Gardening, without the Garden

I have always liked the idea of growing my own food. It appeals to me on many levels: it involves being outdoors, it’s a nice, productive and not very expensive hobby and, now from the perspective of being a parent, it’s great for educating my daughter about where her food comes from and how plants grow.

The problem is our lack of garden. We live in a very nice apartment and I know that I’m actually very lucky that my home’s only drawback is that I don’t have a garden but still, it is a bit limiting, especially when the weather is nice.

It seems that the people who own our apartment building had the same thinking. So last year they gated off an area of the car park, put some benches in and some containers of flowers, creating a pleasant place for residents to sit outside. On seeing this, I had the idea that the section of the gated off area under Pip’s bedroom window, which wasn’t being used for anything, would be perfect for us to grow some plants. I very politely asked the owner, who said it would fine, they had hoped people would want to use the area. That was last year though, and too late to start planting anything. So instead I bought a mini greenhouse when one was on offer at our local garden centre and it sat in it’s box in a corner of my bedroom all winter.

Now that spring has arrived, we’ve started our little growing project. It’s amazing how many vegetables you can grow in containers! They will need more water and more feeding than plants grown in the ground – it’s important to remember that if you’re thinking about having a go at this yourself. We’ve been sewing seeds in little peat pots and keeping them on the kitchen window sill where it’s nice and sunny.

tomato day1-13

Last weekend, our tomato and Brussel sprout plants had grown big enough to be moved outdoors so I finally constructed our mini greenhouse and Pip and I spent Sunday afternoon repotting all of our little seedlings into big pots. She was thrilled to have an excuse to get a bit mucky and so excited at the idea that these tiny plants would someday give us food to eat.

tomato plants day 29

greenhouse

We’re also growing chard, courgettes and carrots, although I’ll need to get some deep containers for those since they need plenty of space to grow under the soil.

I’m going to keep one pot of tomatoes on the kitchen windowsill to see if it’s possible to grow them entirely indoors. I’m not sure how well this will work but we’ll just have to wait and see!

I hope this has shown that you don’t need a garden to grow your own veggies! I’ll be posting regular updates on how our growing project is going.

Thanks for reading.

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