis near by or place the clay planter next to a patio wall or balcony rail where they can climb as they grow.
If you really want to get daring you can even grow melons, or pumpkins where the roots are in the garden planter and the fruit is resting on the patio or deck as it grows. Think about easy items to grow like green onions, carrots or radish when you are not up to a big challenge. These are easy, don't take much room and fun to eat and watch grow.
Besides a good container you also need to consider how much sun the planter will get. Read the packet of seeds or the starter veggie plants for how much sun the containers will need. Make sure you start with good, new potting soil and fertilize on a regular basis. Since these potted veggies can't draw water or nutrients from the ground you need to keep the potting soil healthy.
Lastly, don't worry about watering them. Many times a watering can will work just fine. The main goal here is to just have fun, and enjoy eating and harvesting your own vegetables right outside on your balcony or small patio area.
The luscious leaves of collard greens look as good as they taste!
Easy and versatile, collards have graced Southern gardens and tables for generations. A cousin to kale and cabbage, these nutritious, leafy greens thrive in the cooler weather of fall and early spring.
Plant: Depending on where you live, you can plant collards in late summer and early fall. Use a large enough garden planter that they have room to root up! The love growing in garden containers, so use any large planter that you have or treat yourself to a new colorful style from Arizona Pottery. Some favorites are "Champion", "Blue Max" and "Vates".
Nuture: Collards like to be fed. Choose a fertilizer high in nitrogen because you are encouraging leaf growth not flowers! Water regularly and deter collard loving caterpillars, especially in spring, with a insecticide.
Harvest: Use a small knife or clippers to cut the entire plant about 4" from the soil. The plant will send new leaves from the remaining stem. You can also pop off single leaves by hand, starting from the bottom. Wash well before cooking.