gardening on front porchgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
I am a beginner homesteader looking to buy a house and some land. In the meantime I live in an apartment with no yard but I have a front porch facing east that doesn't get much sunlight.
What would be a good crop to grow on my front porch?
-- Bob F. (Farmerbob48@hotmail.com), May 06, 2000
Hi, Bob. Do you have any good gardening books? If not, see if you can pick one or two up (preferably used!!). Look for the shade- tolerant vegetables. It will mostly be the green leafy ones, like lettuce, spinach, swiss chard, and so on. Plants that are expected to fruit or produce tubers with surplus nutrition won't do very well without a lot of sun. Fortunately the green leafy veggies are mostly not too deep rooted, so will do quite well in containers. Another thing you might do is build a worm-composting bin. There has been quite a bit published about that in the last few years, so if you do a web search, you should find enough info to get started. You might also be able to trellis some things (peas? beans?) up to where they would get a little more sun. Of course you won't get a lot of food from your little container garden, but you will gain some skills and a lot of satisfaction! Good luck.
-- Kathleen Sanderson (email@example.com), May 06, 2000.
Some herbs would do nicely in that situation. I've read where you can use a strawberry jar and plant a different herb in each hole. Compact but bountiful. It could also be moved indoors for the winter.
-- Vaughn (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 06, 2000.
Yes, but, Vaughn, most herbs need full sun to really develop the essential oils that give them their flavor, and Bob said his porch doesn't get much sunshine. Bob, one thing you could try is white or shiny reflectors behind your plants to increase the amount of light they get. It might help a little bit.
-- Kathleen Sanderson (email@example.com), May 07, 2000.
While I was still living in an apartment, I had a twin bed sized balcony with an eastern exposure, facing a wooded lot. Before it was over with, I had window boxes on all of the railing, hanging baskets from the balcony above, large plastic pots on the deck all around the edge, and tiers of window boxes fastened to the wall on either side of the patio door. I wound up with a collection of over 70 different herbs, which seemed very forgiving of the light situation. Mint varieties did very well, as did bergamot. Thymes and basils tolerated their situation. Scented leaf geraniums did well, and sweet woodruff and sweet violets thrived. I was also successful with tomatoes, lettuce, salad burnet and chives. Just keep a close eye on different parts of the porch, and put the least forgiving plants in the sunniest areas. Enjoy!
-- Connie (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 09, 2000.