Organic Patio Gardening

Nothing is better than the taste of a freshly picked, perfectly ripe tomato. However, those of us who live in apartments may think we can't grow huge tomato plants. That would be wrong.

I've been able to grow tomatoes and other vegetable for a few years using different containers. The first ones I tried were the Topsy Turvy tomato and herb planters. Both are meant to be hung up. The tomato planter has the plant growing out the bottom and the herb planter has multiple spots to plant herbs. I live on the bottom floor so this was perfect for me as I could hang it from the deck joists of the above patio.

When the apartment complex I lived in put in corrugated roofing between the top and bottom patios, I didn't get as much sun on the upside-down planters. Most of the sun hits the ledge of my patio, which is at ground level. Since tomatoes love sun, I tried using an Earthbox last year. I had seen these on "Mexico, One Plate at a Time" with Rick Bayless. The planter fit on my patio perfectly and the tomato plant grew well. It was huge and produced plenty of tasty tomatoes.

I ordered more Earthboxes this year to expand my growing. They are really easy to use. There is a tube that you pour water, which keeps the plants watered. They have attachable caster if you need to be able to move them around, as well as a staking system for large plants like tomatoes.

Many large hardware and garden centers sell organic potting mix and fertilizers, so you can fill your containers with this and be on your way to having fresh, organic vegetables, no matter where you live!