You are thinking of starting a garden but you are living in an apartment, where do you start? There is lots of information on how to start a garden in an apartment or build a balcony garden, but we wanted to share a few extra apartment gardening tips that will ensure that you have a successful garden and grow amazing plants.
Start your apartment garden small
It can be very exciting to start your apartment garden, but I encourage new gardeners to start small. Getting into the habit of tending a garden can be challenging and finding out what works in your life can be eye-opening. Depending on your space, think of starting with one or two herbs or a small tomato plant. This will give you some time to assess your growing conditions without investing excessive time and money.
As you find what you like to do, you can expand your gardening system.
Use automatic watering systems
Because your plants are in containers, the amount of water they have access to is relatively limited. If you were planting in the ground, they would have wide areas of land to draw water from, but in a container, your plants will need regular watering. If they are outdoors on a patio, particularly in a windy location. Our second apartment gardening tip is to use a system for keeping them watered.
If you are indoors a simple system like a bottle with a wick will do the trick. It may sound silly, but a simple wet cotton rope or strip of fabric that bridges the gap from a water source to your soil, will actually keep your plants watered.
Other options include water bottles with special attachments on them that let the soil absorb water from a supply container like these watering spikes from Brotou that I found on Amazon. As the soil around the spike dries out, water is wicked through the material in the spike from out of the supply bottle.
If you want to step up the game a little, you can move to a powered micro drip irrigation system, like this one you can get on Amazon will keep your plants watered for up to a month. This is really handy for people that work a lot or have to go out of town regularly.
Healthy dirt means healthy plants
The fact is that good healthy dirt will help give you strong healthy plants. Start with good organic soil. You can get bags of it at almost every DIY or garden store. But there is more to it than that. Normal, healthy soil has lots of organisms and micro-nutrients in it.
If you have a yard to work with, you can brew compost tea, or even use this soil probiotic recipe that Mother Earth News came up with. If you are working with just the room afforded you in an apartment, then you need to find a smaller solution. For potted plants and small planters consider a solution like these soil probiotics from MiraCulture.
One other easy way to perk up the biodiversity and micronutrients of your apartment plants is just to add some worm castings. Worm castings is a pretty way of saying worm poop. Again, since you likely don’t have room in your apartment to grown worms, using commercially available, processed products are the way to go.
Choose plants that fit in your containers
It can get really exciting looking at plants and that zeal can sometimes lead you to buy things that just aren’t going to grow well in the containers. If you have shallow containers, then long-rooted carrots or plants that have deep roots, just aren’t going to do well. If you are limited on space, you may not want to grow cabbage.
As apartment gardening tips go, this isn’t Earth-shaking, but it is a common mistake. Slow down and give careful consideration to where you will be growing your plants, how much space they will need. Before you go to the garden store, plan out what you are going to buy and stick to your list. It may be hard, but it will save you from having a bad time later on.
Don’t be afraid to be creative with your apartment garden
It is easy for gardeners to get in a rut, gardening in traditional containers and old methods. There are lots of new methods of growing gardens in apartments. Hydroponics, alternative containers, and much more are out there to explore.
A touch of creativity can greatly expand what you can grow and what your yield will be. If you have a sunny window, a bottle hydroponic window garden like the one above can give you a lot more room for plants. Grow all your salad greens in one window!
Final thoughts on our apartment gardening tips
When it comes to apartment gardening tips for beginners, these will help you get more out of your limited space and grow more plants. One of the advantages of being limited on space is that it does give you the reason and motivation to get creative.
If you are still debating if you should put together an apartment garden, stop thinking about it and just get started. You will be very glad that you did!