Urban gardening in your small yard, big yard, balcony?  This is a project that can be done easily and with little to no big effort on your part.  First, go to the garden center in your area and buy a few bags of potting soil.  I prefer Miracle Grow for vegetables and generic soil for flowers.  Next select the vegetables you want to grow, for your first foray into this type of project, buy something that doesn’t need to be staked.  Low growing vegetables like zucchini, melons, herbs, lettuce, or bush style vegetables like peppers are best.  Take a knife or sharp gardening shears and puncture the bag in three or four places on the sides so that the bag has adequate drainage.  Then decide how you want to grow your vegetables – most of the time if they are low growing you want to place them toward the corners of the bag.  Cut a crosswise section in the bag for the first vegetable and unpot it, slide it into the hole you made with the scissors and do that across the bag as you desire.  Tip, you might have to remove some of the soil to get the root of the plant inside the bag but you will use that soil to pack in the veggies after you are done if you feel any space.  Set the bag where you want it to be for the next few months and water it by using a very low pressure water hose or even a watering can.  These don’t need to be too saturated because the drainage holes are enough to keep the roots from getting water logged but enough to keep the water inside for longer.

For flowers – it is virtually the same thing, but they should be planted closer together so that the bag design makes the end result look like a flower carpet.  It is one of the most beautiful things once the flowers have filled in because you don’t see the bag.  It just goes away and all you see are beautiful mounds of colorful flowers.  Go crazy and buy only one color and fill that bag up with as many plants as you can.   If you want to give one of these as a gift, purchase a plastic tray from the .99 cent store and use it as the base to hold the bag flat, put a ribbon around the top and tie it so that the flowers look like a gift.  It is really sweet and so thoughtful – and the best part – not that expensive.  The two bags of soil, flowers, vegetables and tray cost $23.00.  The flower one was the lease expensive, as the bag of soil was only $3.50.  If you shop around for the best flower sale, you might be under $10.00 for the whole thing!

Enjoy your beautiful bounty of vegetables and flowers this year with almost no waste and little care and maintenance.  Next year, if you want to go crazy, try one cherry tomato plant per bag, but you have to make sure to get a sturdy tomato cage or stake that you can tie up to something vertical.  Tomatoes love this but that also means they get REALLY big and can topple over a small cage or stake that isn’t set into the ground.  No one wants a leaning tower of cherry tomatoes that takes over the whole space!  Well….if they taste good…maybe, but you can prevent this with a little twine and a good vertical space!  My favorite spaghetti sauce is a few handfuls of cherry tomatoes, some onion, garlic, carrot, celery, oregano, olive oil and let it cook for about 30 minutes.  Smash it up, add some salt and pepper, and you have a very tasty sauce that you grew yourself in a bag!  Nothing beats a freshly picked cherry tomato – my true love!