Gardening in an apartment without a balcony

indoor gardening

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Vegetable gardening in the city when you have a lot to work with can be a challenge. If all you have is an apartment patio or balcony, gardening can be even trickier. What if though you have an apartment with no balcony or patio. Gardening in an apartment with no balcony or patio can be done but it definitely has its challenges.

In this post, I will try to get you all the information you will need to put together an indoor garden for edible plants in your apartment without the benefit of a balcony or patio.

Assessing Your Light

The first thing to consider when wanting to grow a garden indoors is how much light does your apartment get. Some of you will be lucky enough to have an apartment that faces South-ish and has big windows on two or more sides. The rest of us have to deal with 1 or 2 windows and little to no direct natural light.

How much light your apartment gets will be the big dictator of what you can grow, and as to whether or not you will need to supplement your garden with some artificial light. Most vegetables and herbs will require at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight a day. If you aren’t getting that much daylight, then you can supplement with artificial light.

How Complicated Do You Want To Be

The reality is that with enough effort, time and money, almost anything can be accomplished. What you need to decide is to what length you want to go to grow vegetables in your apartment despite not having any outdoor space. A couple of pots on a sunny windowsill where you grow some kitchen herbs is an easy to maintain option and great for people that want to stay in touch with growing their own food, or just think that fresh herbs taste better than dried ones from the store. They do by the way. If you are really serious about growing indoors, you can go to the other extreme with special tents, LED grow lights and CO2 injectors. It can get crazy!

Basic Window Garden

Given that you have a window that gets good, direct sunlight, you can simply put some containers in a windowsill planter and get to growing. This is a very low maintenance way to garden in your apartment if you have adequate light. In all likelihood, though unless your window faces due south, you will need to supplement your indoor garden with some artificial light. This is the most simple way to grow edible plants indoor though and is open to a lot of improvisation.

Tomatoes growing in a windowsill garden.
DIY Tomato Window Garden

Small Hydroponic Setup

indoor LED growing kit

The next stage up from a simple windowsill garden is one of the more high-tech prefabricated hydroponic setups. These allow you to grow 2-6 plants in a simple hydroponic setup with an LED grow light over the top. These are a slightly more complicated arrangement than just a basic window garden, but solves the issue of not having enough light. If you want to grow herbs or leafy plants like lettuce, these are a great option.

Hardcore Gardening Indoors With Lights

Growing tent for gardening in an apartment

You live in an apartment with no patio that faces north, but want to grow tomatoes? No problem! If you have the space and the desire, you can use a growing tent to grow everything from greens to amazing tomatoes.

This of course takes up a fair bit more space and can turn into a significant investment. You can expect a basic setup to run you several hundred dollars to start on up over $2,000 for a complicated system.

If you want to see what I’m talking about, check out just the variation in the indoor growing tent kits on Amazon.

What To Grow In Your Apartment


For most people, the ideal plants that are going to be best for growing in your apartment will be things that do well with moderate light and in containers. Ideas include a wide variety of lettuces, radishes, short rooted carrots, beets, scallions, bush beans/peas, kale, and chard.

If you have lots of space and lights, then you can expand to tomatoes and peppers.


In my book, the go-to item to grow indoors is herbs. Depending on the variety, they can tolerate slightly less light, can be harvested indefinitely and I think, give you the most bang for your indoor gardening buck. When you are faced with wanting to garden in your apartment but don’t have a patio or balcony, then growing a half dozen of the herbs you use the most is a winning idea.

Basic windowsill herb garden for gardening in an apartment with no patio
An example of how you can grow a variety of herbs in a simple windowsill garden.
Photo Credit: myrtti

Growing A Vegetable Garden In An Apartment

While not having a balcony or patio does limit your apartment gardening options, it shouldn’t be enough to stop you if you really want to garden. Humans seem to naturally do better if we are growing and nurturing living things, so consider planting at least a small windowsill garden.



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