Limited space at home for plants? Try container gardening

By Andre the Farmer

Hey guys, it’s Andre the Farmer here.

With the sudden onset of Florida winter in the last couple of days, it is officially the end of summer. With that comes some gardening challenges… but also opportunities.

We all know food prices are high, and the quality in supermarkets will never match what you can grow at home. The biggest question I get is what I can grow at home with limited space to save me money on food. The honest answer is that it’s hard, but we do hard things every day, and hard is a long way from impossible.

We’ve all heard stories of people spending $36 to produce a 50-cent tomato. This is not that.

The best way to utilize limited space is container gardening. You will still need a porch, balcony, or large window because they are still plants. You’ll have to bite the bullet with a grow light if this is unavailable. The good news is that the price of grow lights has decreased dramatically, and even places like Lowes and Home Depot have “grow lights” for sale that can fit into existing light fixtures. I use old plastic pots for containers, but you can use almost anything from 5-gallon buckets to grow bags to margarine containers. Any commercial potting soil will be adequate.

Now, what to grow?

I like growing things that I can harvest multiple times without replanting. Green onions are great for this. Once you buy green onions, keep the root ends, and you can place them in a glass of water or directly in the soil, and it will continuously produce more green onions to use as needed. Things like Bok choy, lettuce and celery can also be regrown from the base and give you a second harvest that will likely be better than the first.

You can also buy fast-growing seeds. Seeds are cheap relative to the yield that they can produce. Microgreens are an excellent and economical food source. The trick is to grow them with carrots, beets, radishes, and turnips. These are plants that can go from seed to greens in just a couple of weeks and can be trimmed and dug up. They will regrow and continue to provide more micro greens periodically.

If you are feeling adventurous, perennial spinaches like Okinawan, Longevity, and Malabar can be grown in low light in containers. They are like a house plant; you can prune them to provide greens and spinach that you can cook and that live forever and never stop producing healthy, delicious leaves.

I hope this helps, and maybe you can look at gardening less as a hobby and more as it was intended to be.

See you guys’ next month.

Interested in meeting Andre the Farmer and learning more about Permaculture Life? Visit permaculturelife.com and sign up for the weekly newsletter for more gardening tips. You can also follow Andre the Farmer on Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube. And you can also meet him at his “day job”, where he’s known as Dr. Andre Baptiste, your local orthodontist!


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