Small space but big harvest

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The author’s garden on her apartment patio Mandi Flores

The author’s garden on her apartment patio Mandi Flores

Mandi Flores

Mandi Flores

Mandi Flores

Gardening has become increasingly popular.

Many people who garden have a large space to work with, either a raised garden bed or a plot of land.

When it comes to living in an apartment, students may think planting a garden is out of reach.

My gardening experience really took off last spring when I squeezed about 40 plants onto a small apartment patio.

The price to get started can be expensive if you go to a grocery and home improvement stores or nurseries where one pack of seeds costs almost $4.

Look for seed packets for about four for $1 and also check for sales. Each of those stores usually has sales on plants through the season.

When buying plants, look under the leaves for aphids, oval light-colored bugs, which kill a lot of plants. Tomato plants, in my experience, are unlikely to have these.

Cheap seeds and pots can be found for $1 at dollar stores. They will grow just as well.

While retailers will try to sell you on expensive soil or products, those are not necessary.

A decent garden can be started with $20 and be a big success.

Once you harvest your plants, their seeds can be used in the next growing season, and they are more likely to grow and do well in the same climate.

When picking out an area to plant, look for the place where your plants can get at least six hours of light.

Try to fit in as much as you can and still be able to use the space as well as allow room to water, prune and harvest. There is never a guarantee of what will grow.

Starting seeds in small containers and then transplanting once they grow will save you time, dirt and money.

These are just a few important tips that made my garden successful.

Since this was my first garden, I didn’t know what to expect.

Organic tomatoes were my biggest crop with about 40 from one plant. Banana peppers also produced a bumper crop. Other vegetables that did well were carrots, peas, potatoes, fennel plants and tomatillos.

Fruit trees planted in pots yield lemons, blood oranges and grapefruit.

The amount of fruit and vegetables that were harvested kept me from buying almost any produce the whole summer.

Gardening also can be a real stress reliever. I’ve heard many stories of people dealing with problems or illnesses and healing through gardening.

Gardening changed my eating habits. Now I try to cook at home with the freshest veggies possible.

It has also helped me keep a healthy diet by enjoying all of the interesting flavors that fresh fruits and veggies have to offer.


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