If you are living in a city in an apartment, and long to garden, you may feel frustrated that you can’t do it. You dream of large fields on your own property, skim gardening magazines for fuel for your dream and you might even lug yourself to a community garden plot that you don’t tend as much as you would like because it’s inconvenient and does allow you to feel satisfied watching it grow every day.
Take heart, green thumb. You can grow many things in apartments and even in the smallest spaces, it just requires a little bit of finesse.
Urban Gardening Tips for the Apartment Gardener
First, you will have to see what you have to work with and what the regulations are where you rent. If you are on private property, you may have a little more wiggle room. Ask your landlord if there are regulations or guidelines they would like you to stick with. You may be surprised that you are given the OK to go ahead.
If you only have an indoor space or a small balcony, you can still do a fair amount of gardening. A sunny window sill is all you need for an herb garden and many plants do well in containers with only minimal sunlight. Some of these vegetables are lettuce, spinach and kale. These plants only need 3-4 hours a day of direct sunlight to thrive.
Get creative with your space. You don’t need to run out and spend a lot of supplies for a small balcony garden; you just need to use your space wisely. Don’t put pots on rails as wind can easily knock them off. Instead, get a plant stand that tapers like stairs to use your space most effectively. You can usually find something like this at yard sales or second hand stores.
Use your apartment’s structure to your advantage. Balconies are great for vining plants like beans because they provide a natural way for the plant to latch on and be supported. Encourage your viney plants to grow that direction by gently attaching them as they start to vine.
Move your plants if you need to. As an apartment gardener, you have the advantage of being able to move your plants out of the cold, into more sunlight if needed and out of hail storms that hit.
Use thrift store or free finds to save space. You can garden in mason jars, pallets and many other throw always by just getting a little creative. Search around on Pinterest for ideas. One great way to save space is to buy a canvas over the door shoe rack and attach it to an outdoor space. In it, you can directly grow many small plants like herbs and it will take up very little space. Plus, since it is canvas, it will drain properly.
If you have no space outside, consider getting some small mini-fruit trees to keep inside such as Meyer Lemons. They take a while to produce, but the brightness of the plant looks great in the meantime.
One great advantage of potted gardening is you won’t have to deal with too many weeds, but keep an eye out for them anyway. Since your growing area is minimal, a weed could snuff out your plants, especially if they are just seedlings.
Do you garden at your apartment? I would love to hear any tips you have for your fellow green thumb apartment dwellers in the comments!