Hey guys, so I’ve talked about the decor plan for project #sweetescapepatio and part of that plan that I didn’t really touch upon on my last post was the green element. Green, as in plants and flowers. One of the easiest, and one of my favourite, ways to add some new life (literally) to a space is by adding some plants or flowers. In this case I’m taking it a step further and really testing out my green thumb with my first ever urban vegetable & herb garden.
I’ve lived in my city condo for over 8 years and decided that this patio overhaul was the perfect time to finally try and grow something edible up there on the rooftop. I guess the universe, or at least Scotts Miracle-Gro Canada, heard my thoughts. I couldn’t believe the great timing when they reached out to me and asked if I was interested in being part of their #ScottsGroCrew. So here I am taking you along on the learning experience with me.
I’m not a garden professional (obviously), but I’ve really become interested in the whole thing recently and thought I would share a few things i’ve learned and products I’m trying to help out any other newbies out there.
First up is my mini vegetable garden. And by “garden” I mean planter boxes on my rooftop patio. When my patio was demolished last Summer I shed a few tears over losing all my great built-in planter boxes and seating. Getting new built-in’s wasn’t in the budget this year but I found these great solid recycled wood planter boxes at Home Depot Canada which were perfect for my little rooftop garden.
Next was to fill them with soil. Since they’re containers the plants can only feed from what’s inside so it’s really important to use good soil and plant food for them to feed on. I decided to go with a mix of Miracle-Gro® Garden Soil and Miracle-Gro® Potting Mix. I mixed them because the potting mix is made specifically for containers and contains lots of extra calcium and nutrients and the garden soil is great for growing vegetables so I think they will make a great team. I’m also planning on giving them a little extra vegetable specific plant food which I share below.
Now the fun part, planting! The Italian in me – I forgot to mention that I grew up with a huge extended family where everyone had gardens that took up their whole backyard – wanted to go nuts. But let’s be real, I’m a newbie and I have planter boxes on a rooftop. So I decided to go with some choices that are great for starting out – cherry tomatoes, sweet peppers, cucumbers and then a selection of herbs.
According to my research (asking my Mom), the cucumbers are climbers and the tomatoes need some support (don’t we all?) so I added some stakes I picked up at the dollar store. For the tomatoes, they should be ideally about 1′ apart. I cheated a little and squeezed in an extra one but placed them off centre to give each one a little extra room. Then I made the cucumbers and sweet peppers as roommates and all the herbs are having a bit party in the third planter. And that makes up my garden!
These plants are lucky because they’re in super fresh soil packed with nutrients but just to give them a little extra help I also gave them some Miracle-Gro® Shake ‘n Feed® Tomato, Fruits & Vegetables Continuous Release Plant Food Plus Calcium made specifically for fruits & vegetables. Eat up plants, so I can eat you!
And I’m officially an urban gardener! All that’s left to do is just wait to eat the fruits (or vegetables) of my labour. Ok so maybe not that simple. I still have to take care of these guys. They will all need a healthy dose of water on a daily basis being up on a sunny rooftop and the tomatoes will need a little trim here and there to ensure they grow with lots of blooms. So check in to my Facebook and Instagram feeds regularly or follow along with Scotts Miracle-Gro Canada to see the status update on my little vegetable plant babies and see what the rest of the #ScottsGroCrew is up to.
** UPDATE **
It’s been almost 4 weeks since I originally wrote this post and I thought you guys would love to see an update because it’s pretty awesome. Here’s what the vegetable plants looked like on the first week (same as above):
And with a little help from Miracle-Gro® Shake ‘n Feed® Tomato, Fruits & Vegetables Continuous Release Plant Food Plus Calcium and Mother Nature doing some heavy duty watering (thanks rain!), this is what they look like 4 weeks later:
What a difference right?! I was worried about them not getting enough sun on this side of the patio but that doesn’t seem to be a problem, they’re going nuts! Especially the tomatoes. I’ve read that if the tomatoes are too crowded there can be issues with how much actual fruit you will get. I’m thinking of removing one of the tomato plants into a separate pot to give the others some extra breathing room. I’m going to wait a bit longer before I decide.