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 Post subject: NYC Apartment Garden Tips
PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:39 pm 
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Hello Everyone!
I live in nyc in an apartment with no outdoor space, but with very large and high (converted warehouse, so like 25 ft.) ceilings. I would love to utilize the vertical space in my apartment to grow vegetables. Any ideas/tips on hanging plants/hydroponic vegetables, etc.? I've seen some pictures of homemade hanging gardens, but no detailed directions.
Thanks to anyone who has ideas!

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 Post subject: Re: NYC Apartment Garden Tips
PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:44 pm 
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are you installing light fixtures, or taking advantage of window light? i think light, more than space, will be your limiting factor unless you're growing stuff that needs pollinators.

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 Post subject: Re: NYC Apartment Garden Tips
PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:16 pm 
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I get enough light from the windows, I'm more concerned about soil/watering setup. I'd love to grow tomatoes, peppers, and some greens - nothing too crazy, just enough to give me my salad fix through the winter :)

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 Post subject: Re: NYC Apartment Garden Tips
PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:31 pm 
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Tomatoes grow beautifully when hanging! And this isn't a vertical thing, but for limited space, check out garbage can potatoes.


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 Post subject: Re: NYC Apartment Garden Tips
PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 6:23 pm 
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one of the aussies here recently posted a thread about the veranda garden, lots of hanging things (not just tomatoes, but peppers and cukes too). On one of the raw forums i'm on there was a great thread about growing things in gutters hanging on a wall, especially greens with small root systems. that forum has since disappeared, but i bet a quick search would pull up some stuff.

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 Post subject: Re: NYC Apartment Garden Tips
PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 6:58 pm 
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Windowfarming! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkCuPrsPn_I and www.windowfarms.org


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 Post subject: Re: NYC Apartment Garden Tips
PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 2:47 pm 
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You could trellis an indeterminate, small fruited, less vigorous variety of tomato along the window. There is an article about this in Mother Earth New's "How to grow and preserve your own food" magazine. They suggest a 5-10gal bucket with holes for drainage, and a variety mentioned above (yellow pear, tommy toe and pink ping pong were suggested, but you could look at small tomatoes not listed as vigorous on various seed sites).

You'd probably have to keep up with pruning something like this though, since tomatoes can be perennial if they don't get frosty! You'll also have to keep the place or at least the area warmer if you heat your house like I do (which is to say, nowhere near the tomato's preferred temps) at least until its established. Might need a heating pad or something. The article also suggests giving the plant a shake when you water it since it needs vibrations to self pollinate.

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 Post subject: Re: NYC Apartment Garden Tips
PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:59 pm 
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I'm so lame--sorry I haven't been here in a few days!

Please help me keep my job and just order something from where I work:

www.wormsway.com

We're having a Cyber Monday special, free shipping on orders over $50.

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 Post subject: Re: NYC Apartment Garden Tips
PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 9:58 am 
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Thanks to everyone for the awesome tips, I'm going to look into all of this - hopefully in a couple of months I'll be able to post some pictures of my unorthodox garden (if I don't kill everything, my track record is...mixed).

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 Post subject: Re: NYC Apartment Garden Tips
PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 11:50 am 
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Lettuce know if you have questions. In my opinion there are no real green thumbs, gardening is science. Whatever you decide to grow--read the seed packets, research the nutritional/temp/sun needs, and go from that point. Are you close to any indoor gardening stores? I think you'll find that really inspiring.

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 Post subject: Re: NYC Apartment Garden Tips
PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 3:10 pm 
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Gardening is so much fun! You can do a lot with a 5 gallon bucket! Also, use heirloom seeds whenever possible.

For potatoes, I recommend don't bother growing a boring variety you can already get from any grocery store. The work-to-food ratio is kind of high with potatoes so grow a difficult to find variety from Peru. This shouldn't be too difficult in NYC. Cut a potato into several chunks so that each chunk has at least 1 (or more) "eyes". Starting depth depends on the potato and the soil but generally 2 to 3 inches of lose soil above each piece and 15 inches diameter of space should be enough. Don't water them too much at the start. When the plants have reached nearly a food high, cover them with more soil. Repeat this process again. When excavating, try not to get too messy so use good gloves and be careful with shoveling. If you nick a potato, use it that evening.

Carrots are really easy to grow too and taste incredible when they're fresh. See if you can get some fun varieties like purple or yellow. The taste really does make them worth growing.

Radishes are also super easy and fantastic when fresh. Most people don't eat them. Don't worry about this. You can use radish greens substituted into almost anything where you would use any other greens. You can use the actual radish bulb in almost any situation which calls for onion (fresh, fried, baked etc). Radishes have this incredible desire to grow, which is cool, and keep for a day or two in the fridge if need be.

I've had more luck with spinach than any other leafy green but it needs to be started cold. I'm not sure if it would work indoors. You might try chard. That's done pretty well for me in warmer weather.

Two side notes, one part of gardening which is really fun is saving the seeds when you're done harvesting. Don't use plastic containers with tight lids as moisture can allow stuff to grown on your seeds and ruin them. Paper envelopes work very well for saving seeds. Also, pick up a small scale so you can measure your harvests. You may want to track what you are able to harvest on a simple spread sheet so you can reference the info at a later date. This can be very helpful for lots of little reasons.


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 Post subject: Re: NYC Apartment Garden Tips
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 4:43 pm 
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Tofu wrote:
Gardening is so much fun! You can do a lot with a 5 gallon bucket! Also, use heirloom seeds whenever possible.

For potatoes, I recommend don't bother growing a boring variety you can already get from any grocery store. The work-to-food ratio is kind of high with potatoes so grow a difficult to find variety from Peru. This shouldn't be too difficult in NYC. Cut a potato into several chunks so that each chunk has at least 1 (or more) "eyes". Starting depth depends on the potato and the soil but generally 2 to 3 inches of lose soil above each piece and 15 inches diameter of space should be enough. Don't water them too much at the start. When the plants have reached nearly a food high, cover them with more soil. Repeat this process again. When excavating, try not to get too messy so use good gloves and be careful with shoveling. If you nick a potato, use it that evening.

Carrots are really easy to grow too and taste incredible when they're fresh. See if you can get some fun varieties like purple or yellow. The taste really does make them worth growing.

Radishes are also super easy and fantastic when fresh. Most people don't eat them. Don't worry about this. You can use radish greens substituted into almost anything where you would use any other greens. You can use the actual radish bulb in almost any situation which calls for onion (fresh, fried, baked etc). Radishes have this incredible desire to grow, which is cool, and keep for a day or two in the fridge if need be.

I've had more luck with spinach than any other leafy green but it needs to be started cold. I'm not sure if it would work indoors. You might try chard. That's done pretty well for me in warmer weather.

Two side notes, one part of gardening which is really fun is saving the seeds when you're done harvesting. Don't use plastic containers with tight lids as moisture can allow stuff to grown on your seeds and ruin them. Paper envelopes work very well for saving seeds. Also, pick up a small scale so you can measure your harvests. You may want to track what you are able to harvest on a simple spread sheet so you can reference the info at a later date. This can be very helpful for lots of little reasons.



Sorry if this is a dumb question, but where do you recommend getting heirloom seeds? I really really really want to steer clear of anything that isn't 100% Monsanto free.

_________________
"It's very dear to me, the issue of GAY MARRIAGE. Or, as I like to call it: 'MARRIAGE.' You know, because I had lunch this afternoon, not gay lunch. I parked my car; I didn't gay park it." -Liz Feldman


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 Post subject: Re: NYC Apartment Garden Tips
PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:50 am 
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see the seedsavers website!
also, re spinach- chard is easy, but if it's too hot for spinach you can grow malabar/aussie spinach, it likes the heat, and has less oxalic acid than normal spinach.

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Buddha says 'Meh'.--matwinser
I'm just a drunk who likes fruit. -- Desdemona


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 Post subject: Re: NYC Apartment Garden Tips
PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:04 pm 
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Heirloom seeds are usually found at out-of-the-way seed shops in small towns. There is a small family seed shop down the road from me which has been in operation for almost 90 years. They don't have a website but they do mail out catalogs. Finding these sorts of places may be more of a word of mouth thing as I expect most of them haven't yet found the internet.

Orach (purple spinach) is another fun type of spinach which may work a little better in NYC. It can stand up to heat a bit more than regular spinach before going to seed.


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 Post subject: Re: NYC Apartment Garden Tips
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:39 am 
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sad garden haiku:

Tomatoes hanging
Something happened and they fell
Dirt is on my floor

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"It's very dear to me, the issue of GAY MARRIAGE. Or, as I like to call it: 'MARRIAGE.' You know, because I had lunch this afternoon, not gay lunch. I parked my car; I didn't gay park it." -Liz Feldman


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 Post subject: Re: NYC Apartment Garden Tips
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:32 am 
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eatmonaeat wrote:
sad garden haiku:

Tomatoes hanging
Something happened and they fell
Dirt is on my floor


If you've got a 5gal bucket for them, I would probably just put the bucket on the floor (maybe elevated on a few blocks if the window is a little high) and then have them climb into the light, so you don't have to worry about supporting that weight. Crisscrossed lines in front of the window for support.

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 Post subject: Re: NYC Apartment Garden Tips
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 10:43 am 
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Tomatoes love trellis netting!

http://www.wormsway.com/detail.aspx?t=prod&sku=STN815

If you order it w/ me by calling, you can get a better shipping rate than ordering online. I can stick it in a padded envelope and mail it to you for $5.

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