Apartment Gardening

balcony-grown cucumber

I have always loved growing plants, but caring for them while living in a city has been a true challenge. Especially because my apartment receives NO direct sunlight. But that hasn’t stopped me from trying! Whenever I eat an exceptionally delicious fruit, I try to grow its seeds. I’ve done this semi-successfully with both oranges, pomegranates, and potatoes, especially with the help of this book.

potato plant

I’ve also purchased seeds to plant. Strawberries, radishes, cucumbers, and little sequoia trees were all successful. Unfortunately, however, none of the plants featured in this post are currently living. Each of them met its demise because it lived in a city apartment instead of a nice, suburban garden. The potato plant shot up like a magical beanstalk, a form I was not expecting it to take, but it quickly outgrew its tiny container and instantaneously wilted before I could replant it.

radishes and cucumbers thrived

The strawberries (which even lived through one winter) and cucumbers were my most successful plants because they yielded fruit. We got about 3 tiny strawberries and one petite cucumber. They were all delicious, but the plants couldn’t survive the intense summer heat on my balcony. I could only repot them so many times before they got too big to sit on my balcony’s ledge, and I couldn’t water them fast enough to keep them going. It’s a real challenge transporting that much water out to a balcony!

All of the other plants I had (the oranges, sequoias, and pomegranates) fell victim to another common apartment hazard–the separation anxiety stricken puppy. Stella pup is a very smart girl, and she managed to escape from her crate, bust out onto the balcony, and climb onto the chairs so she could look over the ledge and search for us. Unfortunately, she also pushed a few plants over into the courtyard, smashed several, and spewed dirt everywhere.

I hope my windowsill garden fares better this summer. I never know what dangers lurk because there is no telling what a dog that sits like a human can do!

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