Living in an apartment doesn’t have to stop you from growing a vibrant, robust garden this season. In fact, many plants can thrive well in smaller spaces, both in and outdoors.
If you’d like to launch your first patio or indoor garden at home this spring, you don’t have to be an expert gardener to get started. Locate a sunny spot to grow a few plants, and start small. Once you’ve identified your space, you’ll need to think about which plants to grow and begin planning for their care.
Here are simple gardening tips for beginners to help you grow a thriving apartment garden.
Sunlight & Soil
Most fruit or flowering plants need a lot of sunshine – 6 to 8 hours to be exact. Other varieties of plants may not need quite as much, but it’s guaranteed that they will need some amount of direct sunlight to grow. Whether you choose to grow indoors or out, you’ll need to choose a spot that will give your plants the sunshine they need.
Potting them with a proper soil is also crucial to their growth. Be sure to choose a potting mix that is designed for containers and planters. These mixes are made to be light and fluffy, and will help your plants thrive in a denser setting like a heavy pot.
Humidity & Wind
Depending on where you are growing your plants, you will want to be mindful of weather conditions. Plants grown indoors may need extra humidity to help them thrive. You can achieve this by spraying them down regularly with a fine mist.
Outdoor plants can be harmed by excessive or high winds. Leaves can be torn and blown apart by strong winds, and smaller plants or lighter planters can topple in the wind. Take precautions to keep them protected and properly weighted.
Size & Weight
If you plan to use a patio space for your garden, be realistic about how much space you have. Consider that containers full of soil are extremely heavy, and once filled with water, can become even heavier. Check with your property management team to be sure that your planters meet regulations for weight requirements. Be mindful of choosing some larger and smaller plants to ensure that you have the space and the proper sunlight available to them.
You can grow almost any plant in a container, so be mindful of choosing vegetables and fruits that you’ll actually consume or get use out of. Pick your plant varieties wisely, as some may need constant harvesting and extra care. Also, consider your space and location to determine how much light your plants will have access to.
Once you get your garden up and running, there are some regular tasks that you’ll need to prepare for to keep it thriving. Plan to water your plants regularly, and even daily if they’re outside and in the sun.
Soil can dry out fast when in a container, so you’ll need to consistently check for dryness and water appropriately. Depending on what you grow, you’ll also need to feed your plants regularly with a water-soluble fertilizer. Some potting soils come with fertilizer in them, which will delay your need to fertilize right away.
As your garden grows, you’ll want to regularly harvest your plants. Some herbs and green lettuces often need to be picked weekly, while other vegetables and fruits may not need as much harvesting. Watch the growth and pick when ripe to keep your plant healthy and growing.