Containers Allow Fort Wayne Apartment Residents to Grow Fruit & Veggies in Smaller Spaces
Few things are more satisfying than growing your own food. But, if you’re living in an apartment in Fort Wayne, you may think you aren’t able to grow your own fruits & vegetables. Don’t fret! It’s possible to grow a huge range of vegetables and herbs successfully in pots right outside your door. Here are some container gardening tips that will work well on your patio. You will be harvesting your own fresh produce in no time.
Plants that Work Well in Container Gardens
Spinach, herbs, and small lettuces are obvious choices for containers. They also mature quickly so you can enjoy several harvests over the course of the summer. Look for compact or miniature varieties of fruiting vegetables like eggplants and peppers; cherry or grape tomatoes are good options, too. Don’t forget about smaller root vegetables like spring onions, radishes and baby carrots — they can easily be grown in containers as well. For an attractive looking planter from now through the end of the season, plant faster growing lettuces and herbs in the same planters as the larger, slower-growing plants.
Purdue University has suggestions for plants that grow particularly well in our region and climate:
Think Inside the Pot For Apartment Container Gardening
- Use window boxes for small leafy greens and herbs
- Reuse leftover glass jars!
- Of course hanging baskets are a nice addition to patios try filling one with small lettuces instead of flowers and hang from a shepherd’s hook.
- Give an upside-down planter a try — like the Topsy Turvy — for a variety of fruits, vegetables and herbs including tomatoes, strawberries, and even hot peppers!
Larger containers are necessary for plants that need more room to grow — like eggplants, peppers, carrots and potatoes. But that doesn’t mean you need to buy a bunch of expensive new pots. Think about using unusual, but sturdy, large containers like metal or plastic trash cans, plastic storage containers on wheels, or wooden barrels. Make sure to allow the soil to drain by putting holes in the bottom of the containers — use a drill or just a nail and hammer.
Keeping Your Plants Happy
Of course, regular watering is a must. Most gardeners recommend watering in the morning rather than the evening, so the water doesn’t sit on the leaves all night. Give a complete watering until you see water leaking out of the drainage holes. Use a water-soluble fertilizer every 6-8 weeks to make your plants extra healthy.
All food plants need a good supply of sunlight — 5 hours or so per day. Remember that faster growing crops planted now — like spinach, radishes, herbs and lettuces — could give you several crops over the course of the summer. Plants that grow more slowly and need a lot of warm weather — like eggplants, peppers and tomatoes — will yield results later in the season.
There are lots of online guides to container gardening. Here’s a good one from the Purdue University Extension Office: http://www.hort.purdue.edu/ext/ho-200.pdf
Lastly? Enjoy — and share with friends and family — the healthy bounty of your own garden!