Saturday, January 31, 2009

Home Vegetable Gardening

Home Vegetable Gardening

Home vegetable gardening: Even if you live in an apartment, you can grow vegetables.
Everyone loves the delicious flavor of home grown vegetables. Even if you did not grow up in the country, the difference in taste when comparing hot house grown vegetables and home grown vegetables is easily detected. Most people who live in apartments crave fresh vegetables without ever realizing that they can grow them even within such limited space.

A patio, no matter how small, can provide you with enough fresh tomatoes, peas, beans, peppers, radishes, squash and onions to fill your refrigerator all summer long. Farming in window sills is also a popular way of growing vegetables, both inside and out. There are numerous ways to expand your gardening area which are both simple and inexpensive. Tables, bookshelves, closets and even unused bureau tops can become a perfect planting area for fresh vegetables when full spectrum lighting is provided to these areas. Vegetables love the blue and red ray spectrum and will amaze you by what they produce when these rays are provided. So, now that you know you have the space, let's get your garden growing.

To begin, identify the space you will have for growing according to the suggestions above. Next you will want to buy shelves and brackets, which will be used in your windows to expand you growing area inside. If you have a patio, shelves can be installed for additional growing space. The unused side of a patio door area is also a good place to plant. But if you have no patio or windows, you will want to pick up a shop light fixture or two and full spectrum bulbs. These can be hung from the ceiling to give even the darkest area the proper lighting for plants to grow. Most of them come with the chains needed so they can be dropped down close to your plants. Hanging planters are also a great place to grow vegetables and even some fruits such as strawberries.

Next you will need to purchase pots, soil, seeds, plant stakes and fertilizers. Your pots can consist of any water resistant container that is sturdy can be used to grow vegetables. Redwood planters, clay pots, plastic garbage cans, buckets, bags of planting mix, strawberry jars or even garbage bags can be used as planters. The important thing is to make sure the planter has holes drilled for proper drainage. Since your growing medium is extremely important, your soil should consist of a mixture of peat moss and vermiculite mixed half and half. To this you will need to add a good 5-10-10 fertilizer and lime. When this is mixed, you are ready to fill your pots with soil.

For the best results when growing vegetables in your apartment, try to match the seeds you choose to the space you will be working with. Dwarf tomatoes grow well in a hanging planter, as do strawberries. Beans and peas will need larger pots and plant stakes so you can train them up the stake to save room. Corn can be grown in a larger pot as well. Onions, radishes and peppers do well in 6 inch pots placed on shelves in a window. Vine vegetables like squash need plenty of space to root but will need to be tied up to protect the vine from breaking as they become larger. Vegetables grown inside your apartment will need plenty of water. Be sure to check them daily by sticking your finger about two inches into the soil to ensure that plenty of moisture is present

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