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Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Mar 23, 2014 8:57 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Welcome to the Gardening in Apartments forum! This forum is dedicated to the discussion of gardening in small spaces, apartments, balconies and the like.

Requested at The thread "Apartment/small space planting?" in Site Talk forum
Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
Bearded Dragon young male
Region: Australia Annuals Canning and food preservation Herbs Tropicals Foliage Fan
Plays in the sandbox Cactus and Succulents Garden Photography Hybridizer Composter Sedums
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Gleni
Mar 23, 2014 5:58 PM CST
I have a small verandha that is screened to keep cats completely contained. I am trying to put in small pots (which is not easy with curious cats of course). However, I find they can dehydrate quite fast. I use those saucers to catch water and which the pots sit in. They are very much sheltered from rain but I would have thought the shading from the screens would also decrease water loss. I go away for two days at a time and when I return the plants don't look too good. Outside in the garden, I rarely have problems with small pot plants. I wonder if it is the potting mix. The ones in the garden nearly always have garden soil. Or could it be the low humidity?
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
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SongofJoy
Mar 23, 2014 6:08 PM CST
What kind of plants are they, Glen?
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
Bearded Dragon young male
Region: Australia Annuals Canning and food preservation Herbs Tropicals Foliage Fan
Plays in the sandbox Cactus and Succulents Garden Photography Hybridizer Composter Sedums
Image
Gleni
Mar 23, 2014 6:13 PM CST
Tee,
At the moment Sturt Desert Pea, cat mint and a variety of coleus. The mint is always the first to wilt. Then the coleus. The pea should not be overwatered but it cannot be allowed to dry out.
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
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SongofJoy
Mar 24, 2014 4:04 AM CST



I wasn't familiar with the Sturt's Desert Pea so had to look up that one. Very interesting bloom and such a gorgeous color!

Do you have any trays/bowls of pebbles and water to raise humidity? That's what I always used in CA when I had conditions such as yours and still use here in the winter for some of the indoor plants. It can get so dry when it's cold and the heat pump is running a lot.

Mint is definitely a thirsty one! But I love it. I hope I haven't lost too many this winter. They are in containers outside.
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Mar 24, 2014 3:03 PM CST
>> However, I find they can dehydrate quite fast. I use those saucers to catch water and which the pots sit in.

>> The pea should not be overwatered but it cannot be allowed to dry out.

You might want to modify those saucers a little. Elevate the pots an inch or two so they never sit down IN the water. The thing that the pots sit on needs to be pretty flat where the holes in the bottom of the pot sit on it.

Then set some absorbent fabric like cotton flannel, toweling or denim over the elevating platform and let it dangle into the water. This will wick water up to the bottom of the pot.

The must be contact between the toweling and the soil THOUGH the holes in the bottom of the pot. That allows the dry soil to draw water from the mat, which then draws water up from the saucer.

The soil in the pot does need to "wick", but it no longer needs to hold two days worth of water.

This makes a lot of water available to the plant without drowning the roots. If they can't pull water up fast enough, you might need bigger holes in the pot, more holes, fluffier capillary mat so it touches soil firmly through the holes, a faster-wicking mat, say two thicknesses, or less elevation between the water surface and the base of the pot. And/or top-water heavily just before you leave so that soil is as wet as is safe before you leave. Then the saucer just augments what is available to the roots.

I have not tried this with a big pot, or a deep pot. If all the holes in a deep pot are "smothered" by wet fabric, you might need a few holes in the side of the pot, near the bottom, so that air can still enter the pot "from below". Or leave some of the bottom-holes open to the air, and set the other holes on the wet fabric. (If you have a fine-textured potting mix, air might not be able to diffuse fast enough from the surface all the way to the bottom of the potting mix. Extra holes let air diffuse in where it will do the most good. )

P.S. Another solution is to pot them up into a really big pot that retains a lot of water, perhaps adding "water crystals" to the mix.

Just beware making a potting soil that holds so much water in its fine texture that the water fills the fine channels and void spaces, denying air any path to diffuse through the soil. That would rot your roots.

http://garden.org/ideas/view/RickCorey/646/Bottom-Watering-S...


Thumb of 2014-03-24/RickCorey/cd8950

Sorry about the double-right-side on the saucer. I couldn't make that appear at all as a WMF, then it showed up TWICE as a JPG. Oh, well.

Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Bulbs Foliage Fan Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents
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purpleinopp
Mar 26, 2014 10:19 AM CST
Thanks for the effort, Dave! I don't have an apartment, but have lived in them, and take all of my plants outside for summer. Will help answer any questions here that I can, and probably ask one occasionally.
👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
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☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
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SongofJoy
Mar 28, 2014 3:51 AM CST
Some fun ideas: http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/six-ideas-f...

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
Bearded Dragon young male
Region: Australia Annuals Canning and food preservation Herbs Tropicals Foliage Fan
Plays in the sandbox Cactus and Succulents Garden Photography Hybridizer Composter Sedums
Image
Gleni
Mar 28, 2014 5:28 AM CST
Tee, what excellent ideas for my cat space. Thank You!
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
Image
SongofJoy
Mar 28, 2014 5:44 AM CST
I tip my hat to you. We have a small side deck and I'm thinking that if we ever have to keep our three cats contained, I'm going to enclose that deck.
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
Image
SongofJoy
Mar 28, 2014 5:47 AM CST
And at any rate, some of those ideas work well for a small deck space.
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Surprisingly GREEN Pittsburgh (Zone 6a)
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Dog Lover Birds Plant and/or Seed Trader Bulbs Echinacea Irises
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crittergarden
Mar 29, 2014 2:52 PM CST
Thanks for this forum, @dave ! I only just discovered it, and I DO have a yard, but I'm wanting to expand my indoor growing activities and this will be a good resource.
SHOW ME YOUR CRITTERS! I have a critter page over at Cubits. http://cubits.org/crittergarden/thread/view/73275/
Name: Julie
Eugene, OR (Zone 8b)
overmyheadineugene
Sep 11, 2014 1:28 AM CST
Thumb of 2014-09-11/overmyheadineugene/74590c

Thumb of 2014-09-11/overmyheadineugene/c6a3f6
Just came across this forum - and thought of these pix from the walkway in front of my apt. front door...good thing I live on the end!!
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
Image
SongofJoy
Sep 11, 2014 4:45 AM CST
You've got a great little apt. patio garden going there. Thumbs up
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
Bearded Dragon young male
Region: Australia Annuals Canning and food preservation Herbs Tropicals Foliage Fan
Plays in the sandbox Cactus and Succulents Garden Photography Hybridizer Composter Sedums
Image
Gleni
Sep 11, 2014 5:12 AM CST
Impressive!!!!
Surprisingly GREEN Pittsburgh (Zone 6a)
Rabbit Keeper Bee Lover Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Butterflies Hummingbirder
Dog Lover Birds Plant and/or Seed Trader Bulbs Echinacea Irises
Image
crittergarden
Sep 11, 2014 8:45 AM CST
I love it!
Some day I will move back into an apartment building - hopefully a high rise.
And I'll NEED a patio (and a good large South facing window) because I can't do without growing things!

Thanks for inspiring!
SHOW ME YOUR CRITTERS! I have a critter page over at Cubits. http://cubits.org/crittergarden/thread/view/73275/
Name: Julie
Eugene, OR (Zone 8b)
overmyheadineugene
Sep 11, 2014 1:21 PM CST
Thank you so much! Actually we usually share space on a 10 x 7' private balcony - but on this occasion, a few weeks back, I had to move them out of the way of some renovation work being done. Therefore the cramped 4 x 4' space out front.
Here's a pic of our usual area...a little more elbow room here!
Thumb of 2014-09-11/overmyheadineugene/cbe5d6
(sorry - i couldn't find one taken lengthwise)
Surprisingly GREEN Pittsburgh (Zone 6a)
Rabbit Keeper Bee Lover Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Butterflies Hummingbirder
Dog Lover Birds Plant and/or Seed Trader Bulbs Echinacea Irises
Image
crittergarden
Sep 11, 2014 3:52 PM CST
hee hee - cramped is BEAUTIFUL!!
It means you're SERIOUS about it!

There is a tiny backyard that I pass when I am on foot on grocery errands in the Southside neighborhood in Pittsburgh.
I've never seen a human out there, but in a space about I dunno, 8x7, with a brick paving (typical of the Southside, no mortar, just red brick laid down many decades ago, and now all wavy) this person has it filled to the brim with things growing in containers - and not fancy containers, either. AND flowers just for the pretty all mixed in with the tomatoes and stuff. I always long to meet whoever lives there - but in almost a decade, have yet to be there at the right time. I LOVE that little garden!!

If I had a camera on my phone, I'd post a picture but I have to remember to bring my SLR with me on the bus and that's not something I tend to think of..... Once a month I buy my HEAVY groceries and take a cab home, maybe I'll remember to take the camera soon....
SHOW ME YOUR CRITTERS! I have a critter page over at Cubits. http://cubits.org/crittergarden/thread/view/73275/
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Bulbs Foliage Fan Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents
Image
purpleinopp
Sep 11, 2014 3:54 PM CST
I'm a fan too!

Wherever you can see soil at the surface of a pot, you're not out of space yet!
👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
🍀👒☀🍄🍍🌱🌿🌴🎄👣🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻🌽🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌺🌸🌼🌹🌳🌲
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Sep 11, 2014 6:15 PM CST
Hi CritterG

Maybe leave a potted seedling someday with a card thanking her or him for making your walk so beautiful, and maybe leave an email address or phone number.

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