Guest Post by Mike Lieberman
When I first started apartment gardening in the Spring of 2009, I was living in New York City on the fourth floor of an East Village apartment building. I don’t need to tell you that there was nto much space to grow.
Despite that fact, I turned my 2×3 fire escape landing space into a fire escape garden. On it I grew cherry tomatoes, lettuces, peppers and a variety of herbs all while maintaining the integrity of the fire escape.
I moved out to Los Angeles in the April of 2010, where I started a balcony garden. This giant 13×4 space seemed like a farm compared to my fire escape.
How have I been able to grow my own food despite having little space?
To make this affordable, I’ve been upcycling materials to make my own containers. I’ve been using 5-gallon food grade containers to build self-watering planters and soda bottles for hanging planters
Building a self watering planter is cheap and easy and cheap. Once you have the tools, it’ll cost around $5.00 or less for the materials to construct.
Two containers are used to make a self-watering planter. A reservoir and a planting container.
Inside of the reservoir container a wicking basket is placed. I usually use a 16oz. deli container that I drill holes into.
Here is a video of how to make your own self watering container:
You can check out the four different ways to build a self-watering planter on my site.
Soda Bottle Hanging Planters
By utilizing the hand rails of the fire escape, I was able to make better use of the limited space. I used 2-liter soda bottles and was able to line the railings with about 10 soda bottles to grow my own herbs.
The bottom part of the bottle was cut-off and holes were punched to hang the planters from the railings. A small hole was drilled into the cap to allow for drainage.
Here’s a more in depth instructions on how to make your own soda bottle hanging planter.
These are two simple to make and start your own container gardens. You don’t need lots of space and can maximize the little space you have to grow some of your own food. Growing one herb or vegetable will make a difference for you and for the environment.
Through his blog UrbanOrganicGardener.com and social media, Mike Lieberman shares his expertise on urban gardening, green living and real food. He inspires others to start growing their own food and believes that growing just one herb or vegetable will make a difference. It will help to cut back the intensive resources that go into the production and transport of food to our plates. It will also help us to re-establish our connection with food that we’ve lost over the past few years. We are humans. We grow food. Connect with Mike on his blog, Twitter or Facebook.