Small Space Gardening

by Keith Markensen

You might think that just because you live in an apartment you can’t have a garden. Nothing is further from the truth! You can grow fresh vegetables and spices right in your apartment without need of big pieces of land or . There are many plants that lend themselves well to growing indoors and in pots.

Window boxes, patios, south-facing windows, and similar places are all great places to grow a garden. All you need is some patience, some containers, and some imagination to make it happen. Many plants flourish indoors and you can reap the bounty of the fresh harvest when they’ve ripened!

If your apartment has a or medium-sized patio, you’re in luck. Of course, if you haven’t got a patio, you can still use a big window or grow that don’t need as much exposure to the sun. If your patio doesn’t have a lot of space, you can hang plants from a beam, eave, the railing, or choose vines that climb trellises. Hanging baskets are the apartment gardener’s best friend and can be used in a variety of situations to grow plants-you just need some imagination.

Flowers are also popular amongst , especially annuals and others that don’t require constant planting and care. These are much lower maintenance than food plants, but don’t have the reward of fresh food later. Often, apartment dwellers can plant seeds early in the year, before those who plant outside can, thus harvesting earlier or having blooms faster.

Using the right for your plant is paramount and will make or break your endeavor. Decide what kinds of plants you wish to grow and then choose containers appropriate to the plant’s size and root base. Make sure the plant and its container will fit in your intended growing spot and that you can get all of the plants you want to grow to fit in the area you plan to grow them. Nothing puts a damper on your enthusiasm faster than finding out you’ve got too little space and too many plants.

Avoid replanting your plants as much as possible, as this trauma slows their growth for a time and can cause late or even no harvest situations. While many will grow well from seeds even when grown on window box, some are better as shoots or beginners-tomatoes are a good example. Some plants will handle replanting well while others might call it quits after the first move. Consult your nursery or specialist to find out which ones can handle it. Again, it’s best to avoid this altogether and choose a container big enough for the plant right from the get-go.

Remember: that container might look great now, but if the plant outgrows it or becomes stunted because it doesn’t have enough root space, is it worth it? When you choose your plants, make sure the plant matches the sunlight, area, and will do well indoors or partially outdoors (if on a patio). Most plants will do well if they don’t require full and total sunlight all day.

So give it a try and see if you can grow a garden in your apartment this year! You’ll find that it’s a lot easier and more fun than you’d thought.

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