Friday, June 15, 2012

Tips for Gardening in Small Spaces

You don't need a farm or even a yard of any size to have a garden.

Do you have a balcony or patio that get several hours of sunlight each day?  Do you have a windowsill that gets several hours of sunlight each day?  Container gardening can be very simple to start herbs or flowers and even a few vegetable varieties.

First, decide what you want to grow.  Do you want an herb garden, veggies or fruit (yes fruit), maybe just a few bee-friendly flowers.  I like to make a list that way I can go back and add to it or get rid of items if I change my mind.

Second, check out each variety to be sure they will grow using the methods available to you.  Will your garden be container only?  Will you use small, large or all shapes and sizes of containers?
Carrots growing in a recycled container.
 Third, what type of soil will you use if you are using containers?  If you have a small yard, soil quality might still be an issue.  I recommend homemade compost but that isn't always an option.  I use a mix of several items from the garden center and home.  This recipe is primarily for container gardens but works well in raised beds as well.  Here’s my recipe:

4  large bags organic garden or potting soil
1 small bag Perlite (optional)
1 small bag Peat Moss or Coconut Coir (improves drainage)
1 cup organic bone meal (high in phosphorus)
1 cup organic blood meal (high in Nitrogen)
1 cup crushed eggshells (for Calcium)
Compost: 1 large bag store bought OR equivalent homemade
Do you live by the ocean?  Check out Seaweed in the Garden.

And now to get started!  When I'm ready to plant seeds I clear off a table and fill it will seed-starter materials.  You guessed it...Peat Pellets.
Each bowl is labeled so I don't confuse the seeds.
Did you choose an herb garden?  Basil is probably one of the easiest herbs to grow.  Purple Opal Basil is beautiful and flavorful and grows very well in containers.
Purple Opal Basil

On another subject...Mary's REAL FOOD Cookbook is OFFICIALLY available for pre-order sales now.  You can purchase the book at Mary's Heirloom Seeds.  

I had a wonderful time putting the book together and I am excited about the positive response so far.  Have a Great Weekend!


Sall's Country Life said...

Ahh, yes, such good tips for those of us with a green thumb or two! Thank you for linking up your great post with Farm Fresh Friday!!

Nicole@Show Off Friday said...

Where there's a will there's a way! Have a great weekend! Thanks for coming by and linking up.

mary_smith said...

Thank you for hosting the link parties and thanx for stopping by!

Good Girl Gone Green said...

I am growing basil, parsley and tomatoes on my balcony! :)

daisy said...

Thanks for the growing mix recipe.

Karri Reiser said...

Thank you for linking to the Our Favorite Things Link Party
I love all your suggestions, I'm inspired to start an herb garden in my kitchen garden window.

mary_smith said...

Good Girl: Grow On!!
Daisy: You're welcome! I've adapted this recipe from one my Granny used to use.
Kerri: Thanx for hosting! I'd start with Basil since it is SO easy to grow.

Thanks again for stopping by!

Ladies Holiday said...

Have blogged about making this work too...your sprouts look great! Stopping by from Eye Heart Hop. Cheers!

mary_smith said...

Yeah Eye Heart! Thanx for stopping by.

Claiming Our Space said...

I love your idea of using bowls to label your peat pellets. My snow peas and regular peas are all mixed together this year because I didn't write down which was which. I would love it if you would share this on my link party Tout It Tuesday.

mary_smith said...

I just linked up at Tout it Tuesday

Thanks for the invite!

Claiming Our Space said...

Thanks so much for sharing on Tout It Tuesday! Hope to see you next week.

ketz said...
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