Urban Gardens in NYC and Los Angeles

When I was living in NYC, I kept two urban gardens. One in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn. Now that I’m out in LA, I have a balcony garden.

NYC Fire Escape Garden
I started urban gardening in the Spring of 2009 when I planted on my fire escape in New York City. Besides the 2 x 3 landing, I used the handrails.

Backyard Vegetable Garden in Brooklyn
I was also able to utilize my Grandmother’s backyard space to grow vegetables. There were about 15 self-watering container with vegetables and six herb containers that were planted.

Balcony Garden in Los Angeles
I moved to Los Angeles in April 2010 and started my balcony garden soon thereafter. It’s much more spacious than the fire escape at 13×4, but it’s east facing and gets no more than 6 hours of morning sun.

160 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Alex Sainz October 23, 2010 at 3:00 pm -

    Hey, this is Alex 😀 You are doing great! You have amazing projects and crazy ideas! Who knew you could turn a fire escape into a garden! 😀

  2. Mike Lieberman October 23, 2010 at 8:05 pm -

    Hahaha. Thanks Alex.

  3. Woodstock69_dollie November 10, 2010 at 9:52 pm -

    hiya , michelle from ireland here ! im a design student and i came across your blog while researching , im currently doing a project about creating urban gardens and areas were communities can grow fruit and veg together in urban environment , just to say i found you blog really helpful , and think what your doing is awesom !! keep it up ! 🙂 !

  4. Mike Lieberman November 11, 2010 at 3:56 am -

    Thanks Michelle. Comments like that mean a lot to me.

  5. Vicente December 22, 2010 at 2:38 am -

    Keep at it and thanks for the info! im making some self watering containers for 2011. already sourced some buckets from the chinese joint around the corner. I saw this cool plant that Im ordering, check it out. Chinese Mountain Yam…perrenial vine, hardy to zone 5! grows small edible TUBERS…yes TUBERS on the vine. seems pretty cool to be able to pick tiny potatos from a vine throughout spring summer and fall.

  6. Siskiyoumom December 27, 2010 at 9:21 pm -

    Thank you for putting your solutions up on the net.

    Found you via the forum called Survival Monkey.

    On the page called Green Patch is a link to two european teens who
    have created a project called Two Buckets.
    They are now morphing their system into using
    the cheap/free shopping bags that so many stores are selling instead of using
    disposable plastic bags.

    Keep up the good work, young man.

  7. Mike Lieberman January 3, 2011 at 2:58 pm -

    That seems pretty dope. Def keep me updated.

  8. Mike Lieberman January 3, 2011 at 2:59 pm -

    Appreciate the comment and kind words.

  9. Skip January 5, 2011 at 10:16 pm -

    Good Looking Guy and Good Information! I cannot wait until spring so I can start my own garden! Whoever your dating/married too is a lucky guy/gal!

  10. Mike Lieberman January 6, 2011 at 3:31 am -

    Thanks Skip. I’ll let my girlfriend know that you said she’s lucky. Keep me updated on your garden.

  11. Mike January 21, 2011 at 1:50 pm -

    Very nice, I love the way you are gardening…and that fire escape.:)

  12. Mike Lieberman January 21, 2011 at 2:44 pm -

    Thanks. That fire escape was lots of fun.

  13. Imogen Begins January 29, 2011 at 4:06 pm -

    You’re cool. And I’m so glad I found your site this morning!!! Thank you for being so inspiring!

  14. Mike Lieberman January 29, 2011 at 11:40 pm -

    So when you going to start growing your own food?

  15. Sapphire58 February 3, 2011 at 9:01 pm -

    Dude, your plants are almost as awesome as your website. Keep up the great work. Will continue to check back to see how your Earth is growing!!!

  16. Mike Lieberman February 3, 2011 at 11:26 pm -

    Thanks. Much appreciated.

  17. Tracy Goestenkors February 23, 2011 at 9:13 pm -

    Very inspiring! I live in LA too, just moved here at the end of 2009 and have a balcony garden so I’m checking out your self-watering container information, thx. Nice work. Nothin’ better than homegrown.

  18. Mike Lieberman February 23, 2011 at 9:30 pm -

    Gotta love the LA growing seasons too. What kind of sunlight do you have? I have like 4 hours or so.

  19. Lori February 27, 2011 at 4:55 pm -

    This is inspiring to see – initiative and creativity. So glad you’re showing people what’s possible even in small areas -anybody can do it. There is so much satisfaction in eating food that you grow yourself. I live in a city, though I have a little more space, and almost gave up, but you’ve given me some really good ideas how to utilize my space more. I believe it’s going to be more and more important in the near future. Thank you for doing this.

  20. Mike Lieberman February 27, 2011 at 5:03 pm -

    Thanks Lori. Anything is possible if you want to make it happen.

  21. minniennj March 6, 2011 at 7:51 pm -

    I just found your videos on youtube yesterday and went through all of the gardening ones plus the grand canyon ones (the trick with the hike up is to send your excess items up on the mule train leaving just food, water and emergency items). Great ideas on the self watering containers, I plan to try it but do have concerns about mosquitos…commercial self watering pots make it hard for the to access the water. I’ll probably cover the holes with something. What happened to the back yard garden? If not available maybe look into a nearby community garden?

  22. Mike Lieberman March 7, 2011 at 4:13 am -

    Nice. Glad you liked and checked out the vids. We did the Grand Canyon hardcore style 😉

    I’ve never had a mosquito problem. You can likely cover up the hole with a mesh screen of some sort. The backyard project here in LA fell through.

    The community gardens have a crazy waiting list. It’s just my balcony farm for now.

  23. Lesliewinchar March 7, 2011 at 6:33 pm -

    This is fabulous, thanks for showing us how easy it can be!! Wow you have inspired me just when I need it most.


  24. Mike Lieberman March 7, 2011 at 9:10 pm -

    Glad I could be there for ya. So when you getting started?

  25. Jakenkait28 March 7, 2011 at 10:20 pm -

    Love it! I love your pop bottle planters- I never would have thought of that. This will be the first year where I have much of a plot in the ground and I’m thrilled. Since I’m used to container and small space gardening though I’ll continue that trend…I do tomatoes in those “topsy turvy’s” and that works really well. We’re going to try potatoes in rubbermaid tubs this year too and I’m excited to document our progress.

  26. Mike Lieberman March 8, 2011 at 12:03 am -

    Cool. Keep me updated. Hope to have some land one day.

  27. Tessa March 11, 2011 at 5:53 am -

    Looks like you have some nice greens in there- yummy!

  28. Mike Lieberman March 12, 2011 at 3:36 am -

    Green is all I really got with the limited space and lack of direct sun. All good though.

  29. Misty March 30, 2011 at 4:36 pm -

    I love your ideas!I have just started growing a garden in my front yard cause I have no back yard.I also have 3 small children to share the space with and I love the idea of the hanging soda bottles.I can have my garden and the kids keep their play area as well.Just found your site today and look forward to all your new ideas to come…..

  30. Mike Lieberman March 30, 2011 at 5:54 pm -

    Hahha. Luckily you have such nice children that will share the space with you. Glad that we could connect.

  31. @careersnet March 31, 2011 at 5:24 pm -

    Just reading a book about growing winter vegetables in Victoria BC and it says that because the sun is much lower in the winter you can grow vegetables under on overhang. It also points out that vegetables in the winter are much more expensive to buy and therefore your winter gardening is very beneficial for all sorts of reasons. Good luck with your garden.

  32. Mike Lieberman March 31, 2011 at 7:38 pm -

    That definitely makes all kids of sense.

  33. Mike Lieberman March 31, 2011 at 7:38 pm -

    That definitely makes all kids of sense.

  34. Natasha Tresham April 4, 2011 at 1:44 am -

    I’m excited to see you have an east facing balcony. We have the same and I was a little frustrated with the results last year, since I am used to gardening with much more sun. Want to try again, but not sure about the best way to make it work well. I’ll be paying close attention to see what works for you! Thanks.

  35. Mike Lieberman April 4, 2011 at 3:11 am -

    The greens and letttuces are doing great.

  36. Linda April 15, 2011 at 9:55 am -

    We’ve made self watering containers from buckets & storage bins and both work great. We have plenty of room, but living in FLA, out soil is awful, so containers have been the answer to years of soil improvement. I’m even using garden soil bags this year and will recycle the dirt. I’m definitly going to make some hanging containers from juice bottles – great idea.

  37. Mike Lieberman April 15, 2011 at 11:28 pm -

    Nice. Glad that you are finding the info useful. Keep me updated on your progress.

  38. Mike Lieberman April 15, 2011 at 11:28 pm -

    Nice. Glad that you are finding the info useful. Keep me updated on your progress.

  39. Jenny Lynne April 18, 2011 at 4:19 am -

    –I ran across these the other day: Green Dzigns Greenbo Railing Planter:

    This is just one type, there are many more. They’re pricey- but I’m sure people could jerry rig something similar to it up.

    –Planter railing brackets can be good too. (If you’re on balcony you can be more assured they are not going to fall off.) You can find these for a decent price and in all different shapes and sizes.

  40. Mike Lieberman April 18, 2011 at 4:29 am -

    Thanks for the info. Those are certainly options as well.

  41. Plenty541 May 15, 2011 at 6:52 pm -

    I love your style mike. Im inspired to try the soda bottle rigs.  Im not a soda drinker so I  will have to scavenge for some empty bottles. I live in LA ad am working on transforming my balcony into more of a veggie garden. I have mainly suculents, a few herbs and a tomato plant. Im looking into hanging some plants. Is it best to start with seeds or a starter plant?

  42. Mike Lieberman May 15, 2011 at 10:48 pm -

    Nice Genevieve. There really is no best way to start. Though some plants do work better as a starter plant. If you are going to do the hanging plants, using the starters might be best. I’ve had success with mint, basil, oregano and tarragon. 

    Keep me updated. 

  43. Dan May 18, 2011 at 3:24 pm -

    Good stuff. I’m kicking myself right now because I hastily chose an apartment in LA with no balcony space, and in the summer time the roof overhang overshadows my windows so I only get indirect sunlight. (Back in January when I decided to move in, the sun was lower, so I wrongly assumed that it would be a good place to grow stuff.)

    I get tripped up on the wide array of requirements – nutrients, water, sunlight, temperature, soil, hydro, yields, etc.  It’d be cool to find a site that tries to educate about gardening with respect to all the various options and what a person could expect given certain scenarios, or better yet – what a person’s options are in a given scenario (given the lighting situation, temperatures, etc.).

    I suspect personal gardens will come back when food prices are more drastically affected. With that, I could only hope lawmakers update or override laws regarding food production on residential property (if neighborhoods could have chickens, for instance, imagine the overall savings…). Why people favor grass over edible plant gardens really confuses me.

  44. Mike Lieberman May 18, 2011 at 4:42 pm -

    I hear ya man. I’m sure there are sites that have that specific info. I don’t know of any off-hand, but they have to exist. You looking to grow indoors under growlights or anything like that? 

  45. Kristin May 22, 2011 at 1:25 am -

     You have inspired me! After a Cancer Dx in 2008 I’ve been really trying to live as pure of a life as possible (I’ve been side tracked a few times along the way). I live in MN but my house is covered in shade, with only morning sun on the one side of the house.   I can’t do an in ground garden and I want to try some pots. I’ve never gardened before so I’m wondering if you can recommend A) some good suggestions for first timers like myself with pots and B) a good organic spray or solution to ward off deer, rabbits, etc.


  46. Mike Lieberman May 22, 2011 at 3:54 am -

     Kristin – Good for you for taking your health back into your own hands. For your first time, I’d recommend starting small and simple something like lettuces or some kind of greens. They are relatively simple and you know what to do them with them. Plus we can all eat more greens. As for an organic spray or solution to ward off deer or rabbits….not sure on that one as I haven’t had problems with them in LA or NYC 😉 I’ll ask some heads and see what they say.

    Also the biggest thing is to not get discouraged if things don’t work out perfectly and there are some slip-ups. It’s gonna happen. Embrace em and enjoy the journey.

    Keep me updated.

  47. Maurice Turner Jr. May 29, 2011 at 5:28 pm -

    Amazing, I didn’t know you could grow so much food in such a small place without land… I am inspired to do more research on this…

  48. Mike Lieberman May 31, 2011 at 7:40 am -

    Anything is possible. This site is all the research you need bro.

  49. iheartsalt June 1, 2011 at 1:55 pm -

    My mother swears this keeps the deer off of her hostas, although I would think you would have to wash your edibles pretty well. It’s all natural, but yucky…and well, yucky is the goal for wildlife…

    2 raw eggs
    6 cloves garlic
    1/4 cup hot sauce
    quart of water
    spray bottle
    Blend everything in a blender until smooth. Strain through cheesecloth or fine mesh sieve.
    Add to spray bottle.
    Reapply after heavy rains.

    Good Luck!!

  50. Mike Lieberman June 1, 2011 at 8:26 pm -

    Thanks for the recipe. I’ll make it for dinner tonight 😉

  51. Constancefoster30 June 2, 2011 at 2:08 am -

    you are so cute to me  but to your? no long as there is space to move

  52. Mike Lieberman June 2, 2011 at 2:47 am -

    What question is that?

  53. Brolowe June 4, 2011 at 9:41 pm -

    Hey Mike,
    Cool site. I have read about how plastics can seep chemicals when heated, which is why they recommend BPA free plastic water bottles. You may have answered this question before, but are you concerned about chemicals entering your planets due to the plastic containers? It seems that chemicals could enter the soil or the water you use as the plastic heats up in the sun.

  54. Taniasng June 5, 2011 at 5:40 pm -

    Hi Mike,
    Thanks for your detailed and passionate site. I live in Singapore where 90% live in high rice apartments. We have shared corridor spaces with our neighbours, a tropical asian climate all year, and my apartment is a north-south facing which means we get little direct sun. Any special tips for me? Thank you so much

  55. Mike Lieberman June 6, 2011 at 3:27 am -

    Good question. I’ve answered it before https://www.urbanorganicgardener.com/2010/08/is-growing-food-in-a-plastic-container-safe/

    But the short is that the number 5 containers aren’t known to leech chemicals into soil and water. Plus what are the other affordable options?!?! Gotta balance so many things.

  56. Mike Lieberman June 6, 2011 at 3:27 am -

    They special tip for you is to get started. Plant something and see what works.

    Keep me updated.

  57. Patrice June 7, 2011 at 1:20 pm -

    After several years of having a garden in my small yard I decided last year to do some container gardening and give the garden space to my son.  This year I have fifteen pots and would like to plant some zucchini.  However, in the past I have only been successful growing zucchini in a traditional garden.  Have you had success growing zucchini in containers? 


  58. Mike Lieberman June 7, 2011 at 2:05 pm -

    I have never attempted to grow zucchini in containers, but am pretty sure that you can. Keep me updated.

  59. Sharon June 16, 2011 at 1:19 am -

    hey mike – have you done beets in containers?? if so, how’d they work out?

  60. Mike Lieberman June 16, 2011 at 1:42 am -

    I have not done beets, but did carrots once. You can certainly grow them in containers. To get a decent amount, I’d recommend a container that’s larger than the 5-gallon ones that I’ve been using.

  61. Cfacinelli June 18, 2011 at 10:22 pm -

    hanging bars of soap helps keep deer away, and marigolds around the garden can help deter rabbits.

  62. Mike Lieberman June 20, 2011 at 1:51 am -

    Word. Glad you have found them useful.

  63. Mike Lieberman June 20, 2011 at 1:51 am -

    Word. Glad you have found them useful.

  64. Carey June 22, 2011 at 12:27 am -

    Hi Mike, Carey from Cali.  I too organic garden, my whole front yard.  Was bermuda, now is as pictures show.  Re: containers other than plastic, my local hydroponic/organic grow company here in Fresno, California, Roots Grow Supply, has these really cool heavy duty felt pots.  I have some tarragon growing in one and its doing great.  The theory is that they breathe better, have natural root control so your plants don’t go berzerk and take over the whole town, and are very cheap!  They are biodegradable and come in many sizes from very small to humongous, tree sized ones.  So, check out the net, they are out there.  Totally reusable and recyclable also.   So, that’s my tidbit.  I only grow herbs in pots but have heard of some peeps who do the zucchini in pots,  say it works great.  That’s all I got, latr 🙂

  65. Mike Lieberman June 22, 2011 at 4:12 am -

    Dope. Thanks for the recommendation.

  66. Reiny Rizzi June 23, 2011 at 10:11 am -

    I grow zucchini sqash and melons every year in containers it works very well if you use big containers

  67. Patrice June 23, 2011 at 11:56 am -

    What size containers do you consider big?  This year, I am trying to grow two plants I grew from seed in a whiskey barrel.  They are small plants right now.

  68. Mike Lieberman June 23, 2011 at 1:31 pm -

    Nice. You should take some pics of it.

  69. Reiny June 24, 2011 at 10:53 am -

    I use containers size 14 – 16 inch for one plant (I hope I did the calculation right, something between 40 cm).
    I do gardening with elder People in a senior home, we have 2 big raised beds and the rest we grow in containers

  70. Brandi Adams July 15, 2011 at 2:58 am -

    i have a north facing balcony in oregon.  i barely get any sun…except maybe a couple of hours in the evening.  i’m on the lookout for more veggies to put out there.  it’s a decent size but almost fully shaded.

  71. Mike Lieberman July 15, 2011 at 1:52 pm -

    It looks like you are growing a child!?! 🙂

    Grow some greens, lettuces, kales, oregano, parsley. Those are some decent options to start with.

  72. CT_Deck_Farmer July 17, 2011 at 10:42 pm -

    Dude, definetly trying the 5-gallon self watering set up.  Recent divorce moved me from my house with a 11×22 raised bed garden to an apartment.  The apartment has a good sized deck and mad sunlight.  Started with a 32″x32″ self-watering set up I bought at Home Depot and it works pretty good, although I think I overplanted it!  Got grean beans, tomatoes, jalapenos and bell peppers growing, and it’s been pretty productive so far.  Making some self watering containers now (1 out of 2 window boxes and some more out of buckets) to add sugar snap peas, turnips, and mustard greens.  Hopefully these grow well here too.  Have two smaller pots that I’m starting basil and chives in for some seasoning for all those veggies!

    Great web-site bro, and you’re doing a good thing here.  If people could only understand how much better for them and the environment local produce is (especially as local as their back-yard/patio!!). 

    Do you do any canning/preserving to keep your veggies through the winter?  May not be an issue in LA?

  73. Sharon July 18, 2011 at 12:08 am -

    Thanks for the reply – we actually did 1 container of beets, very successfully! We got ~4 good size beets, with ~4 or 5 smaller ones. I tried to post a pic, but its 3.5 MB and I guess I can only post a 2 MB pic… if you’re interested in seeing, let me know and I’ll send you a link to my FB page..I posted pics of our containers on there 🙂

  74. Mike Lieberman July 18, 2011 at 1:30 am -

    Sorry to hear bro, but glad that you are making the most of it.

    I have never grown enough to do canning and preserving, but really want to start to.

  75. Heather Skerl Spegal July 20, 2011 at 5:42 pm -

    Your pint size garden is amazing! Kudos!

    And if you are wanting
    to get your feet wet and start canning. Take advantage of farmers markets and
    gleaning. Its a great way to have fresh local produce all year long.

  76. Mike Lieberman July 20, 2011 at 6:55 pm -

    Thanks for the tip.

  77. Lxsroberts August 1, 2011 at 11:33 pm -

    I run across your site trying to find more about my cucumbers turning yellow, and I am so happy to find you! It’s great that you are inspiring and helping others!

  78. Mike Lieberman August 4, 2011 at 12:05 am -

    Glad we could connect.

  79. Tanya @ Lovely Greens August 10, 2011 at 2:23 pm -

    Wow! Great job with making the best of your space 🙂

  80. Mike Lieberman August 10, 2011 at 5:04 pm -

    Thanks. Doing my best.

  81. Sarah Oneal August 18, 2011 at 4:21 pm -

    Last year I saw my neighbor grow the most beautiful
    cauliflower in a flower pot. Just an idea.

  82. Mike Lieberman August 18, 2011 at 5:27 pm -

    I attempted cauliflower once…and failed.

  83. Chuckie August 28, 2011 at 6:46 pm -

    Gardens are unlimited

  84. Baerbel Roemer September 4, 2011 at 3:27 pm -

    Hello Mike!
    Just wanted to say that I LOVE this website! I started a littel garden with just tomatos and strawberries on my balcony this year. Now I was searching the internet for some inspiration for next summer. I live in Germany and over here gardening stuff is mostly on sale right now, since the “garden season” is almost over. So of course I wanted to take advantage of that. I couldn’t find any website in German that is even nearly as good as yours!!!! I will definitly try your selfwatering containers!  Thanks for making this website!!!!!

  85. Mike Lieberman September 7, 2011 at 12:40 am -

    That’s what’s up! Glad that we have connected. Keep me updated on what you find and how things go for you.

  86. Fasaha Traylor September 20, 2011 at 3:10 pm -

    This is a great resource.  I’m not growing food in my container, just my favorite houseplant–a 20-year old ficus tree that needs a better watering system than just splashing the water on top.  Your videos are great, and I’m heading out now to get my supplies.

    BTW, since my planter is quite large (23″ d), I’m using three cuts of pvc pipe, 4 inches tall,  instead of a deli container.  The weight of the dirt and plant would be too much for the deli container.  I’m going to drill three holes in my planting container for the pvc, and drill 1/4 inch holes in the pvc.  In effect, I’ll have 3 wicking baskets.  Any thoughts?

  87. suvarna September 24, 2011 at 12:55 pm -

    put more photos of apartment gardens 

  88. Mike Lieberman September 27, 2011 at 5:52 pm -

    See if it works. Keep me updated. Good stuff.

  89. Mike Lieberman September 27, 2011 at 5:52 pm -

    Will do.

  90. Rtext2 October 3, 2011 at 5:58 pm -

    Hey, hey, Mike:

    Great inspiring and informative site.  With food prices going up, quality going down, and packaging getting smaller, too, but charging us more, I finally got the garden bug.  

    This is my first year of having a great garden on the side of my house that had been just dirt and a bother keeping weeds under control for 20 years.

    I’d been craving good-quality fresh-tasting yellow corn every summer for the past 2 or 3 years, but….  NO ONE SELLS EARS OF YELLOW CORN ANYMORE!!  Grrrrr.  🙂 

     Frozen just don’t get it, so this past spring I dug up this side yard space I have and worked in all kinds of organic matter and soil enrichments and planted yellow corn as well as green beans, tomatoes, strawberries and bell peppers and 1 pumpkin. 

    The harvest was awesome this past summer  and the flavor was unmatched any anything in the stores.  The 1 pumpkin won’t be ready for Halloween, but it will be for Thanksgiving for pumpkin pie, and that will be a first for me, too. 

     Now I’m  turned on about real organically-grown crops at home and  ready to experience doing fall and winter crops. 🙂

    Keep the inspiration and information going, man. 

  91. Mike Lieberman October 3, 2011 at 8:24 pm -

    Nice. That’s what’s up!

  92. Mike Lieberman October 19, 2011 at 4:33 pm -

    Nice. That’s what’s up! Good luck and keep me updated!

  93. Gluten Free Chickadee November 1, 2011 at 7:22 pm -

    Hi Mike!
    You are so inspiring!  I have a large rooftop patio and was discussing with my boyfriend the other day that I would like to grow produce but was not sure how to do it. Days later I saw your posts via Food Renegade.  I plan to go tot he hardware store this weekend and start the process.  I’m very excited. 

  94. Mike Lieberman November 2, 2011 at 8:15 am -

    That’s what’s up! Keep me updated on how it goes.

  95. antigonum cajan November 9, 2011 at 2:48 am -

    It will be hard to see my own picture in my gardens…my own or the guerrilla activity. The coolest is the one with typical inner city youth hip hop pose. Good luck in your activities…

  96. Mike Lieberman November 9, 2011 at 8:23 am -


  97. deb November 27, 2011 at 12:46 am -

    A balcony facing east…I have a courtyard facing east, and it’s not much larger than your balcony. We tried vegetables and got exactly one (1) small tomato.  But I think now I’ll try again. Bit of a brown thumb…but here goes!

  98. Mike Lieberman November 27, 2011 at 11:17 am -

    Give it another shot. Tomatoes won’t do well with that limited sun. Start with some greens – kales, lettuces, spinaches, chard…they will do much better. Keep me updated.

  99. Jane December 3, 2011 at 8:38 pm -

    Deb, you need more sun for tomatoes.  Try salad things.  Lettuces and greens will do well, maybe even all summer into the fall..plant them every 2 weeks.

  100. Jane December 3, 2011 at 8:43 pm -

    Mike, Love your site.  I Love to read about people of all ages, from all over, involved in growing things..no matter how much space there is… couldn’t  live without growing something myself….great site..
    Still in NY on the Island…

  101. The Ark Institute December 5, 2011 at 6:15 am -

    It’s really amazing what can be grown on a small fire escape, balcony, window sill, or rooftop, especially if you know what is best to grow (and more sunlight sure does help!) and you just keep trying.
    Thanks for helping to spread the good word and for encouraging people to get growing. It doesn’t matter how small the start is, as long as you just start! 

  102. Mike Lieberman December 5, 2011 at 8:40 am -

    Thanks Jane. Glad to connect.

  103. Mike Lieberman December 5, 2011 at 8:40 am -

    Starting is definitely key!

  104. Lcatherines December 18, 2011 at 7:32 pm -

    I love the book farm city! Ur cute mike. u remind me of tom morello. Best to u. Lisa

  105. Mike Lieberman December 19, 2011 at 7:51 am -

    Hahhaa. Tom Morello. Never got that one before…

  106. Tila December 19, 2011 at 11:09 pm -

    Hi Mike! You amaze me! Why? I can’t imagine myself gardening the way you do… but you’re absolutely doing great! Your way is very efficient… or so I think… because my garden is four (4) hectares but you seem to grow more herbs than I…
    Am really glad to know there are amazing gardeners as you! Good luck to your endeavors and may your tribe increase!

  107. Mike Lieberman December 20, 2011 at 3:02 pm -

    Thanks Tila. I am just doing my best. One day I hope to have the space that you do!

  108. Ann Noire December 24, 2011 at 5:05 am -

    2012 is my urban gardening year too, I’m starting out with container gardening, working my way up to raised beds to permaculture in the long run! Thanks for being a connector for my beginning journey!

  109. Mike Lieberman December 24, 2011 at 2:18 pm -

    That’s what’s up! Keep me updated.

  110. Rnye January 8, 2012 at 5:09 pm -

    Nice web site MIke.  I like the way you show all types of blacony gardens.  I call it tote gardening at my house same principle 🙂

  111. Mike Lieberman January 8, 2012 at 6:10 pm -


  112. Scott Todd January 9, 2012 at 1:02 am -

    Keep up the great work! Your making a difference to many of us, and it shows that you truly enjoy what you do.  I’m a self taught rose master, and now you have me talked into growing fresh veggies with my soil.  Fortunately I have more space than you do, but still same principles you teach others I’m applying to my own needs. How wonderful would it be to replace canned veggies at my local food banks with fresh organic ones?  Keep on being the way you are brother!

  113. Mike Lieberman January 9, 2012 at 7:56 am -

    Thanks Scott. Glad to connect and keep doin what you do!

  114. Anonymous January 11, 2012 at 8:43 am -

    Thanks for the web site, your knowledge, help, tips and so much more!

  115. Mike Lieberman January 11, 2012 at 9:54 am -

    Thanks. Appreciate it.

  116. Robin January 22, 2012 at 7:11 pm -

    Hi Mike, you are an inspiration!  

    Years ago I grew container vegetables on the balconies and patios of various apartments in the CA Bay Area, so your endeavors bring back fond memories.  I live on a small acreage in the PNW now, but still do a lot of container gardening because it works so well.  

    Have you tried growing potatoes in sacks?  I just threw a bunch of sprouting organic red, Yukon Gold, and regular ol’ Irish spuds into empty feed bags filled with compost and hay.  As the foliage appears you’re supposed to keep piling more hay, straw, compost, or soil on top (the “hilling” technique) so the potatoes don’t see light and develop toxic green skins.  I’m excited to see if it works!

    Wishing you continued success in your projects!

  117. Mike Lieberman January 23, 2012 at 7:57 am -

    Glad to connect Robin. I have never done the potato in sacks idea, but have heard of it before. Will have to give it a shot one time.

  118. Mari February 19, 2012 at 10:24 am -

    Your garden looks awesome!!!! Kudos to you!!!! Do you drill holes in the buckets for drainage.

  119. Mike Lieberman February 19, 2012 at 11:15 am -

    Appreciate it. You can find out more about the containers here hhttps://www.urbanorganicgardener.com/2010/06/how-to-make-self-watering-container/

  120. Melissa March 5, 2012 at 7:21 am -

    Great site. Awesome info.;))) question for you mike…I live on long island, ny and was thinking of moving to LA. Since you have lived here in the city and now live in LA, I would love to know your thoughts about the pros/cons of both and how you are liking LA. Was it hard to transition? Thanks so much.;)

  121. Mike Lieberman March 5, 2012 at 8:38 am -

    The pros of one are the cons of another. LA fits my lifestyle more, but love the culture and personality of NYC.

    I can see how east coasters can get lost here in LA and not like. I’m liking it though.

  122. Dixied35 March 22, 2012 at 5:56 am -

    Aha!  I followed the instructions on a ‘professional’ gardening site and all it said was to keep piling on hay!  No wonder all my potato plants turned to mush!  I’m going to keep trying because, after all, we’re Irish! Thanks for your input – maybe this year I’ll get potatoes instead of yucky mush!
    ((((hugs))))) ♥

  123. Guest April 3, 2012 at 12:45 pm -

    Just came across your site, we live in a villa and have a good 7×7 space that would love to turn into a veg. garden, hence why I’m here! Can’t wait to read up all those juicy tips 😉

  124. Mike Lieberman April 3, 2012 at 10:08 pm -

    That’s what’s up!

  125. Casey April 9, 2012 at 2:04 pm -

    awesome! looking into balcony veggie growing this year 😉 first time!

  126. Mike Lieberman April 9, 2012 at 5:56 pm -

    Get it!

  127. Ilse Singer April 28, 2012 at 10:51 am -

    Where can I get good organic soil in NYC??

  128. Mike Lieberman April 30, 2012 at 5:39 am -

    From the Lower East Side Ecology Center at the Union Square Farmer’s Market.

  129. Amiekusak May 13, 2012 at 9:03 am -

    I think I’m a little bit in love with you.  Or your gardens, I’m not sure which. 

  130. Knowsey May 13, 2012 at 9:26 pm -

    Ok, this concept is super new to me. I live in the suburbs, but have a crappy backyard with mostly shade. It is decent sized, but is crowded with trees. Evergreen trees.I am thinking mushrooms and garlic

    I thought about using bins to grow potatoes, carrots and beets.
    Window boxes for herbs outside my windows and pop bottle gardens for tomatoes, peppers and broccoli.
    Any suggestions???

  131. Mike Lieberman May 14, 2012 at 6:35 am -

    Nice. Good for you for taking action and getting started. My suggestion would be to start small and simple to start. Then build from that.

  132. Casandra Clark May 19, 2012 at 8:42 am -

    Do you have a YouTube channel??  I can’t seem to find one, though I know you have made videos.

  133. Mike Lieberman May 20, 2012 at 1:06 pm -

    yes. the user name is CanarsieBK

  134. Reallyphatchow June 3, 2012 at 12:28 pm -

    Way to go! I’m way inspired.

  135. Mike Lieberman June 3, 2012 at 6:55 pm -

    That’s what’s up!

  136. A Greenearth June 13, 2012 at 4:15 pm -

    Have enjoyed discovering your special blog.

  137. Sena Danijel June 14, 2012 at 8:13 am -

    I have a similar garden in Montreal. We have a small front yard that only gets sun for about 3-4 hours a day, but all the vegetables (and one strawberry plant) are very happy. I love it. Thumbs up for you!

  138. Mike Lieberman June 14, 2012 at 8:18 pm -

    Good job to you!

  139. Pilar Howell July 4, 2012 at 11:36 am -

    Damn, you’recute…just sayin…

  140. 3georgeharris July 11, 2012 at 7:18 am -

    After 2 years of trying to keep the deer, turkey and other critters from eating my plants, I went to containers on my driveway. None have been eaten! I also took the kids small plastic pool and turned it into a melon patch. i have red and yellow watermelons planted, cantaloupe and musky melon growing!!!

  141. Kelly Lloyd July 15, 2012 at 6:09 am -

    “I’m super inspired as well!! I’m gonna do this!” 

  142. Crazydutchgirl August 1, 2012 at 6:53 pm -

    Even though I got a large garden and don’t have to resort to balcony, fire escape and container gardening, I find your blog and website very helpful. So, thank you from the bottom of my salad plate.

  143. Olga August 6, 2012 at 8:41 pm -

    great job and thumbs up! here in Russia (where i live) most of the families grow their own vegies and eat organic. i have a pretty big garden of my own and i know how much effort it takes to work on earth in such harsh climate as ours. keep up the good work and inspire americans to live a healthy life!

  144. GGN October 13, 2012 at 5:14 am -

    Dude ur rocking it bro… I emailed ya for help, hit me back please,

  145. Antonia February 6, 2013 at 12:04 pm -

    I am building a 24×12 green house
    the locations do not have lot of sun because of to many tree
    we like to install
    1-fans on the walls
    2-light grow
    can you help me ?
    there are so many out there that i do not know what is best

    thank you

  146. sks February 22, 2013 at 11:01 pm -

    Hi Mike. Keep posting. You inspire me do something like yours.
    SK from India

  147. Kevin N. April 15, 2013 at 8:16 am -

    This is awesome! I really want to start my own organic garden in my NYC apartment. Only downside, I have NE facing windows and no fire escape. However I have massive ledges on the inside of my windows, one of which is about 1.5’x7′ and gets a decent amount of morning sun but basically none after noon. I am new to your site, do you have any recommendations to help someone get started? I was able to grow a couple herbs there last year and they did quite well.

  148. gratatt October 24, 2013 at 8:21 am -

    Surprised you aren’t doing more vertical gardening, or are you not allowed?

  149. Daisy_CK November 17, 2013 at 3:38 pm -

    I’d love to see you use vertical gardening. There are a few great systems for your situation. Lets see some new projects. Thank You!

  150. Lilicrashes January 17, 2014 at 11:49 am -

    I am in Brooklyn and about to move away. I have a ton of 5 gallon pots and other things if you are interested in getting them. Please let me know I will be out in a month or so.

  151. suanne January 20, 2015 at 4:37 pm -

    You are gorgeous and so are your gardens!

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