A brief foray way from more serious subjects. ;-)
City and apartment living has their conveniences that I greatly appreciate. I like it when the plumbing gets backed up, I can make a phone call and someone will be in the next day. And I don't get billed for it. Which is good, since the plug causing the problem turned out to be in the basement sub-level. Things are close and convenient. Especially when before, a simple grocery shopping trip meant going to another town, and major shopping meant going to the nearest city, an hour's drive away. There's one thing I really miss, though.
A yard. Grass. Sitting outside late in the evening, cooking wieners over an open fire, and having plenty of room for the kids to run around without needing to go to a park (which we happened to have adjoining our property, anyways).
A garden. I really pine for a garden. Granted, the last couple of years before the move, I didn't have a garden. We'd lived at this property some years before, left for a couple of years, then came back. The areas I'd planted in were all grown over and needed to be prepared all over again. We only ever got it partly done that year. The next summer never happened. It was cold and wet, and few people got gardens -or crops - in that year.
And now, we're in an apartment complex. With a huge, north facing balcony. And it doesn't look like we'll be moving out to someplace "more permanent" anytime soon.
But the gardening bug is itching me. I'm trying to think of what sorts of things I can grow on my balcony. I don't mean flowers and the like. I mean food plants.
I know lettuces like things shady, and would probably do fairly well. They also don't need a whole lot of depth for their root systems.
What else could I plant, though? Would carrots work, if I had deep enough pots? Would I be able to plant enough to make it worth the effort? Do I have enough sun for them? Even if I wanted to grow tomatoes (not a well liked food in our household), I definitely don't have enough sun for them. Potatoes would probably work but again, would I be able to grow enough to make it worth the effort?
I've been searching through the library gardening sections for ideas, but when it comes to container gardens, they are either herbs (which I also want to plant) and decorative plants. No vegetables. Hardly any fruits.
So for the gardeners out there, how does *your* garden grow? What would you suggest for someone who wants to plant vegetables in containers, and gets full, if indirect, sunlight for only a couple of hours in the evening?