Don’t have space for a garden, you say? Do you have a patio or driveway that gets some sun? Then you have space for a great garden.
This spring, my wife Nancy decided to plant a patio garden. She had a number of large wooden and pottery planters, and filled them with garden soil, added a little fertilizer and we have already been enjoying the fruits of her labor while my in-ground garden is just starting to produce.
Nancy planted 4 cucumber vines and rigged trellises behind each. They have grown and prospered. She has canned 20 pints of pickles so far with more to come. Nancy also planted three tomato vines and they are bursting at the seams with juicy tomatoes. Birds, squirrels or some kind of critter pecked a few holes in the first ones, so she draped some netting across the tops and since then, the tomatoes have been secured. She also planted about a dozen pepper plants, both the smaller, sweeter “Door Knob” peppers she likes to can as well as some fiery hot jalapenos. We got the jalapenos in a little late, which worked out perfectly because pepper plants like it hot. They don’t do well on chilly spring evenings. The hotter, the better.
An essential in successful patio gardens is regular watering. Being above ground, the soil is warmer and water evaporates more quickly than with an in-ground planting. Nancy has watered religiously and the plants love it. When we went away for 5 days, she paid a local teenager to come by and water the plants as well as feed the birds and squirrels.
There are few things more satisfying than plucking a choice, ripe tomato from the vine, or perhaps gathering a “peck of pickled peppers.”
Don’t let a lack of space prevent you from putting a few seeds in the ground and watching things grow. And there’s still time this summer to plant things, such as winter squash.
Be really green. Grow something.