It gives immense pleasure if you can grow your own vegetables, fruits, herbs, or some flowers to make your place look beautiful. But we urbanites often visit the farmers for all the fresh fruits and veggies, or we buy it from the local store without knowing how many days they are lying in there. Apart from that, we must not forget about how plants filter the air and help us in living.
Due to our schedule, we are not capable of maintaining a whole backyard garden by ourselves, or even worse, we do not have the position in our house to do it. Well, thank me later, I am about to give you ideas of growing a garden in your own apartment.
Why growing a garden is good?
If you can involve your whole family including the kids in growing a garden, it will be a great physical activity for them, as gardening needs the right amount of efforts. If the kids can get involved, then growing their own vegetables and fruit will make them happy and positive, and they will not throw any tantrums while eating. Other than that, the fruits and vegetables will be fresh and loaded with nutrients; they are a good source of phytochemicals, antioxidants, vitamin A, and vitamin C. Also check out what Harvard Medical School says about the immense health benefits of growing your own vegetables.
Apartment gardening for beginners
If you are thinking of gardening for the first time, you need to focus on your budget first. Do not overdo, it will waste your money as well as your effort. So for easy gardening for beginners, I would suggest going for small. Try planting one or two plants before investing a lot.
Think more about what you need. You can go for herbs or green vegetables rather than choosing an expensive and rare flower. It would help you financially from buying not so fresh herbs or salad greens. Which.co.uk has provided a brief idea of how much money you can save when you grow vegetables and fruits.
The ultimate guide to apartment gardening
You can grow your garden both inside and outside of your apartment. Let’s see which areas you can choose.
Outdoor Apartment gardening ideas:
Gardeners can rejoice if you have patios or balconies in your apartment, but a vital thing to keep in mind is the sunlight.
You need to understand that plants do require sunlight, but there are some plants which dry out quickly when it’s in too much sunlight.
- More than six hours or full eight hours of direct sunlight means full sun.
- Partial shade means four to six hours of sunlight.
- Less than that is shade.
- If your plants are getting sunlight through trees or leaves, then it is considered as filter sunlight.
You should know about the plants which will be appropriate in according to the sunlight your outdoor areas get.
Here’s an infographic for you to know about which veggies require how much sunlight.
Indoor apartment gardening ideas:
If your apartment doesn’t have a balcony, so don’t worry. You need to have some serious imagination power to choose a space for indoor apartment gardening. An easy finding would be on top of the table or in the corner of a room. Other than that you can choose a space near a window, or windowsill. In a broader scenario, you can select a wall and install some shelves in there; there you can have a wall garden. To add to the beauty, a fairy light will be so lovely.
Remember to do research on which plants you can grow inside of your apartment since it’s important to know which plants are the best fit for indoor apartment gardening.
The containers you can choose for both the cases are clay pots, plastic pots, hanging baskets, other than that you can use your creativity in making a wooden crate or anything you wish.
In case of small apartment gardening, consider the plants which will grow up rather than growing on the side. It will look good as well as save some space.
Gardening in your apartment doesn’t just entail beautifying a particular space; it needs dedication to thrive. You need to care daily by watering plants, feeding them, dealing with their presented problems like pests and insects’ infestations, and even harvesting. Let’s go through some solid ideas from Wikihow on how to maintain your indoor plants.
Here are some other factors which are worth mentioning:
Soil and plants are Friends Forever
If you are thinking of buying garden soil, you can do that as plants can grow in garden soil no matter where you plant it. The problem will arise if you need to move the pots around, as the garden soil is heavy and hard. While adding nutrients, Garden beds are comfortable to turn; this will not be possible for the pots with garden soil.
On the other hand, potting mix is light and fluffy, it holds the moisturizer that is needed for the plants, and don’t dry out the water.
Several types of potting mix can be found in the market. You can find different kinds of veggies, flowers. You need to make up your mind which plant you will grow first.
If possible go for organic potting mix.
Check out how to Make the best potting soil recipe for your plants, really easy.
Water: Even plants need to drink
You need to know how much time you can give to care about your plants. Some plants need watering more than once. So if you don’t have the time to do that, you should consider buying self-watering pots, and moreover, do check on the water availability in your apartment.
Fertilizer: Energy booster for your herbs
Fertilizer that contains twice as much phosphorus as potassium or nitrogen is considered as a good one. For potted plants, dry fertilizer is useful as water can carry it to the roots of the plants.
Some soil available in the market has already added fertilizer, if you are using that, you do not need to buy fertilizer.
Always wait for at least two weeks before adding fertilizer, as at the early stage the plants need to recover from any root damage.
Weather: Different plant, different weather
You should know about the weather conditions in your area. It can be windy or sunny or cold, so you need to pot plants analyzing the weather conditions.
- Windy: if it’s too windy, then you need to follow some guidelines like if you want to save the fragile plants from the wind, you need to place larger plants in front of them, or you can use low pots and keep the plants near the floor. Too much wind dries the plants. So you should take care of them by frequently watering, if you do not have the time, go for drip irrigation system or self-watering pots.
- For winter, gardening can be a little tricky. If you are planning to keep your plants out, then you need to choose those plants which are two times more cold tolerant, depending entirely on the weather conditions of your area.
Tools: Before you play with dirt
You will need some gardening tools to make your work easy. Many gardening tools are available today for modern gardening, however here I’m mentioning few which will be essential.
- Gloves: you would not want your hands to get dirty. So you will definitely need a pair of hand-gloves. Try to choose a rubber or latex one. This will not only keep your hands clean but also will protect your hands from sharp tools or thorns of the plants.
- Watering can: if you are using self-watering pots then you would not require a watering can; otherwise you have to have one. Buy watering cans that have measure mark; thus you can keep track of how much watering you have done to a plant.
- Garden fork: as you need to let the air pass through the soil, you need to loosen it with a garden fork.
- Pruning shears: this or garden scissors will help you to harvest small vegetables or to trim the unwanted branches or dried leaves of your plants.
- Hand trowel: this you will need in case of planting small plants. Will recommend you to choose a hand trowel which is not heavy an comes with a rubber handle to have a better grip.
- Herb drying rack: if you are growing herb in your garden, you need to have this to preserve your herbs for future use.
- A container or bucket: it is for that time when you would require a tool but can not remember where you have kept it. For that reason, you need to place all your gardening tools in a container, so that you can find them any time you need.
Examples of fruits and vegetables you can grow in your apartment are tomatoes, carrots, green beans, salad greens, bell peppers, mushrooms, spring onions, avocadoes, lemons, cucumber, cauliflower, green onions, oranges, pineapples, strawberries, beets, pepper, and chillies, etc.
What fruits and herbs to grow in the apartment gardening
Tomatoes are very popular when it comes to growing of plants in your apartment. So many controversies about tomato being a fruit or vegetable make it interesting to beat the odds. You can have them both! Tomatoes give little problems as long as you water it daily, expose it to sunlight and make sure the soil stays moisturized. Consistency is key in nurturing of plants. Therefore, to get the best results, follow the rules to the last.
Containers that can be used to store tomatoes include wooden nurseries, plastic containers and so on. These containers can be kept on the window sill for adequate exposure to sunlight. Tomatoes can be very attractive in your apartment. The bright red colour and green leaves stand out delicately.
Meyer lemons are good for indoor plantings or home gardening. It can be sensitive to cold. Therefore, they need to be placed in a pot, close to the warmth, i.e., the sun.
For growth control, dwarf citrus trees should be purchased from garden stores. For maintenance, buckets or containers should be placed below the tree to secure the sticky sap the tree produces. It could cause permanent damage to surfaces.
Carrots are relatively very easy to grow in your apartment. They should be put in containers and have a constant moisture supply. The containers should be perforated to allow healthy nurturing.
Moreover, the bright orange colour of carrots is very attractive and can put an upward curve on your face at any time of a given day.
Pineapples are exotic decorative fruits which are easy for home growth. Although they take a longer time to grow and take a lot of space, they provide beauty to the environment.
They are planted by utilizing the discarded bits of another pineapple – the crown is sliced off and planted. They feed on enough water and adequate sunlight for healthy growth.
This is usually a first-choice fruit to plant by individuals who engage in apartment gardening. It is quite easy to go about, as what you need to achieve this, is another avocado.
The inside of one avocado is dug out, and the seed is placed inside a container, alongside water. Toothpicks can be utilized to create holes in the avocado.
Cauliflowers also grow better inside. They may or may not be placed on window sills as they need cool weather to generate an impact. Cauliflowers need a consistent room temperature – neither too hot nor cold.
Another feature of them includes their graceful way of adding elegance to an environment.
Oranges might tend to be technical to plant sometimes. A lot of research has to be carried out on the kind of tree to purchase.
For home adequacy, purchasing a tree of two to three years old is advisable. Likewise is a variety of Trovita and Calamondin dwarf trees coupled with a pot with perfect drainage.
Oranges usually take a year to harvest; provided sunlight and water are guaranteed.
Green onions are easy and fast to grow, and the best part is, they keep growing over and over again. You can start getting results as soon as the next day; final products can be seen after a week.
It doesn’t need much. All that’s required is either water or soil, in a sunny spot.
Bell peppers are easy to grow. Although they take time, they are totally worth the wait. Bell peppers require a sunny environment and must be properly watered from time to time.
The wonderful and attractive red color of these peppers, provide a beautiful environment in the home.
These are great for first-time apartment gardeners. Green beans can be categorized into bush beans and pole beans.
As the name implies, pole beans have climbing vines, while bush beans are compact and don’t need support to stand. Hence, bush beans are the best for indoor apartment gardening.
They come in varieties of colours, shapes, as well as size. Green beans need at least six hours of sunlight for healthy development.
So, what are you waiting for? Choose some plants you want to grow in your garden, do a few types of research if the weather conditions permit those plants to grow, and then start with the gardening. One more thing, please make sure that your apartment has been given the access to grow plants; otherwise, all your researches, the money you have put into it will go in vain. I wish you all the good luck and happy gardening.