Does anyone vegetable garden?

TexasJenn

Woodpecker
Woman
If I eat 7 salads a week, is it possible to grow enough spinach on a 10 x 3 balcony to sustain you in times of food shortages where you can't buy these items at the store?
It depends on your climate and weather conditions. If it's temperate and sunny enough, you can probably grow some kind of greens for most of the year. I've grown a variety of salad greens during summer. The key is to keep rotating batches in, so you always have fresh greens ready. Most crop varieties don't stay ripe and fresh too long, so ongoing planting is needed.
 

kel

Ostrich
No, not even close. Spinach is relatively easy to grow and you get a few flushes per season, but no way is a 10x3 balcony growing you any meaningful amount of food. Your balcony can be used to grow some interesting varieties of tomatoes you won't find at a store, or some fun project like that, but expecting to get a steady supply of spinach for daily salads is not realistic. If you're worried about food shortages you need to be stockpiling tins of tuna, protein powder, filling your freezer with ground beef (though it's not unreasonable to expect power cuts to happen in any situation that had food shortages as well), etc. Spinach is a "survival" food only in the sense of "well, this is what we got, let's eat it and see if we can eek by".
 

Max Roscoe

Pelican
Orthodox Inquirer
Spinach is healthy, delicious, and high in vitamins and minerals but it is not a viable food source to "sustain yourself in times of food shortages." I would look to other veggies for that.

1 cup of spinach has 7 calories of energy or 0.35% of recommended daily energy intake.
 

Talus

Sparrow
I'm worried about food shortages and want to prepare for this by growing a garden on my balcony.

If I eat 7 salads a week, is it possible to grow enough spinach on a 10 x 3 balcony to sustain you in times of food shortages where you can't buy these items at the store?
A 10' x 3' garden bed is plenty for growing and rotating salad greens, but on a balcony you probably won't have the entirety of that room. Are you planning to grow your greens in planters or build a box? Also, I personally have trouble growing spinach and keeping it from bolting early. Mixed lettuce greens, swiss chard, and kale might be easier to start out with.

If you are really concerned about food shortages though, you should probably get some 5 gal buckets and grow yams or potatoes. That will be the most bang for your buck calorically.
 

Lamkins

Woodpecker
Woman
I dug a few potatoes. Most were small (tasty though), so I left the rest in the ground. I didn’t realize they continue to grow after the green tops have died back. We’ve been eating cucs and tomatoes, but I was hoping for a better harvest. So far I’m not fond of the Amish Paste tomatoes. They aren’t acidic enough and almost sweet. Hubby loves them. My favorite is Dr. Wyche's Yellow as it’s nice and acidic.
We’re probably the only people that realized they didn’t plant *enough* tomatoes lol…

Pulling up a chair at this table……..us too.
 
Last edited:

Starlight

Woodpecker
Woman
I dug a few potatoes. Most were small (tasty though), so I left the rest in the ground. I didn’t realize they continue to grow after the green tops have died back. We’ve been eating cucs and tomatoes, but I was hoping for a better harvest. So far I’m not fond of the Amish Paste tomatoes. They aren’t acidic enough and almost sweet. Hubby loves them. My favorite is Dr. Wyche's Yellow as it’s nice and acidic.


Pulling up a chair at this table……..us too.
Our tomatoes have been absolutely amazing (disclaimer: we live in an area with very good local farmer’s markets… our home tomatoes are better than anything we’ve bought.) Our Carmelo plant gives us about 2-4 tomatoes a week. Our main Roma, about 4-6. All amazing. They have that rich tomato flavor without being too acidic (or sweet) and the flesh is very tender, not that tough, crunchy store bought texture. I mean, like anything… once you know what it’s supposed to be like… how can you ever go back?
 

stugatz

Pelican
I've always been interested in doing this, but haven't lived in an actual house with lots of outdoor room for quite some time.

Just some quick questions since I probably don't have many options for gardening in an apartment:

1) What doesn't require much room and can be grown in a small space (and how much room would be needed)?
2) What are easy beginner's plants and what are known to be more difficult? What are the toughest to grow and only for those with a green thumb?
3) Do all plants have seeds, or other components, I can use to grow future crops without needing to buy future seeds?
 

Starlight

Woodpecker
Woman
I've always been interested in doing this, but haven't lived in an actual house with lots of outdoor room for quite some time.

Just some quick questions since I probably don't have many options for gardening in an apartment:

1) What doesn't require much room and can be grown in a small space (and how much room would be needed)?
2) What are easy beginner's plants and what are known to be more difficult? What are the toughest to grow and only for those with a green thumb?
3) Do all plants have seeds, or other components, I can use to grow future crops without needing to buy future seeds?
*Just FYI, my husband and I are novice growers and this has been our first successful season*
Answers to you questions:
1) Tomatoes! :squintlol: From my experience, they can be twined to grow upward so that one plant has about a 2’x2’ footprint which is what we did with our plants. This is what we did with ours and it leaves no room for secret pest enclaves and it’s easy to see any ripening fruit.
2) I don’t really know. We picked ones that would do well in our growing/planting zone.
3) Some do. We’re growing a rare super hot pepper from seeds that my husband’s friend gave him. He just put them in the ground next to our other pepper’s and they just grew… I’m sure they will produce fruit and seeds also.

What we learned most about growing produce is that plants need us much less than we think. We’re always trying to pick at them and take care of them. They don’t need that.
 

stugatz

Pelican
*Just FYI, my husband and I are novice growers and this has been our first successful season*
Answers to you questions:
1) Tomatoes! :squintlol: From my experience, they can be twined to grow upward so that one plant has about a 2’x2’ footprint which is what we did with our plants. This is what we did with ours and it leaves no room for secret pest enclaves and it’s easy to see any ripening fruit.
2) I don’t really know. We picked ones that would do well in our growing/planting zone.
3) Some do. We’re growing a rare super hot pepper from seeds that my husband’s friend gave him. He just put them in the ground next to our other pepper’s and they just grew… I’m sure they will produce fruit and seeds also.

What we learned most about growing produce is that plants need us much less than we think. We’re always trying to pick at them and take care of them. They don’t need that.
I have two cats so I'll try to maybe think of some candidate spaces, I don't even trust them next to sheets of paper that aren't held down by something.
 

Lamkins

Woodpecker
Woman
Our tomatoes have been absolutely amazing (disclaimer: we live in an area with very good local farmer’s markets… our home tomatoes are better than anything we’ve bought.) Our Carmelo plant gives us about 2-4 tomatoes a week. Our main Roma, about 4-6. All amazing. They have that rich tomato flavor without being too acidic (or sweet) and the flesh is very tender, not that tough, crunchy store bought texture. I mean, like anything… once you know what it’s supposed to be like… how can you ever go back?

YUM!! I figured I was going to have a big harvest so was ready with my canning equipment. The Amish Paste I mentioned are Roma types except 3 times bigger than the ones in stores. Gosh no on tomatoes! Once you’ve had a homegrown one you’ve officially been red-pilled, lol! Red-tomatoed?
 

Lamkins

Woodpecker
Woman
Some of our tomatoes. L-to-R are Wood’s Famous Brimmer, Amish Paste, Dr. Wyche’s Yellow, and Brad’s Atomic Grape. The Amish Paste isnt acidic enough for me, but the hubby loves them. Dr. Wyche’s is delicious, nice and acidic. I haven’t tasted Wood’s Brimmer yet, and the one Brad’s Atomic I ate was in a salad so hard to tell.

F21C0336-3EAC-40C0-BF34-A94BE7190861.jpeg
 

Starlight

Woodpecker
Woman
Here’s some of what we picked today:
Counterclockwise from the top: basil (my husband saved the one that we thought died and it’s three feet tall now!), bell pepper, jalapeño pepper, pasilla pepper (not sure why they’re stunted, probably needed more water), habanero pepper, and lime.
0023E74D-5C09-443F-BEE9-EDC917876531.jpeg

Waiting on my Carmellos to ripen so I can show a picture of those too :D

Unfortunately, my daughter’s grape tomatoes and Brussels sprouts died from neglect. RIP
 

Lamkins

Woodpecker
Woman
Well, I found five hornworms on my tomatoes. Took care of them only to discover mealybugs on the cucs. I was going to attempt to get rid of them, but there are too many. I’ve officially conceded defeat with the cucs, but I’m going down fighting for the tomatoes.
 
Top