We tried bringing them inside when we got our first frost, but then discovered they were covered in aphids. Fail.We tried bringing them inside when we got our first frost, but then discovered they were covered in aphids. Fail.
Growing despite their terrible growing conditionsGrowing despite their terrible growing conditions
Patio tomatoes growing in totes on our stairsPatio tomatoes growing in totes on our stairs
  • We tried bringing them inside when we got our first frost, but then discovered they were covered in aphids. Fail.
  • Growing despite their terrible growing conditions
  • Patio tomatoes growing in totes on our stairs

I was just looking through some old photos and stumbled across these winners.

This is summer 2008, Charlie and I had been married for about 6 months and were living in his college apartment. I was starting to get interested in container gardening, so I bought some tomato and pepper plants from Lowe’s, a few bags of soil and planted them in some plastic totes Charlie had lying around.

The plants had only about 6 inches of soil and no drainage, so needless to say, they didn’t thrive. They were also attacked by aphids which I tried to kill with dish soap, but just ended up damaging the plants more.

A friend at church suggested using Sevin and sent me home with some in a yogurt container. Being a newbie gardener and not knowing what Sevin was, I felt like I should listen to the sage advice of the more experienced. I looked up Sevin online to figure out what I was supposed to do with it, and was horrified by the warning labels. I did use some of it on the plants (while wearing long sleeves, pants and covering my nose and mouth), but afterwards decided that if I had to be that concerned about my health while using this product, I probably shouldn’t be putting it on my food.

And that’s where it all started. I think we got about 3 patio tomatoes and 2 or 3 peppers out of the whole bunch – definitely not more than a pound or two at the most. And here we are, two years later, making a go at growing a substantial amount of our food.

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