Home // Porch Gardening

Sep 23, 2014

This spring, inspired by a suburban gardening book from the library, I set out on a mission to grow some food on the apartment porch.  Since space and money were very limited I kept it simple: a tomato, strawberry, and sweet pepper plant.  They were $5.99 each from Wal-mart.  (I was also gifted a red pepper plant later in the season).

I potted all three in a very large container and hoped for the best.  Each day I remembered to water them, and waited, waited, and waited for some sign of produce.  After a month, the tomato and strawberries started to get small buds.  I was ecstatic! And as the weeks went on I got to watch them grow and produce.


All in all we managed to grow: 11 tomatoes so far with many more currently growing on the vine, a strawberry (yes, just one single solitary strawberry), a sweet pepper with two currently growing, and have two red peppers growing as well.

A few things I learned this year:
  • Separate your plants and give them room to grow!  My biggest mistake was potting them all together.  Although the container was really large, they expanded way more than I imagined.  I had to re-pot the strawberry plant halfway through the season because it was completely buried under the tomato plant.
  • Be optimistic!  As a relentless plant killer, I didn't have much hope at the beginning of the season, but all those worries and negative thoughts were a waste of time.  I did just fine for my first year!
  • Research the plants thoroughly before buying.  When we got to the store, I made sure to read the tags and find ones that needed the full sunlight our porch provides.  Had I researched beforehand though, I would have found out about tomato cages which allow for better upward growth.  Next year!

Next summer I plan to grow more tomatoes -I definitely got my moneys worth with those!  I'd like to try another sweet pepper plant too and my son wants to grow carrots.  I'm also hoping to do an over the railing herb box with mint, dill, and parsley -high up from the clutches of our curious cats.

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