Thriving vegetable plants are beautiful. They look great in a traditional raised bed, but they also look great on your deck, rooftop, or poolside. Keep in mind that you don't only need to grow in a traditional raised bed. You can grow your herbs in a window box. Gardeners.com has wonderful, inexpensive potato bags. This year I am planting my tomatoes in a "tomato tree."
You can use a variety of containers, deep and shallow. Some plants, such as tomatoes, need deep pots, but herbs, salad greens, and strawberries thrive in shallow window boxes. This is the area in which you can create your own imaginative "garden." Tomatoes also do well in the tomato trees found at Amazon.com for $39.99, with free shipping. I am growing my tomatoes in this. You can grow three plants in the bag. I am going to grow three different varieties, which should be plenty for my family. Due to the drainage which is built into the design, you cannot overwater them. The other great benefit is that when the nights get cool, you can move them into the house or garage to protect them and extend their productivity season.
Unless you are skilled at working with wood, I would not suggest building your own raised bed. I have found that trying to gather all the materials and finding the time to build it usually turns into my not doing it at all. There are many affordable products that make setup and maintenance very easy. Through the right distributor, it is usually about the same cost, if not a little cheaper. Using a Grow Bed can give you the most efficient garden you'll ever tend. It absorbs heat to warm soil early in the season, then helps retain moisture all summer long. Add a liner and you can use it on a deck. Grow beds are available in three sizes at reasonable prices at Gardener's Supply Company. You can even pay extra and get them in periwinkle.
Grow bags are so great. They greatly increase your growing potential. Gardener's Supply Company has wonderfully inexpensive Grow Bags. You can grow potatoes, peppers, herbs, salad, beans, and tomatoes. These offer a great degree of versatility if your space is limited. On your apartment deck, you could grow more than you ever dreamed possible. If cared for properly, you should be able to use these a second season.
This season, I am going to use the Potato Grow Bag. Growing potatoes successfully in the ground has its challenges. You have to dig very deep and you have to go back throughout the summer and "hill" up the dirt. These inexpensive bags make it very easy. It is such fun to watch the kids dig up the potatoes.
A very interesting option is a Grow Camp (available at Gardener's Supply Company). It is an all-in-one greenhouse, raised bed and cold frame that creates an ideal environment for plants. You can start growing earlier in spring and extend the growing season. It comes with a nylon netting to keep bugs out. It also protects plants from deer, birds, dogs, cats, wind, etc. These features make it much easier to grow your own organic food from early spring into late fall.
The downside to a Grow Camp is that its 4'x4' size might make it a tight fit on a deck, but it should work well for most people.
I like the options given at Gardener's Supply Company because of the pricing and their extensive knowledge. The link below gives you 10% off. You can also find good deals at Amazon.com. The Amazon links below offer some of my favorites.
Backyard garden and chicken consultations are $60 in the Metro Atlanta counties of Gwinnett, Fulton, DeKalb, Rockdale and Henry. We are willing to travel outside of these areas for an additional travel fee.