Whether you live in a spacious house or a tiny apartment, you can get in on growing at least some of your own food!
Last week, I talked a little bit about the environmental impact of eating meat. Another way to reduce your food footprint (foodprint?) is to grow your own food. This can be easier said than done, though, now that temperatures are dropping. We’ve already had to move a couple of plants out of the cold, and we’ve started growing some more cold-resistant plants in our containers out back.
The trick with any container garden is to choose quality, organic potting soil, make sure you have the right sized pot, and that you fertilize regularly with organic fertilizer. To choose your pot size, take a look at the plant’s care tag. The rule of thumb that’s worked for me is to choose a pot that’s the same width as the spacing. So, if the plants need to be 12″ apart, choose at least a 12″ pot. The same goes for plant food or fertilizer: read the instructions. We apply every few weeks, but depending on what you choose, you may be fertilizing more or less frequently.
I’m lucky enough to have a house with a yard and a porch where I can grow food, but even if you only have a little bit of space, you can grow some food plants with a little bit of planning. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Go VerticalVertical gardening is an excellent way to grow more food in a small space. Rather than placing just a single pot on a table, windowsill, or on the floor, you can make use of wall space to hang a row of planters full of small space food plants. If you’re working indoors, you don’t have to stick to just cold weather plants, but in case folks are wanting to do this outside, here are some smaller food plants that would work well vertically:
- Green onions
- Swiss chard
Hanging GardensShort on wall space? Don’t fret! You can grow some food by hanging your plants right from the ceiling! Most home improvement or gardening stores stock hanging planters, and these are a great option for growing some larger indoor food plants. I’m also really smitten with this Japanese string garden. You could try it out with herbs instead of ornamentals! Plants that would do well in a hanging planter include:
- Cherry tomatoes
- Hot peppers
- Any sort of herb
- Dark, leafy greens
Window BoxesIf you want to maximize space even more, you can hang window boxes with cold weather plants this fall and winter. Just make sure that the box is very secure, so you don’t lose any plants, and choose hearty plants that do well in cold, since your plants are going to all be outside. Some smaller plants that work outdoors are:
- Bok choy