Do you live in an apartment or condo? If so, you may not be able to grow a large garden – but you can still grow some fresh, tasty, and healthy veggies with the right techniques! Here’s how to grow a simple apartment container garden.
Apartment container gardens are great for those living in tight spaces. To make sure that these gardens fit into your busy schedule, we will need to toss out the traditional gardening methods, and try some new innovative ideas.
Here are 5 steps for developing an easy, productive, and organic container garden that only takes 5 minutes a day!
- Start With Good Soil
Soil is key to every great garden. Rarely are we given the perfect growing medium with the soil available to us in our yards. There are also problems with buying just any potting mix at the store. Some of these mixes might be too heavy, not allow for enough drainage or have mystery fertilizers that can make your plant dependent on that company’s products. When filling your containers, I recommend following a trusted recipe for a fertile, sandy loam soil.
- Don’t Skimp On Sunlight
The plants you plan to grow will vary in the amount of sunlight they need. This is the time to get creative. Your patio, front porch, rooftop, stairwell or driveway can be the perfect place for a container garden. You will need to find a spot that gets at least 4-8 hours of sunlight for your container garden. A rule of thumb is that colored vegetables, like tomatoes, will require lots of sunlight, think 10+ hours of sunlight. For broccoli, onions and other sulfurous vegetables they will need about 5 hours of sunlight. Leafy greens will take about 4-8 hours of sunlight depending on the variety.
- Pick the Right Plants
When choosing what to grow in your apartment garden, I would always recommend starting with a leafy greens garden to get the feel for gardening in your space. These plants are easy to grow, will provide a quick harvest, and can be more forgiving than trying to grow tomatoes. They will need less soil and care than most other vegetable options. I would recommend growing lettuces, baby kale, and spinach in these gardens, as well as experimenting with other leafy greens. Joi choi, shungiku, and malabar spinach are great greens to try out in your apartment container garden.
- Plan Your Feeding Schedule
When gardening indoors you will need to make sure to feed your container garden regularly to keep the production going. A little compost can go a long way, and you will want to stick with a mild, organic compost if possible. If you cannot make your own in a worm composter, I would recommend doing some research to see if you can find some locally. You may be surprised by the urban farms around you that will be willing to sell compost! If you are unable to find some in this way, worm castings are another great option and can be bought at your local gardening store.
- Connect With Other Container Gardeners!
As you begin your small container garden, you will want some support from other gardeners who have gone this route before. There is only so much that a Google search can teach you. Join some Facebook groups (we have a very active Facebook page full of friendly and helpful gardeners!), or make friends with your local gardening center. Gardeners are friendly folk, and they are always willing to lend a helping hand! Make sure to ask lots of questions and enjoy getting to know your fellow gardeners.
Another great way to get all of the answers you need is to enroll in a good container garden course.
Ready to get started with your own apartment container garden? Just grab a container, buy a variety of seeds (I recommend starting with leafy greens for the reasons mentioned above), and set up a system that works for you!