Growing your own food is no longer just for homesteaders. Even people living in small apartments can grow a lot of their own fruits and vegetables if they have a balcony, patio or several windowsills with good sun exposure. Growing your own food is rewarding as it gets you in tune with nature and the seasons, while also easing the strain on your pocketbook by reducing your grocery bill. Plus, there is nothing quite like eating a salad chock full of fruits and vegetables you grew yourself.
Determine the space you have to dedicate to growing your own food. Small spaces include patios, balconies or even a small yard. Note if the area is sunny, in partial shade or full shade, as this will determine what kind of food you will be able to grow viably in the space.
Design a plan for the garden according to the fruits and vegetables you are growing. Map out areas of sun, partial shade and full shade, since that will determine what plants can go in those areas. Make the most of your space by creating beneficial pairings, such as placing taller plants requiring full sun next to shorter plants requiring light shade (the taller plant will provide the shade). It is important to note that some plants do not grow well together, while others are mutually beneficial. For example, competing strong fragrances can be problematic, so planting strawberries and garlic next to each other may not be a good idea. However, growing beans and corn next to each other is an excellent pairing since the corn provides beans a stalk to climb and the bean harvest leaves nitrogen in the soil to fertilize the corn.
Water your plants regularly, whenever the top inch of the soil is dry to the touch. Fertilize with the irrigation once a month or so with organic food grade fertilizer.