How to Grow an Easy Patio Apartment Container Garden for Beginners
Alright this is john kohler with growingyourgreens.Today we have another exciting episode for you.I’m here at my girlfriends house actually and many of you guys know that i helped her set up her very first garden and it’s sitting right next to me.This is the aerogarden 7 led.We actually have two tutorials on that so i’ll post the links down below.The first tutorial is just when we set it up.Actually she set it up, i didn’t even set it up and help out you know to let her know she can start to grow some food very easily.The second.
Tutorial we did was basically an update on harvesting some herbs, how the aerogarden has been growing for her, plus we made a really cool pizza soup recipe so i’ll put a link down below for that.So that being said since lauren has been growing this for over two months now.She’s graduated.Yeah she’s graduated up to the next level.And this is what i want to encourage you guys to do you know.Many of you guys have gardened before, gardening probably longer than i’ve been alive.But i know there’s a lot of you guys that maybe.
Have never grown anything in your whole life or cause you’re city folk right and that’s alright.I wanna let you guys know to start slowly.Start slowly, and then to graduate up and get more challenging to challenge yourself and to challenge your skills.You know much like when i was a youngster right, i didn’t start by riding a you know a two wheeled bicycle.I started riding a tricycle right.Anybody could get on a tricycle and ride it and then i got on a bicycle with training wheels and was able to get on that and not fall over.
And ride.And then i got the training wheels off and don’t tell anybody, i fell over after the first time.But after a few times i got it and that’s how i want you guys to look at gardening.Start off easy.Start off with something like an aerogarden.I mean, really all you gotta do is pay attention to the lights.The light comes on for water you water, the light comes on to add nutrients you add nutrients and boom you’re gonna be successful.So lauren also has built up the confidence that yes i can do it its super.
Easy.And this is really cool.So what i’m gonna do in this episode is kinda take her up to the next level since she graduated from the dummy gardening with the aerogarden.We’re gonna basically make a selfwatering garden for her that literally waters itself so she doesn’t have to worry about when to water when not to water she just basically fills up the reservoir but there’s no dummy lights on this one right.So as long as she can remember to top off the reservoir every couple of days so that you know it doesn’t run out of water.
It’s gonna grow great because we’re gonna set it up properly.And thats another thing that’s super important like the aerogarden is a kit that’s all set up.They’ve done all the homework for you and they set up a you know container garden, a selfwatering garden like i’m gonna do now.You know we gotta get it set up properly and that’s why i’m here to help her out set it up properly so that literally all she needs to do is water it, keep it in the sun, and it’s gonna be growing a bunch of food for her to eat and.
For me to eat when i’m visiting her.So anyways lets go ahead and head out to the patio and show you guys this space we’re working with and also share with you guys how we’re gonna grow some food in a selfwatering container fort.So now we’re outside on lauren’s patio and this is all the outside space that she gets living in an apartment.I know many of you guys may be living in apartments or condos or places where you don’t have a yard you don’t have any direct access to the ground.
But you might have you know a little wooden deck area like she does here to grow some food in.Now this would not be my first choice for growing food if i lived in an apartment you know it might be fun to try to get your hands dirty to have some plants but you know for the most part you’re not gonna make a significant quantity of plants that’s gonna be feeding you.It’s kinda more like for fun, enjoyment, although if you did fill this whole area with plants i’m sure i could grow quite a bit of food but you know i don’t.
Know if she’s gonna allow me to do that.In fact we did get permission to grow two small containers gardens to start her off with to see how it goes.That being said if you do have an apartment looking to grow, don’t necessarily just automatically think i gotta grow outside.You know think first indoors like the aeroponics with the aerogarden, that’s a really good way to kind of get some grow on, but even better than that in my opinion is growing something like sprouts or microgreens that you could easily do in your kitchen that.
You could grow a lot more quantity of that’s really gonna sustain and feed you.I mean i could start a tray of microgreens, you know today tomorrow the next day, and then everyday i’m harvesting one large tray of microgreens that could pretty much meet my requirements for green leafy vegetables whereas you know out here in a smaller space you’d have to grow lots of heads of lettuce to harvest one leaf off every plant you know to have enough to keep you fed.So uh but yeah nonetheless i want her to get her hands dirty doing this.
And uh let me go ahead and show you guys next the system that we’ll be using today to grow some food outdoor on her patio.So now i’m gonna show you guys the container that we’re gonna use that will allow lauren to grow some food here on her patio and this is what i recommend for apartment dwellers or people who don’t have a lot of space or you know even if you live in a house and you don’t wanna like start raised bed yet, this is something i have used in the past.
And is actually a very good device to allow you to grow food and what it is is pretty much this.It’s actually just a small little container garden.It’s actually called the city picker’s patio garden kit.This is selfwatering so i mean for those of you guys that are familiar with the earth box this is basically like an earth box, kind of like a rip off or copy of it.And it comes on casters so it is moveable and rollable and it’s selfwatering so it’s really easy to take care of.The main thing is setting it up properly.
And getting a good soil mix.So these are widely available and anybody can literally just pick one up and have just about an instant garden.Now you know the main caveat of setting one of these guys up, cause i have set one of these up before you can check my past tutorials for a tutorial on that, basically theres a little tray here that sits on top so it basically allows aeration for the root zone, the water sits on the bottom.They give you a little tube that you’re gonna fill up with water.And then it has an overflow valve.If you.
Overfill it it’ll drip water out so you’re gonna fill it until it drips a little bit of water out.Then of course you have a top that i probably won’t use.If you wanna you know instead of using a mulch to prevent evaporation.And then of course you have the casters you know to put on the bottom so you can wheel it in and out of the sun, wheel it inside if it’s getting too cold outside etc.Now the main point of one of these city picker’s also known as the patio pickers super critical, is setting it up properly.
And even if you’ve never done this before it is just super easy.Basically they tell you what you need.You’re gonna need seeds or seedlings.You’re gonna need a scissors or utility knife.You’re gonna need some water.You’re gonna need some potting soil mix, some dolomite, and some fertilizer.And they do not want you to use potting soil they want you to use a potting mix that’s very important.And they kinda give you you know uh some hints and tips on getting started.You know i’m never really one to read directions.
And i have set these up before and i have a lot of experience gardening so if you’re not experienced at gardening do yourself a favor follow the directions and you will get proven results.That being said i’m gonna stray away from the directions because uh i’ve been doing is a little bit and i think i know better and uh information than what they’re teaching in there so that’s what i’m gonna share with you guys today, what i’m doing to fill up this container garden for lauren.So you know you’re gonna need.
A few things to fill up this container garden.You know primarily you’re gonna need a peat moss or coconut coir based soil right.This is known as a soilless.A soil available at many hydroponic shops, so i’d recommend going to a hydroponic shop and getting a soilless core you know uh perlite mixture and then mixing that in like maybe i’d do probably 5050.50 of that you know mixture of the coir with the perlite and probably have also some other ingredients in there and then 50 of the compost.You know one of the things.
That’s very important is that you can’t just put straight compost in here, your just soil out of your you know yard, or bagged garden soil.Not gonna work, it’s not gonna wick its very important to have enough percentage of the coconut coir or something like the peat moss that’s gonna help wick up the the uh the moisture in the bottom to get all your plants watered.So thats simply what i’m gonna do.I’m gonna i’m gonna put together my own soil blend and you know it can be very difficult to buy compost in many.
Areas.I have really researched the best compost here in this area and so you know a lot of the bagged product at the big box stores i’m really not happy with.It’s really like subpar, contains too much sawdust and all of this kind of stuff and it’s just not good soil.So to get the best soil i actually had to make a call to a buddy.I called up my buddy josh at the boogiebrew company who actually sent me several flat rate boxes of some soil including some rock dust and worm castings.And in addition locally i picked.
Up some coconut coir thats gonna help with wicking action.So the next part of this tutorial we’re gonna go ahead and show you guys how i’m gonna mix this soil blend up for lauren to fill up her little container for her garden so that she could start growing some of her own food.Of course besides just the soil blend you’re also gonna need the seeds or the plant starts and of course i always encourage you guys that are new into gardening, never grew anything before, buy a plant start.It’s like 10 times easier than to try to start.
Your own seeds because when you start your own seeds they may not germinate, they may not get enough light, they may you know not be super healthy, and then you’re not gonna get full productive yields.So over here, i was just visiting austin aquaponics today, and uh i already posted the tutorial on that episode so check below for the link on that if you wanna check it out, but i was able to get some plant starts from them grown in their aquaponic system.These are some of the healthiest plant starts that i was able.
To find in the entire austin area.We’re gonna go ahead and transplant these that were in aquaponics into my high nutrient dense soil mixture into lauren’s garden so that she could be eating some of this beautiful red lettuce and things like the curly kale as well as dinosaur kale.So here’s, let’s get started and make up that soil mix.Alright so now i’m gonna show you guys the soil blend that i’m gonna create.So once again you know we got the uh coconut coir or the coconut fiber here you know in that.
Bag locally.And we got 4 boxes from the boogiebrew company and we got the uh marley mix soil.That’s the boogie soil, really rich, really good.I do have an episode on that so check once again the link below for the episode on the boogie soil.And in the back we also have some boxes of the worm castings and the rock dust, two critical ingredients that are missing in too many gardens in my opinion.So since we’re on like a wooden deck thing with holes in it and i don’t have a wheel barrel to mix stuff up in we’ll use the.
Next best thing.We got a 5 foot by 7 foot tarp from one of my favorite stores, harborfreight tool.So what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna go ahead and spread this tarp out on this whole uh patio area and we’re gonna make this soil on top of the tarp.Alright so now we’ve got the tarp all laid out and the best thing to do would be to get some like boxes so that we can kind of like crease up the sides to make like a little.
Cement mixing troff.Um i don’t have anything like that today so what we’re gonna do instead is uh you know i got some of these uh like clips and we’re gonna try to clip the tarp up to kind of make like a little like tarp bowl to contain the all the soil stuff that i’ll be dumping out here cause i don’t want to let any of it spill into the people below and i don’t wanna lose any of the valuable soil mixture that i’m creating.Alright so we got that kinda to work.This is kinda like reminds me of like a kids swimming.
Pool or it could also be something else you use to mix up in but the tarp is a lot cheaper especially when you get a free tarp from harborfreight cause they got coupons for free tarps sometimes.What i did was kind of ingenious check this out over here.I used just some pieces of cardboard in between the wood on a beam just kind of like to brace it up and put a little clip on it to kind of like keep my sides up so that things won’t overspill.I guess.
The next step we’re gonna go ahead and open up some of these boxes and i’m gonna get to share with you guys what we got.Alright, first boogie box is coming right up.Let’s see what we got sent here.Alright it looks like we’ve got the uh marley mix.So this is organic compost and a lot of other good stuff including the uh perlite so i mean this is a premo blend no matter what kind of vegetable, flower, or herb if you get my drift you’re growing.So let’s go ahead.
And uh dump this baby out.Straight up marley mix, this is some of the best richest compost.Now i don’t necessarily recommend that you guys mail order compost and all this kind of stuff.I wanted lauren to have the best so that’s why i pulled some strings to get my buddies at boogiebrew to do me a favor, and uh frankly i know this is available in the local sonoma country area.I don’t even know if they’ll be making this available to ship to you guys if you even want it you know.So i recommend you know trying to find.
A local vendor of really good high end compost and yeah i mean this stuff, nice and rich.And one of the tips when you smell compost, i mean it should just have a nice earthy smell like if you went into the forest and picked up some soil on the forest floor it just smells earthy.It doesn’t smell, it should have some kind of minimal odor you know not be too strong or whatever but uh this stuff is great so that’ll make a good base of the mixture.
We’re putting together for lauren.Alright, i’ve got the next box here.Let’s see what kind of fun stuff we got in this one.Alright yes, we’ve got another bag of the marley mix coming right out to get mixed right up.And this is the label right here we got if you guys wanna check it out the moonshine marley mix and this one of the cool things about this mixture is that it is actually preinoculated with their very own boogiebrew compost tea you know when this is mixed and made.You know no other compost that i know is preinoculated with compost.
Tea to give your plants the microorganisms to help get them ramped up to absorb all the nutrients that are based in this rich compost.And uh yeah so what’s in here all kinds of cool stuff worm castings, composted wood chips, free range manure, peat moss, perlite, rice hauls, volcano rock minerals, neem seed meal, gypsum wine, pumice, volcanic sand, redwood compost, fur hummus, beetle castings from meal worm larva, microryza, plus an aerated uh tea infusion.This is one compost simply.Alright gotta shake that up get all the compost.
This wasn’t even bagged.I mean i had to pull some strings to get josh to do this for me so i don’t know if you’ll be able to order this stuff like i did.Plus this doesn’t make financial sense to be ordering and shipping compost to mail.Find the local stores man you know.Most important thing don’t get compost from the big box store.Most of the time it’s not gonna be good.Maybe your local hydro shop might have better stuff but even then, i just don’t really know you know.Make your own thats the best way of.
All.Alright next box let’s see what we got.More of the moonshine marley mix.Alright man we got a nice mixture here.Check out what’s in this last box.Oh this box is heavy.Alright my favorite worm castings in the world coming right up.This is how important worm castings are.I got a whole bag shipped to me and i know the boogiebrew company does ship out worm castings.And these are just not any old worm castings.These are the worm gold plus worm castings, my favorite castings of all the different castings i’ve tested.
Unfortunately this is not available in every single area.Thats why i got it shipped in.You know when you’re looking to find worm castings it’s very important to see what the worm is eating right.These worms have a diet high in cellulose, which most worms are simply eating manure which i’m not a super huge fan of.So we’re gonna go ahead and take this whole bag of worm castings and we’re gonna dump that in the mixture.And i think i should’ve had a box of uh azomite or rock dust to mix in here but at least i’m.
Glad that the uh boogiebrew soil, the moonlight marley mix uh you know has and is preinoculated with the rock dust.You know i would like to add you know a nice bag of the rock dust to make sure my girlfriend’s gonna be growing mineral dense plants.Alright let’s dumb this guy out.A lot of soil is in here on the deck.Of course last we need to add one more thing to this mixture because if we mix this all up, put it in the bed, it’s not.
Gonna wick properly right.So we need the coconut coir and what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna go ahead and take this locally sourced coconut coir and we’re gonna go ahead and uh dumb this out in this mixture and then we get to have the fun of mixing it all up.And it’s a good thing we got the sides lifted up on our tarp because this stuff would’ve went anywhere.Alright now i just get to have fun and uh mix all this stuff up.Alright we’ve got this soil mixed up real good, got the worm castings integrated with.
The uh marley mix.And then also the coconut coir actually has nice big chunks which i like a little bit finer texture but it doesn’t really matter the texture too much so we’re trying to just break up some of the larger pieces to get it more evenly distributed in here but yeah this looks like it’s gonna work great for our uses.I would like to put a little bit more coir in here but this is all we’ve got today so i think this stuff is gonna work out just fine.
Alright now we’re gonna assemble the city pickers.The picker’s super simply super easy.There’s only a few parts.You got the main uh container there, you got a little tray that fits in, you got a a watering tube, and then finally you have the uh casters so we’re gonna go ahead and flip this baby over.And uh first we’re gonna go ahead and put the casters on now.I don’t know why other garden systems you know that are similar to this don’t include the casters.It just makes it a lot more convenient and.
Easy to move the garden and i’m sure it doesn’t cost the company a ton of money.So yep put these guys in there.Alright now flip this baby over.Alright we are mobile.Nice, rolls nice and easy.Next we’re gonna go ahead and put the tray in.Make sure you get the proper orientation on the tray.Uh the cut out end goes on the small end.Yeah so you could actually put the uh the watering tube in there.And the only next thing to do is actually to fill it up.So uh we’re gonna start filling this up now and the main.
Thing you wanna do when you’re filling it up is you wanna pack in the soil into the corners and make sure it’s nice and tight into the corners.This is gonna allow you for better wicking.Once you got all the corners packed in we’re basically just gonna take the soil and uh gently spread it along.We don’t wanna like get soil down below the grate, we just want it to you know sit above the grate so we’re not really packing in we’re just kinda layering it on.
Alright so it looks like i got this guy all loaded up with soil and man this guy is definitely pretty heavy now.And what i’m gonna do next is actually water this soil in to get it nice and moist and ready to accept the plants that i’m gonna transplant.Alright so as you guys could see you got this guy almost planted out and this i’m doing the vegetable bed, lauren’s back there planting all the herbs out and we’ll come back at you right in a little bit when we’re done planting and i’ll go over with lauren how.
To take care of her new patio apartment container garden.So as you guys could see we got this entire garden planted out for lauren.We got the two little patio pickers and we got basically nine different herbs planted in this one.Actually we took two of the plants out of the aerogarden that were doing good to give them a second life to see how they would do in here including the cilantro and the parsley.We’ve also got some chives, some rosemary, some fennel, some sage, some oregano, some.
Mint, and of course some thyme.Over in this one we got things like broccoli.Over here we got kale, curly kale, dinosaur kale, and we got some red lettuce and some green lettuce all interplanted.Now this bed was planted a little bit too close that’s because we wanna encourage the plants to grow and then we’re gonna shave off the leaves.So this uh mature kale plant we really gotta come in and just harvest all the bottom leaves and leave a little top middle coming out so it doesn’t shade out all these other small.
Plants you know down below.So this was intentionally done.You know i always wanna encourage you guys to pack as many plants in as you possibly can but not over pack them.So in the case of herbs because some of those herbs will get quite large over time we only planted nine.In the case of the vegetables here the leafy greens primarily you know we can harvest these to keep them pruned down and keep them small so that we can put this volume of plants in this small amount of space.Um i guess the only care that i need to share with lauren.
At this point is that you know once you get all your plants in you just wanna give them a light little water here.And thats why we got this little container, water on the top and that’s uh number one, very important.Number two the other main thing that you’re gonna need to remember on these guys lauren is maybe for the first week you’re gonna wanna top water it a little bit to allow them to get moist.We pretty much saturated the soil so the soil should work as a wick and how these work is in this little reservoir.
You’re gonna take like a bottle and pour it down in the reservoir.And then when it’s full off the side there’s a little whole right here and if you can see this is actually leaking a little bit and then that tells you okay stop.So what we’re also gonna have to do is like you’re gonna have to get a little tray or cup to put underneath here so it doesn’t leak you know down.And you have one on either side so there’s one on this side, one on this side.And you’re gonna just basically uh water in here until.
It starts leaking and stop then you can take the water and pour it back in on the top and then um and then basically how this works is that the water should wick up in the little layer in the bottom thats about the bottom this much full of water it’s gonna wick the water up the the roots as they need it.But when the plants are young you don’t got the roots really deep so thats why we need to just maybe top water around you know each plant just a little bit you know to give them enough water.Then you’re gonna keep.
These guys in the sun.If it gets like freezing then you might wanna bring them inside maybe even put a you know put them to the wall near your place and either put like a big towel or blanket over them to kind of keep them warm or actually just move them in your place.Any questions lauren uh so do we top off the water just a little bit like everyday like every right and then next week.Lauren alright, and then what after that then you’re just gonna keep filling the tube up until it overflows.
Lauren alright.Keep it in the sun and as the things get big harvest the and you’ll immediately harvest all the bottom leaves on this guy maybe like this so that all these guys down below can get some sun.Lauren alright that sounds straight forward.Alright so that’s pretty much it.Actually i gotta run and i’m off flying again so.Alright honey so any comments for your for my viewers on the little container garden that we got set up on lauren i’m really excited.I think it looks beautiful and i’m looking forward to eating.
Some of this stuff very soon.Alright so hope you guys enjoyed this episode here.I wanna let you guys know no matter where you live whether you have an apartment in you know new york city with a little patio space or you know a home there’s always a way to grow.This is yet another way you guys can grow in an apartment, in a condo, or even if you have a house and you don’t wanna put in a big garden yet just get some small containers like this to grow on your.
Patio or you could wheel them in in the winter if it’s too cold outside.Leave them by a nice sunny window and they’re gonna grow, they’re not gonna do as well as outside you know in full sun, but you know there’s always a way to grow some food today and on my channel i try to share with you guys all gardening different methods.Not concentrating on only aquaponics or only growing you know five gallon buckets.I mean all those techniques are cool.I wanna give you guys some different ideas and some of the some of these tutorials.
May motivate some of you guys to get you gardening cause it really is that easy.We got most of this stuff you know locally at home depot including the plants and the kids and i got some really some veg soil shipped in.If you’re interested in getting some of this soil i’m not sure if they’re shipping it or the worm gold plus.Check the link down below for the boogiebrew company.They’ve been awesome and helped me get this garden set up so i could grow some nutrient dense foods for lauren here.And yeah if you’re not already please.
Subscribe to my tutorials and be sure to check my past tutorials.I have over a thousand tutorials now but i have a good handful on other container gardening set ups that i have done including setting up one of these beds or one of these uh containers like a couple years ago and i used uh you know a better mix.Cause i was at my home and i had really good stuff to put in there but yeah there’s many ways to garden the main thing is start getting.
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