The patio garden I planted last year turned into a bit of a disaster once we moved into an apartment with a real patio. The plants were nice but none of the vegetables plants yielded much in the way of food and there was very little patio available to sit and enjoy once it was full of potted plants. My new plant this year consists of no pots. I have been able to implement this plan thanks to Big Lots, who had the previous years’ Topsy Turvy planters available for $2.50 apiece.
I already have peas growing in the strip of dirt available in my patio, and I have an additional planter for strawberries that will probably be hung in a few weeks, once the school rush is over (I have two weeks of school left and then finals; meaning many, many assignments, especially when you include all the papers I need to finish/rewrite that I’ve put off all semester. Life in general is on hold for the next three weeks, though that’s normal this close to the end of the semester. After that I have two jobs lined out over the summer. Go me!).
Some general info for those who are unfamiliar with Topsy Turvy planters: each box comes with a planter that has the wires already attached and a hook that you can hang the planter from. I didn’t know going into this that potting soil and the actual tomato plant had to be bought separately, or I probably would have tried to grow one of my own earlier in the season to save a few bucks. Granted, given the size of the box this probably should have been obvious, but I do wish there was a product list somewhere on the box to eliminate the guesswork. Home Depot has my back, and I was able to buy a large bag of potting soil relatively cheaply. Plant prices seem to be fairly universal. At the very least, I can certify that the prices of plants at Home Depot are the same as at KMart.
Ramble ramble ramble. Here is a picture of my tomato plant in its topsy turvy planter, hung just a few hours ago.
I decided to try growing vegetables this year, and so far have… encouraging results? What I mean is, they’re growing, but I’m really not sure if I’m going to get any actual food off of these things. Anyhow, it’s an experience, if nothing else.
Here is the garden, as of about two weeks ago. From left to right you have tomatoes in the large grey containers, peas in the three smaller ones, and a banana pepper plant in the green one. I have also planted a bell pepper plant since this picture was taken; it was a gift from Deanna.
Ever since I moved in and expressed a wish to grow vegetables my grandparents have offered to set aside a bit of their lawn for me to play in, but I chose to do containers instead. I figure it’s an investment for future apartment living. When we do clearance on garden center at work this year I’m probably going to stock up on these stupid containers. The good ones are effing expensive.
My tomato plants. The ones on the left I bought pre-grown at work for like, 99 cents apiece after the seeds I originally planted decided to never grow. I’ve actually gotten two edible cherry tomatoes off these things this week, which is encouraging.
I’m insanely happy about the ones on the right because they did grow from seed, and are growing fairly fast. They probably won’t have fruit until later in the season, but my mom says that ones grown from seed tend to produce a lot more fruit than the ones you get pre-grown at the store. I’m pretty curious about this one and hoping it works out, if for no other reason than I really can’t remember if I planted big tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, and am DYING to find out!
My peas. What can I say, I also love peas, and it helps that they are easy to grow. In fact, I also grew these from seed. They are starting to fall over now because I haven’t given them anything to climb, and Deanna has offered me some of the posts she got for her garden this year. I’m intending to replant them in a bigger pot before I take her up on that, as putting the stakes in these little pots would be kinda stupid. Plus, the white plastic pot is actually cracked because Mike stepped on it (we were moving a couch, so I forgive him), and needs to be thrown out, and since I recently had to throw away my spider plant and asparagus fern (RIP) due to the evil, EVIL of the fungus gnats I’m wanting to use these clay pots to plant new ones.
And last but not least, the banana pepper plant. This was an impulse buy, as I’ve never seen anyone else grow one but it sounded really good and was like, $3 at work. I’m thinking I need to look up directions on how to grow one though, because the stalk is turning purple, which I think could be a sign he’s getting over watered. Plus, I have no idea what time of season to expect food off of this guy. But if I can get him to live, well, I DO like banana peppers. Especially in salad…