What exactly is apartment gardening? You live in an apartment. Meaning, there is limited outdoor space. But perhaps you are just limited by your imagination when it comes to growing herbs for your apartment gardening.
Apartment gardening is a creative method to use your outdoor space to grow your favorite herbs for your apartment garden. This usually means utilizing available space such as windowsills, hanging baskets, fire escapes, worksheets, and other containers. Some plants may require a different container or can be planted right in your existing patio container garden. You will want to first decide which plants you will use in your apartment before you begin apartment gardening. Some types of plants can survive quite well in small potting mixes and others may require more soil.
Most apartment gardening requires the use of shaded areas. You want to make sure that any area you choose does not get full sun exposure. Too much sunlight can make a plant too wet or too dry. Choose a spot with varying levels of shade. Sunny days will require less shade than shade that hits all day long.
Another great way to conserve water is to chose containers that are self watering. These pots are called “hydroponic” pots because they allow the water to stay on the inside of the container. The water is recirculated through the drainage holes in the bottom of the pots. This is a very economical way of growing herbs indoors. There is no need to purchase water gardening systems that have been watertight. Simply make sure that your pots are placed where you plan to have the plants get full sunlight during the day.
Choosing the right container is just as important as choosing the right location to grow your herbs. Choose a sunny area that gets at least six hours of direct sunlight. Some shade will also help plants thrive. Herbs like the sun and shade will equally benefit them both. Choose a sunny window with a low level of shade if possible or cover a few smaller windows with large sheets of shade cloth.
Hanging plants is another great way to create the illusion of a larger apartment. It can be tricky to achieve this look, but there are many tricks. The hanging plants should be small enough to fit snuggly in the narrow spaces between the apartment’s walls. Hanging baskets and planters are a great addition to a small space.
If you are just beginning to garden, I recommend starting out small. A one-gallon plastic pot is ideal. Just keep in mind that planting beds don’t need the same amount of water and fertilizer as your garden bed. One thing to keep in mind is that you will need to spend more time watering your garden since it gets larger every time you decide to transplant some plants.
A bonus feature of the apartment is that it gives you more flexibility to plan your garden. You can place planters anywhere and you can change them out as you go. Since most apartments do not have formal planters or formal pathways, you can place hanging plants wherever you see fit. I highly suggest using the large planters for storing your bulk flower and vegetable supplies so you don’t have to keep digging through drawers or pantry boxes.
The biggest thing that I would consider a no-brainer for any apartment gardening experience is getting access to a sunny, relatively warm area. You should have no problem growing most any type of plants in a well-lit apartment. Some things that work well in growing conditions that are pleasant to dwell in are cacti and succulents. Both of these plants thrive in areas with a lot of sunlight.
If you are concerned about weeds, you’re probably best off planting your garden in pots. Most plants can survive in small pots indoors. Try using a small pot to grow two varieties of basil. Planting basil alongside tomatoes will give your apartment an all purpose, bright colored vegetable garden. If you are concerned about bugs, keep some marjoram, chives, mint, or thyme around your plants.
As for cost, you can buy plastic pots and cheap metal pots. But when it comes to choosing containers, go for glass. The glass allows the light to stream through, which makes it better for growing herbs and other vegetables. These containers also keep the heat and cold from getting in your plants’ way. You can use regular pots and planters, but make sure you know what they are for before starting a new plant from scratch.