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This year we are diving into gardening and growing our own food. Here is the catch though- we live in an apartment.
Yep, we have no garden area, or even a lawn, but we decided that we were going to garden this year. Honestly, it was the Goof’s idea. He has helped us pick peppers and raspberries at my parents’ house before, and something on TV or a movie got him interested in planting his own garden.
The Goof loves to be outside and doing things with nature, something I need to let him do more of, so I thought a garden would be the perfect opportunity to make sure we got out more this summer, even though we have one year old twins.
We started our seeds inside the house using baby food containers, but we don’t have room for all those full grown plants inside the house, so put them in pots and moved them outdoors. They have done really well (better than expected) and we have loved having fresh produce already this year. We just ate fresh broccoli today!
The Goof and I have loved watching our plants grow and today I have a few tips for you on planting vegetables in pots.
To start, you can either plant seeds in starters like we did here, or you can purchase seedlings and move them to pots rather quickly. We did a little of both.
When purchasing your vegetables, be sure you look at a few things. Do they grow well with the amount of sun you get on your patio, or where ever you plan to place them? (This info should be on the packet of seeds or the little marker in the starter.) Also, what weather do they do well in? (This info should also be there) Finally, do they work well in pots?
This one might be a little harder to figure out. The Goof happened to notice that on the packets of seeds at our local Walmart, they were marked if they do well in a pot.
So we used the seed packets to make a list before purchasing any starters. We also checked how much space they needed between plants and other important info.
Use the thinning and spacing guidelines on the pack of seeds to decide what size pot you will need. We chose pots that were 10-12 inches in diameter based on the plant. We assumed not all of our seeds would take, which was a mistake.
Almost all of ours have taken and we probably have a few things in pots that are not big enough. OOPS! So learn from our mistake. This 12 inch pot was used for 2 tomato plants (grape tomatoes) and should work without needing to transfer to a larger pot.
Be sure to pick up some good soil for your plants. We found good quality soil right in the gardening department at Walmart and chose soil specifically for potted plants.
Our plants have been growing so fast our neighbors have commented how amazed they are. It may be a little more expensive, but it is definitely worth it.
When you plant, be sure to follow the seeds instructions. This is where you can really let kids have fun with this. The Goof loved playing in the dirt and putting the seeds in. He had so much fun with it, at least until it came time to clean up the mess.
TIP: If working indoors, cover your work surface with disposable table cloth to catch any dirt that might miss the pots.
It is amazing how quickly our plants have grown in their pots. We found that planted pots need A LOT of water to grow, so make sure to keep their soil pretty moist. But if you do that, you will see a huge growth in no time.
We have spent each day tending to our little apartment garden, watching our plants grow, and even seeing some blooms starting to come in where our produce will grow.
The Goof has proudly claimed that he is not sharing his broccoli or peppers, but that he will share his other vegetables. It is fun to let go of my neat freak tendencies and go out and enjoying playing in the dirt while tending our plants.
The Goof is enjoying being free to be “a farmer” as he calls it, and I am excited to have a fun project for us to do together this summer. It is our little project and lets him have a little mommy time. Something that is lacking when you have twin baby brothers. And even though we may get a little messy, it is okay. I know that dirt can wash away, but the memories we are making, those will last.