Monday, March 28, 2011

Container garden update

We live in an apartment with an excuse for a patio. This thing measures about 10 feet by 6 feet and faces west. Not the best size or orientation for gardening. We decided that a patio tomato sitting by the tree outside our door and herbs in pots were about all we could do. Some of these are from our old place and some are new. 

 This is our sage and second rosemary plant. This rosemary is a bunch of starts from my primary rosemary plant, shown below. Rosemary, like most plants, is very easy to root.  When I need to use rosemary in a recipe I usually cut off about 4 or 5 six inch sprigs. I strip off about 3 inches of the leaves from the cut end. I use the leaves in my recipe then place the sprigs in a glass of water. After about 1 week the sprigs will sprout. By 3 weeks they will have a couple of roots around 3 inches long. I poke a hole in the dirt of one of my pots, plant the rooted sprigs, and what you see above is where they go from there.

 The nice thing about rosemary is that it is really hardy. When it gets cold around here (it does too!) it will hang in there through the cold. This plant is around a year and a half old. When we move to the new place we'll place it in our little backyard. Little is 26 feet by 12 feet. It will seem like an acre compared to this patio. I have just the place for it, right next to the sliding glass door next to the fountain. It will love that spot.Nice and sunny. I'll love the smell as I brush by it as I come and go. We will have to wait until October though otherwise it will be too shocked.

 This is our oregano plant. I think. It could be our marjoram plant. They look a lot alike. I always have to eat a leaf to figure it out. Sometimes I throw caution to the wind and add whatever I cut off. As you can see it needs a bit of a hair cut and clean up. I feel its pain. I too need a bit of a hair cut.

To maximize our space we bought a chrome shelving unit. It works very well, except that our strawberry plant likes to put out runners. If you look to the back of the pot you can see that one of them found a home in with the oregano. 

 3 weeks ago our basil plants were this size

10 days ago this was what our basil plants looked like.

This is what they looks like today. You can see that the tops of the plants have reached to the bottom of the shelf above. I felt compelled to start eating off these plants already. I'm doing it a service. Mmmmm.... basil. 

 Strawberry plants 10 days ago.

 Strawberry plants today.
Hopefully we can get to those red ones before the birds do. Not that I don't begrudge the birds the food, it's just that JR loves strawberries and he has worked so hard keeping these alive on a patio without a water faucet. That's right. JR carries bucket after bucket of water from the master bathroom to water these plants. Sounds like stupidity doesn't it? It is still worth it.

 These are some more of the herb plants that we picked up 3 weeks or so ago at the farmers market. Flat leaf parsley and lemon thyme. The thyme is going crazy and it is about time to give the parsley a cut.

 No matter where we move JR buys himself a tomato plant. This cherry tomato plant we got at the farmers market also. It was 6 inches tall then. It is about 3 feet tall and flowering right now. We should be eating tomatoes in another month. We've found that cherry tomatoes do very well in pots.
That is how our garden is growing right now. For those of you with very little space, like us, a container garden is the best way to go. Also, gardening is a wonderful activity for your children. We taught The Boy his colors in the garden. It was the only way we could keep him from eating the green tomatoes.

Have a great day everyone.



  1. Bwwwhahahahah, tomatoes in a month. The last lot I grew I put them out the last week in May and I had ripe tomtoes the last week of September. And ripened the remaining 70% with bananas under them in the kitchen. And my Basil, sown two weeks ago are now peeping over the compost, some of them.

  2. Tomatoes in a month.

    If I didn't love you so much, I'd call you a rude name. We won't see tomatoes until July at the earliest.

    My herb garden on the side of the house is slowly being taken over by sage, Greek oregano, thyme and chives. The oregano and thyme is already coming back (the sage never really went away); it'll be interesting to see if the rosemary and tarragon come back as well. I can't plant basil until Memorial Day. :(

  3. Hey!!! Where did 2 of my pictures go? Damn Blogger. I had a lovely picture of JR's cherry tomato plant that is at least 3 feet tall and another one of my starts Rosemary. Damn Blogger again.

  4. Wow...Nice job Michele. You guys rock. Cheers Michele!!

  5. You make container gardening look appealing and sound easy. Very lovely garden!!
    Will see what I think of container gardening at the end of this summer!!
    I am excited and dreading it in a different climate. Here at home it stays very warm and humid so the plants thrive during the night's "cool down" from the intensive heat during the day.
    WY on the other hand gets cold at night. Our neighbors gardens struggle to produce. what the weather doesn't take care of the gophers will.
    Will definitely be an interesting project!

  6. Sigh, even if we try to start things inside--we just can't grow basil that looks like that. Or tomatoes, or strawberries. We are trying strawberries again this year--but the squirrels have radar for those. However we can grow zucchini like crazy.

  7. Wow! Look at your container garden grow! Now can you please send some of that lovely warm weather this way so I can get to planting? ;)

  8. You guys have taken great advantage of what space you do have. Strawberries? Oh I LOVE strawberries!

  9. I'm really impressed by your basil. I have never been able to grow it. I'm convinced there's some trick that I just haven't been able to figure out. Something about the sun to shade ratio. Or maybe you just have to water it regularly, which I often fail to do. Heh.

  10. Well, when you container garden in an apt. somebody's just gotta carry the water. We did that when we lived in KS and grew a bazillion peppers in long containers on the back balcony. Besides, JR is an Aquarius and he's SUPPOSED to carry water. Must be pretty good at it, all of your growin' things look fabulous!

  11. I saw these great planters last summer that you hang and the plant grows out the bottom, great for places with little space.

  12. You are so lucky! We are still having rain and snow and WIND!

    Looking good!


  13. Everything looks tasty already. We're not through with frost just yet, but in about two more weeks we'll be putting things into the ground.

  14. They look incredibly healthy!! I am so impressed with how you do this.

  15. My basil still hasn't set true leaf. What the heck am I doing wrong.
    How do you get them so healthy.
    Very jealous indeed looking at your plants.