Have dreams of growing your own basil but can’t secure a spot in the coveted Cleveland Park community garden? We’ve been there. But life in a Connecticut Ave high-rise doesn’t mean that you’re stuck purchasing all of your produce at Brookville Market. We thought we’d share our secrets for creating your own personal urban farm in Cleveland Park. All you need is a small balcony or a window. While this process takes patience, we’ve found it’s completely worth it when you can escape the DC heat with mojito made with mint from your own urban garden!
The hardest decision is choosing which crops to plant. If you’re planning to keep your garden in your windowsill, herbs probably work the best. But if your mini-farm will eventually end up on a balcony or other outdoor space you have a lot of vegetable options as well. This guide has a fantastic chart to guide you toward vegetables and herbs that grow well in containers. Most of the seed varieties can be purchased on Amazon.
Then we like to start with a mini-greenhouse to sprout our seeds. (This windowsill seed starter kit works well for small spaces.) The seed starter greenhouses come with all of the supplies to easily germinate your seeds, and in 4 to 8 weeks your seedlings will be ready to plant in a larger container.
If sprouting your own seeds isn’t your thing–though we swear it’s easier than it sounds–you can also buy container plants at a couple local stores, though you may be more limited in the variety of plants available. Johnson’s Florists has had a great selection in the past, and they’re just south of Tenleytown on the Red Line. American Plant on River Road also has a wide variety of vegetables in the summertime, though you’ll have to drive to get there from Cleveland Park. (Maybe a good opportunity to try out the new Hertz on Demand cars?) We’ve also had good luck with the herbs found in the produce section of the Tenleytown Whole Foods.
Any readers have good experiences with urban gardening? Or any great garden stores in the city that we’ve missed? We’d love to hear about your own urban container garden in the comments!