Monday, April 8, 2013

Confessions of an Apartment Gardener

OK, so I know I've mentioned spring in my last two blog entries, and now I'm talking about it again. I just can't help it.

I love spring.

I love the warmth and the joy of seeing new life spring forth.

I love being able to enjoy being outside again and fresh air and evening walks with my husband.

And I am discovering a new-found interest in planting and gardening.

A few weeks ago, Lukas and I planted seeds in a little greenhouse starter set inside, carefully trying to keep the cats from trampling them or knocking over the tender shoots. We planted lettuce, broccoli, thyme, parsley, basil and spearmint. These items were selected because, according to the research I did, they stand a better chance of surviving and thriving in the shade. Since we live in an apartment and our patio area only gets a few hours of sunlight a day, we knew we had to be selective with what we planted.

This past weekend we transplanted some of them into pots outside. I'm still not sure how they will do (they still look pretty small and weak when transplanted to their pots), but it is an experiment. We're still waiting on that spearmint to grow enough to transplant.

I'd sure love to he able to harvest some fresh vegetables and herbs, but this is all a bit of an experiment given our limited space and access to direct sunlight.

Besides the vegetables and herbs, we planted flowers. We went to the store Saturday and picked out marigolds, panseys and geraniums. So pretty. I love looking out the patio door and seeing bursts of color.

This is a bit of a new thing for me. While I love flowers and plants, my husband definitely has more experience in growing them than I do. Good thing someone has a green thumb in the family. I haven't really done much of it since childhood when I sometimes helped with my family's backyard garden where we grew tomatoes and green beans. I want to learn though, and I think it may be an opportunity for a new hobby.

I look forward to someday hopefully having a yard to plant a full-fledged garden. In the meantime, I'm learning how to be an apartment gardener... or as The Prairie Homestead blog put it, "an apartment homesteader." If you're interested in reading more about apartment gardening, I recommend this article: Nothing like bringing natural living and making God's beautiful creation part of your home--even if your home is an apartment in a town or city.

For you readers, do you have any tips for gardening, especially when dealing with the space and sunlight limitations of an apartment? I'm certainly interested in any ideas or advice you may have!

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