Good Question: Growing Food in an Apartment

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I have always lived in the suburbs but I will soon be moving to a small city apartment. I have found great ideas on Apartment Therapy to help me fit my life into a small space. But the part of my old life in the suburbs that I'll miss most is growing my own vegetables and keeping hens for fresh eggs.

Does anyone have suggestions for growing some of your own food in a compact apartment?

Thanks, Sally

P.S. I live in Australia, so I can't get many of the products people mention, but the ideas are still great and wonderfully creative.

This is great timing for this question, because although Sally is just about to begin her growing season down in Australia, we are in harvest time here and it's a good time for all of you with city gardens to share what you did this summer. What worked? What didn't? Did you garden for the first time this year? Did you try something new? Are you an old pro at apartment gardening?

Our efforts at gardening in an apartment with a tiny walkway stoop have been mostly restricted to herbs. Pots of basil, rosemary, sage, and mint are easy and decorative too. You can keep them down to small pots with regular pruning, or you can fill larger pots and get a big yield. We also love our lemongrass plant, although you practically need a lawnmower to keep it down once it gets going.

We tried small tomatoes one summer too and they were a hit. Look for tomato varieties that are small, with small fruit. You will still need at least a five-gallon container for a tomato plant, though. We like the bush varieties with thick stems that don't need to be staked.

Check out our Gardening Archive for more, including a three-step plan for starting your kitchen garden.

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Faith is the executive editor of The Kitchn and the author of three cookbooks. They include Bakeless Sweets (Spring 2013) as well as The Kitchn's first cookbook, which will be published in Fall 2014. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Mike.