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Topic: What can I grow without a yard?  (Read 3905 times)
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« on: June 01, 2006 09:26:58 AM »

Hi everyone,
I'm moving in a few weeks and I will have a bit more space to have green things, both indoors and out. I don't have any sort of a yard (that is mine for planting in at least) but I would like to grow some potted herbs, veggies if possible, and brighten up the interior with a few house plants. The thing is, I have never grown anything in my life. Ever. Any suggestions for herbs/veggies that are easy to grow in pots (but in smallish amounts) and for houseplants that won't easily die under my care? I live in central Ohio, and I have a curious dog too, so pet-safe houseplants are a must. I would be starting to grow and plant these things around the first week in July. (I'm not sure what things have to be planted at what times of year)
Thanks for any advice you can give!  Grin
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« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2006 09:48:06 AM »

if you want a quick "i can grow stuff" buzz, i'd recommend trying out some wheatgrass - it grows completely in about a week, is sold in easy kits for those without green thumbs, and your dog can eat it.
although, if you get your dog started on eating plants, you might have a big problem on your hands in the future when you start tending to orchids and stuff.

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« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2006 10:14:52 AM »

For growing veggies, I heard the coolest tip on the Food Network.  If you want to grow tomatoes, get a bale of hay, hollow out the hay enough to pot the plant, put some potting soil in the hole, then plant the tomato plant.  I also heard that marigolds are good pest repellants, so you can plant some marigolds around the tomatoes too.  If you don't want to go the hay route, just get a big pot, and plant some tomato plants. 

I have a small herb garden in a window box.  It seems that chives grow really well. 

Good luck!
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2006 03:54:47 PM »

Basil, oregano, chives, thyme, and parsley can be very easily grown in pots. Tomato plant are pretty easy too. Just get the "patio" variety. The plants don't get so big they are unmanageable. Peppers (sweet and hot) are pretty easy to do also. Spider plants are really easy to grow. Ivy is supposed to be too, just plant and forget....I can't get it to work though Embarrassed. Philodendrons are pretty easy too. Ferns are good for outside. I don't know anyone who manages to get them through the winter, but it is supposed to be possible with a lot of light and regular watering.

« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2006 09:44:47 PM »

Hi! You can grow just about anything in a pot. For herbs, plant basil, rosemary, thyme, and sage in one big pot and water deeply every other day when it's really hot.  Cherry tomatoes are soooooo easy, you can grow in a pot or hang them upside down like a hanging plant. Bell peppers, japanese eggplant, and cucumbers grow upwards, so if you plant in a pot use a tomato cage to keep them upright. If you like squash, try the yellow crookneck type in a pot as well. There are also dwarf varieties of most fruit trees that are made just for a patio or deck.  The fruit they bare is the same size as a big tree without all the mess.  Grow any type of mint, it nearly grows by itself and is great to add to lemonade, iced tea, or you can make hot tea out of it to settle a stomach ache.
Anyway, I could go on and on. Have fun!!

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« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2006 03:55:48 PM »

I don't know whether US supermarkets sell them too, but the little pots of growing herbs in the fresh produce section are a very cheap way to get quite a lot of plants for about a dollar (60p here).  Split them up carefully as they will not be happy for long all jammed together, and put them in your windowbox, pots or whatever.  Basil wil demand a very sunny window or preferably outside, parsley, coriander (yum!) or chives will cope with less sunshine, but would still prefer to be outside.  This is actually my favourite way to get parsley plants as they are really difficult to grow from seed.  Good luck!

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« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2006 03:22:47 PM »

It takes a whole lot of time and patience to grow from seed. If you have a local farmer's market, it is a great resource for quality, inexpensive plants. Plus, you help the farmers out.

Currently, on my porch, I've got basil, lettuce (3 varieties.. and I just picked some off for a salad this afternoon), green peppers, peppermint, quartz verbena, oregano, wildflowers grown from a mix, and platycodon (balloon flower). All of the plants are in part-shade and are doing quite well. The lettuce, surprisingly, is doing the best out of all of them and has proven the most rewarding -- even if I'm having a sandwich, I can just go pick a few leaves off, wash them, and have fresh veggies.

You can pretty much grow anything in a container, with the exception of some root vegetables. There are some great resources out there too:


Good luck!
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2006 04:01:59 PM »

Wow, thanks so much for all the advice everyone!  Grin We will be moving within the next two weeks and then I am definately going to get some plants to try my hand at. It will be so nice to grow edible things, I never really thought I could do that without space for a vegetable garden. Yay!
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« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2006 04:03:59 PM »

I have an aloe plant that I keep in a hanging planter outside hanging from a tree, or inside (when it gets cold outside) on a hook in front of a window.  Aloe is a wonderful plant to keep around the house because of  its natural healing properties - great for everything from cuts to burns to some major skin issues like eczema.  The best part is the fact that they are very hard to kill as long as you keep them at a pretty stable temperature, but even then they are hardy.  Just don't leave them outside when a freeze is expected because they will not be able to bounce back from it.

And thus endeth my pro-aloe speech. 

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« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2006 04:15:11 PM »

Now that we've got you all fired up, here's the catch - WATERING!  You really do need to be faithful with this, as pots etc dry out quite quickly, but the bigger they are, the longer they stay damp.  Plastic dries out slower than clay pots, and if you line them with newspaper it helps hold the moisture.  Also, don't mess around getting garden soil/dirt upstairs = go buy proper potting compost, as your plants will need good soil to thrive.  Change it annually; they will have eaten up all the goodness in it.

Enthusiastic worker in almost all textile media, currently heavily involved in theatrical costumes.  Also love papier-mach and mosaic work and gardening.  Happy to meet new people too. 
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