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Anyone Can Have a Garden - Dream On!

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Cherry tomato and curly Italian parsley, on the bottom left.

Cherry tomato and curly Italian parsley, on the bottom left.

I grew-up hungry. In that dictatorship that I grew-up in, there wasn't always enough food. Store shelves were empty, many products were rationed per month and so, my family always grew and gathered food. It wasn't a past-time. It was a necessity, in order to survive.

Decades later, I am still growing food. Not as much as my grandmother used to because she had more land to use but even here in the city, out of a townhouse, I can still grow food. In my mind, these golf-cut grass lawns I see everywhere in North America, are a waste. Any space I have, I use for plants. That way, every summer I have fresh herbs and vegetables. I can go and make an awesome salad anytime (well, after the plants start producing that is).

Pots are still great to use and in many cases they are actually critical. For example, even if You have space for a garden, plants such as mint, or thyme, You would be best-off putting them in a pot because they will spread like crazy in an outdoor garden. If You put thyme and/or mint freely around your garden, You will soon have thyme and mint running-up the sides of your drive-way, in your grass, all over your garden and perhaps your neighbors' garden too. That's how insanely well some of these plants will spread.

Most of my plants here in the city are in pots and they are thriving! The cherry tomatoes go above seven feet every summer, competing with my tallest ficus on their height. My jalapeno peppers love being in pots too because I can move the pots around so that they get as much sun as possible. Hot peppers love the sun!! The more the merrier but I do have to warn people: hot peppers like to have their own pot. Do not plant them in pots with other plants. They do not do well - I've tried.

Now, regarding the sun, the dill, mint, and parsley do not like it so much. They do not do very well in constant, hot sun. So, I use the tomato plants which do love the sun, to shade-off the smaller plants that need that bit of shade. Then, there are plants like my spinach, or basil which do not like direct sun at all. So, my spinach and salad stay in my upstairs balcony, against the wall, where the sun never beats down. Meanwhile, the cannabis plant stays on the other side of the balcony, where the sun can reach. Cannabis plants do love the sun and can bake in it all day long, as long as they have water.

I encourage people to have different pots of the same plant too. One reason is that if one plant gets attacked by insects, or disease, it would be easier to quarantine it away from all the other plants, so that the disease doesn't spread. After a year and a half of Covid, I am sure everyone understands this (or should!). The second reason though, is that after I make a chicken-noodle soup for example and use some parsley from one pot for that soup, the second time around I will use another pot of parsley. That way, I let the first plant rejuvenate and grow again before I chop-off more from it. Plants need time to grow and if we keep chopping away at them often, they will die sooner than later.

Well, this is my encouragement for people to create their own little gardens, whether they have land, or not. In this way, You know You have fresh herbs and legumes ready anytime. They are also cheaper, saving You a trip to the store and on top of that, You know what You put on them. As in, I know my plants have no fertilizer, or chemicals on them; just water and soil, mixed with some manure.
Healthy body - healthy mind. Now get on that garden. Best of luck!

From left to right: cherry tomato (can only see the bottom of), curly Italian parsley, ghost pepper and dill.

From left to right: cherry tomato (can only see the bottom of), curly Italian parsley, ghost pepper and dill.

Kale

Kale

Rosemary and curly Italian parsley, between two cherry tomato plants.

Rosemary and curly Italian parsley, between two cherry tomato plants.

Red-leaf lettuce and spinach

Red-leaf lettuce and spinach

Cannabis Indica

Cannabis Indica

Jalapeno Peppers, French thyme in front of it, my colourful ficus on the ground next to the table and cherry tomatoes furthest to the left.

Jalapeno Peppers, French thyme in front of it, my colourful ficus on the ground next to the table and cherry tomatoes furthest to the left.

Tiny basil plants - was late on these this year.

Tiny basil plants - was late on these this year.

Comments

Mr. Happy (author) from Toronto, Canada on June 30, 2021:

Mrs. McGill, if You have a very sunny balcony, it be best to check for plants that do well in the sun, like peppers (hot, or sweet), tomatoes and at this point I am wondering why your zucchini did not come up. They love the sun too but how many zucchini plants did You have?

One plant would be sitting lonely, without being pollinated and in that way, it would not produce anything. Perhaps You need at least a couple of plants so that insects could pollinate them. Unless, You are doing it by hand. Pollination is the only issue I can think of at the moment.

Best of luck for the future and thank You for stopping by and leaving a comment!

Mr. Happy (author) from Toronto, Canada on June 30, 2021:

Thank You for your comment, Mrs. Bowling. I had to do a web search for the "rainbow carrots". I just never saw any until now. They look awesome!

It must be fun gardening in Florida because You can grow so many more things. I'd love to have a pineapple tree but I'm in Canada, where the temperature is not favorable.

Thank You for sharing the name of the "crotons". To be honest I did not know the name. I had one as a kid but we left it when we moved to Canada. Then, a few years ago I bought one here. I just love the colours!!

Thank You for the visit - cheers!

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on June 29, 2021:

I love growing things but I have the smallest of balconies in an apartment that faces directly into the west and hottest part of the day. I tried growing some herbs and they burnt, I tried growing some zucchini and they never produced. Still, I'm so encouraged by this maybe I'll try again, shading my herbs with some taller heat-loving plants like jalapenos and tomatoes.

Blessings,

Denise

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on June 29, 2021:

Oops! I'm growing grape tomatoes, not cherry tomatoes. They're sweeter and the perfect size for salads.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on June 29, 2021:

Mr. Happy, I love your garden. I'm growing many of the same veggies and herbs as you. I've got Italian flat leaf parsley, curly parsley, lavender (to attract pollinators), basil, rosemary, and dill growing in an elevated plant bed. In separate pots, I'm growing cherry tomatoes, San Marzano tomatoes (I put a mint plant in that pot; mint is purported to repel ants). I also have a green pepper in one pot and a red in another. They're young and haven't borne fruit yet. In a large pot I planted radishes and rainbow carrots. The radishes are just about ready for harvest and the carrots are coming along nicely. We also have some banana trees and several pineapple plants. I've got 8 pineapple nearing harvest time.

I'd love to grow spinach, cucumbers and squash. Something I'll work on.

I also have several of what you're calling ficus. Here, in Florida, we call them crotons.

Thanks for sharing your garden, beautiful photos, and gardening tips!

Mr. Happy (author) from Toronto, Canada on June 29, 2021:

"One is nearer to God in the garden than anywhere else in this world." - That is a great saying and I fully agree, Mr. Spirit Whisperer. Thank You kindly for the visit!

Mr. Happy (author) from Toronto, Canada on June 29, 2021:

I love cherry tomatoes, Mrs. Hunt. I find that they are perfect to have in the morning, or to add to a salad for dinner. They are awesome! Already there are small tomatoes growing. I suspect in a week, or two, red ones will be available.

Thank You for stopping-by and leaving a comment - cheers!

Mr. Happy (author) from Toronto, Canada on June 29, 2021:

You are very right, Mrs. Norton: my day is set by the plants too, especially now when it is so hot. I have had to water the pots even twice a day. That is the one down-side with pots: they dry-up faster on really hot days. So, we have to watch for that.

Thank You for the visit and comment.

All the best!

Xavier Nathan from Isle of Man on June 29, 2021:

This is a wonderful piece and hopefully will inspire more people to grow their own fruit and vegetables. My grandfather used to say to me when I was a boy, "One is nearer to God in the garden than anywhere else in this world."

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on June 28, 2021:

Growing cherry tomatoes in a pot will be one of my gardening goals. Your article has inspired me and thanks for the great photos.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on June 28, 2021:

Your plants grow very well in the pots. I started with herbs, tomatoes, and eggplant this year in my condo balcony and in the cottage but my summer is organized by when my plants need water. There are things I can do to manage this and I am learning. Your pictures of your plants show they have the care they need.

Mr. Happy (author) from Toronto, Canada on June 27, 2021:

Ohh, You have quite a bunch of stuff planted, Mr. Hansen. Do You have a poem about your garden? Just curious.

About the golf-club cut lawns, those originated in Europe and it was a sign that the wealthy lords/kings could afford to have land sitting idle. On top of which, it showed that they were wealthy enough to also have pawns/serfs to keep that grass cut and trimmed. So, that's what your lawns says: "You're wealthy enough to have land sitting idle" LOL

You can plant a cactus, or two, no? How about a peyote cactus? Then, You can send me some seeds. LOL

Thank You kindly for your visit. Cheers!

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on June 26, 2021:

Good work, Mr. Happy. Thank you for sharing your photos also. Quite impressive.

In the garden beds, we have silverbeet, Chinese cabbage, beans, asparagus, sweet potato, as well as a mulberry and lemon tree. However in pots conveniently closer to the house are basil, parsley, rosemary, garlic chives, and tomatoes. We still have far too much lawn grass but we don't get enough regular rainfall to maintain much more food crop than we already do. Oh, we also have hens to provide eggs which is a bonus.

Mr. Happy (author) from Toronto, Canada on June 26, 2021:

Enjoy your strawberries Mr. Bill!

I planted strawberries, blueberry and blackberry bushes up-north, this spring. I had some red currants already and those are doing pretty good. I love berries in general though. They're awesome!

Thank You for the visit and comment. Cheers!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on June 26, 2021:

You've done well with the amount of space you have. Well done! About five years ago we got rid of our lawn (I completely agree with you about lawns) and planted about twenty berry bushes. Every summer we have, literally, thousands of berries to eat and freeze. Let's see, mow the lawn or eat berries? Which seems more logical and healthy?

Enough about that. I need to go out and eat some strawberries. They are calling my name. lol

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