No Backyard? No Problem - Yardless Gardening
(BPT) - Backyard or back patio, it's time to get planting, no matter where you live. The number of American households engaging in do-it-yourself lawn and garden activities rose by more than 3 million in recent years, the National Gardening Association's National Garden 2012 Survey found. That can include you, even if you don't have an actual yard.
Yardless gardening is a popular alternative for people short on green space looking to flex (or find) their green thumbs.
Make a container garden
Small back patio? Window sill? That's all the space you need for a yardless garden. "You can enjoy a garden, no matter your space or place," says Certified Nursery Consultant Nick Blassman. "It's an easy project to take on in a weekend and can make a big difference in your home."
Step one: pick your plants
Edible plants like basil, oregano, parsley, thyme and rosemary are great choices because they're heavy producers and easy to grow in small spaces. The Home Depot's Bonnie Organic herbs are healthy options to have on hand when you're chopping, dicing and using fresh herbs in the kitchen. These herbs come in peat pots made of biodegradable material so if you plant outside, just drop the entire pot in the dirt - there's no plastic to throw away. Love tomatoes (or ketchup)? Heinz introduced Heinz tomato varieties this spring, which can be grown in a container or trained to grow up a wire cage or teepee of bamboo.
Step two: choose your vessel
A couple factors to consider when you're looking for pots and planters. First, make sure your plant is going to have enough room to grow and develop roots. A good rule of thumb is to use smaller pots for herbs and larger pots for fruits and vegetables. Next, flip the pot over - does it have a hole in the bottom? Planters should have drainage holes so your plant doesn't get waterlogged.
Step three: gear up
Big tools in a small planter equal a potentially disastrous situation. Make sure you've got the right gardening tools for your job - a small spade, trimmers, gloves and a watering can or hose.
Step four: fill 'er up
You want the fertilizer or potting mix that's going to nourish and help your herbs thrive. "Choose a potting mix with ingredients like sphagnum peat moss, vermiculite or perlite, and aged compost products to help retain moisture and control the release of water into the plant's roots," says Blassman.