Today Brooklyn Based has some tips on growing the perfect garden...on your fire escape. The site eases cases of outdoor space envy by saying, "If you’ve got window sills, a fire escape or a stoop, you’re two months away from homegrown tomatoes and morning glory vines." One commenter quickly sounded his safety whistle with warnings of such an urban escape being illegal—but it's certainly been done before. In fact, earlier this month SustainBlog had a list of vegetables one could grow on their fire escape.

A call to 311 didn't clarify much, they said they didn't have any information on whether or not having plants on a fire escape is illegal or legal, though the operator did say it "sounds like a fire hazard." In the past, in response to reading about a lush garden on a city fire escape, one FDNY battalion chief wrote in to the NY Times saying, "The problem is that a firefighter may someday have to contend with this jungle to save a life and it is illegal to block fire escapes with plants, or any other material."

But let's say you don't put safety first, or simply want to grow some greens out of a perfectly legal window box, let's talk about the real problem here: pigeons and squirrels. Sure the tomatoes growing outside of your abode may look lovely, but in all likelihood they'll look delicious to these urban animals as well. We asked the Brooklyn Botanic Garden if they had any tips to keeping critters away, and they told us to just add blood! (Yes, gardening just got creepy.) Here was their full recommendation: "For windowboxers, GreenBridge recommends using an organic nitrogen fertilizer containing dried blood, which is readily available in garden centers. Humans can’t smell it, but rodents can and it turns them away. Plus it’s a great soil amendment that enhances the soil in your box with nitrogen and other rich organic matter! And for windowboxers who planted their seeds in the fall and are waiting on things to sprout, a small bit of chicken wire is a good protector in the winter months."