What does my garden grow?

I love flowers– roses, shasta daisies, bleeding hearts– but what we really gets me excited are vegetables. I am a vegetable gardener at heart. So with only two east-facing windowsills, I've decided to try my hand with salad fixings. I actually started this years gardening on a whim– it never occured to me to really plan a vegetable garden. My husband and I live in a one bedroom apartment in Chicago with no access to an outdoor planting area. In late April I was purusing my massive library of seed catalogs, and couldn't resist placing an order. As soon as I sent it off, I began brainstorming how and where I could set my garden up. I have three east facing windows– one in the dining nook, one in the living room and one in the bedroom. I knew I could make it work. The seed varieties I settled on are all great for containers, producing small fruited veggies. I chose Sweet Cherry pepper, Tiny Tim cherry tomatoes, Tom Thumb lettuce, Thumbelina carrots and Evergreen White bunching onions. My seeds arrived in a record three days, and boy was I unprepared. So where did I go to to pick up supplies? The Walgreens around the corner. I picked up two bags of $2 potting soil and two Rubbermaid containers with interlocking lids that measure about 1.5 feet by 8 inches, and about 6 inches deep. I ended up having to go back for another 6 bags of the soil, because it took 2 to fill up the Rubbermaids. I also ended up with 4 plastic pots found at a thrift store and another 2 slightly smaller ones I picked up at Dollar Tree. Lots of soil and pea gravel for drainage later, and I was ready to get started. I sowed 2 rows of lettuce in one the Rubbermaids and a row of carrots and a row of onions in the other. I put tomatoes and peppers into the individual pots– 4 tomato plants and 2 peppers. I closed the interlocking lids almost all the way (I left them open a little to allow air circulation) on the Rubbermaids, and covered the pots with tin foil poked with a fork for ventilation holes. This created a great greenhouse effect which really helped the seeds germinate. I was so anxious until they sprouted– could I actually grow food? When the first hints of green struggled through the soil, I was excited and relieved. Off came the ghetto tin foil and the lids got thrown open. My plants were on their way to producing veggies! I've since added garlic (super easy– I just plunked a couple cloves into some soil and off they went) and a strawberry plant. Everything is coming along quite nicely. Some of the tomato plants actually have flower buds, and the lettuce is filling out pretty well. Stay tuned for more progress and pics!

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