Condo Gardening 101

Cooking for a woman will always score points, but to go the extra mile and impress the ficklest of foodie-babes, you’ve got to grow the veggies yourself. Of course, for yard-less condo and apartment dwellers, gardening can be a challenge. However, thanks to the wonders of container gardening – and obsessive watering, and perlite-heavy soil – you can turn your tiny balcony (or windowsill) into a modern day Garden of Eden. Here’s how:

Scenario 1: Sun, Not Space
If your balcony or sill gets at least six hours of sun per day but space is tight, steer clear of deep-rooted plants like beans, tomatoes or carrots, which require a minimum pot-size of about 20 litres. Stick with small-potted plants: Herbs (basil, rosemary, etc.), green onions and cucumbers can all grow in tight quarters.

Scenario 2: Space, Not Sun
If a nearby office building cuts off your sunlight mid-afternoon, don’t fret: Broccoli, garlic and leafy greens like lettuce and arugula can survive in just three to six hours of sunlight.

Scenario 3: Space, Sun
If you are the lucky owner of tens of square feet of outdoor space and ample sunlight – eight-plus hours per day – then the world is your oyster, or whatever vegetables you’d like to eat alongside your oysters: Cherry tomatoes, peppers, mini cucumbers – you name it. Mix the veggies with olive oil and some homegrown herbs, and you’ll put the 100-mile diet to shame.

Image courtesy of Peacock Modern on Flickr.

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  1. Hi:
    If you want to learn more about urban organic vegetable gardening in Toronto visit FoodCycles.org. They can supply you with great soil and advice to get started. You can learn even more by volunteering. You can’t miss their location just east of Keele St. south of Sheppard Ave. West inside Dowsview Park. This is a hidden treasure that needs to be shared. Ask for Sunny Lam and he’ll show you around.

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