Lettuce Hanging Basket for Fort Wayne Apartment Container Gardening from urbanorganicgardener.com

Enjoy Fruits & Vegetables From Your Fort Wayne Apartment Patio or Balcony

You love living at Willow Creek Crossing Apartments in Fort Wayne. And, you enjoy the carefree apartment community lifestyle, but maybe you’re longing to dig in the dirt and grow some of your own vegetables. Give container gardening a try!

Growing your own vegetables has a lot of advantages.

  1. Save money!
  2. Control pesticides
  3. Better taste than store bought
  4. Convenience of having produce just outside your door!

As long as you have a balcony or a patio and some sunlight, there’s nothing to stop you from growing your own vegetables, fruits and herbs right outside your door. Here are some easy tips on how to harvest your own fresh produce even in the smallest of spaces.

What to Grow in Your Container Garden

Small salad greens and herbs that have a quick maturing period are ideal. You may be able to get several crops of a quick maturing vegetable from your container. Cherry tomatoes and other fruiting vegetables — like peppers or eggplant — can be easily grown in containers. Even root vegetables such as baby carrots, radishes or spring onions work well in containers.

Read these from Purdue University for more specific tips on which vegetables grow well in our part of the country:




What to Plant In Your Apartment Container Garden

Space efficiency is the key to getting the biggest harvest out of a small balcony or patio. If you have a balcony, consider using the railing to hold some window boxes for smaller plants like lettuces or herbs. Here are some creative ideas for smaller plants — like canning jars and and an old shoe organizer:

Lettuce Hanging Basket for Fort Wayne Apartment Container Gardening from urbanorganicgardener.comAnd even a hanging basket of — no, not flowers — lettuces!


There are a number of ready-made planters for small spaces, too. Like the Topsy-Turvy Upside Down planter for tomatoes http://bit.ly/topsyturvytomato

or strawberries http://bit.ly/topsyturvyberry

or hot peppers http://bit.ly/topsyturvypepper

Big pots are for larger plants that need more space to grow (like carrots, potatoes and eggplants). Larger containers will also provide your plants with more room to grow and require less frequent watering. But think outside the box! Plastic or metal garbage cans, wooden crates or even plastic storage boxes are suitable containers in which to grow vegetables. Just be sure to drill or punch holes in the bottom of the containers to provide adequate drainage. If you are using some type of wooden barrel or crate, be sure that the wood wasn’t treated with a chemical preservative because this can seep into the soil.

For an eye-pleasing appearance, try planting quick-growing small herbs and leaf lettuces around you larger fruiting vegetables.

How to Take Care of Your Container Garden

The friendly Purdue horticulture school offers this handy guide to caring for a container gardening.  http://www.hort.purdue.edu/ext/ho-200.pdf

Keep in mind that cooler weather crops planted now — like lettuces, radishes, and spinach — can be harvested in a couple of weeks. You will be harvesting slower-producing plants that need lots of warm weather — like tomatoes and eggplants — later in the summer. All of them need a good amount of sunlight — about 5 hours a day.

Once planted, your container vegetable garden will need water regularly. Water your plants early in the morning so that the leaves and soil can dry out during the day. Water each container until you can see water leaking out of the bottom. Be careful not to over fertilize your vegetable plants — once every 6 to 8 weeks is sufficient — and use a water soluble fertilizer so that it goes to your plants faster.

Next steps? Enjoy the healthy, home-grown fruits of your labor!