Thursday, July 16, 2009

No Space Gardening

One of the items on my list of wants when we were looking for a house was space for a vegetable garden. Unfortunately, the house we ended up buying had almost everything we wanted except room to garden. The yard is fairly small, but what really stops the vegetable garden is the fact that it's been highly landscaped (very attractively), with a lot of trees and shrubs. There's maybe a 3' X 4' plot in the exact middle of the yard that gets enough sun for a vegetable garden. This year, that's not stopping us! Our deck gets a fair bit of sun, so we have some container plants that are providing us with a few fresh veggies. Our neighbours gave us two tomato plants that they started from seeds, we planted a couple of potatoes that were sprouting in the basement, and my favourite is the four lettuce plants I bought at the grocery store and stuck in a pot.

Lettuce is one of those veggies that we really like to have some around for burgers and sandwiches, but find it really difficult to go through an entire head before it goes bad. The great thing about growing your own lettuce is that it doesn't go bad! We pick a leaf or two every time we need some and leave the rest on the plant to get bigger. So far, it's been over a month since we've bought lettuce in the store and the garden has kept us well supplied. Best of all, we haven't wasted any!

Container gardening is one eco-experiment I'll be doing again next year. Even living in an appartment in the city, container gardening would let you grow some of your own vegetables. It's great to be able to head out the backdoor (or balcony) to get some fresh tomatoes and lettuce whenever I want a sandwich. I'm not sure how the potatoes will work out yet - it's a fairly shallow container, but the plants are definitely growing. I'll have to wait until the fall to see how the harvest is. Next year, I think I'll add a handful of bell pepper plants to the collection.

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