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Garden Plot: Experiment with container gardens in small spaces


Cherry tomatoes can grow well on a deck that gets a fair amount of sun. (Diane Lynch / For The Ark)

Just because you live in an apartment doesn’t mean you can’t have a garden. If you have a deck, there’s something you can grow. Or maybe you only have a front stoop that could hold a few pots. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, as my dad used to say. My problem is that I have several decks, so I actually have too many pots — but that’s another kind of problem.


The first thing you’ll need to do to get your garden going is to pay attention to how much sun you have. This will vary by the season. During the winter months, when the sun is lower in the sky, you’ll have fewer hours of sunshine due to shorter days. If your home faces west, it will have sun a good part of the day. Facing north will be less sunny. Summer months will bring longer days and more sun exposure.


The next thing you need to consider is what kind of containers you have space for. There are many boxes available for plants in multiple sizes and heights. Boxes will allow for more potting medium than round pots, though pots have a charm that boxes may lack. Boxes are typically made of wood, which will age faster than ceramic pots, though pots are subject to breakage. Would you like to have a color scheme? All blue pots? All terracotta pots, which will develop a patina of age over time and breathe better than glazed pots? All different colors to mix it up?


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