Apartment Gardening – 5 Easy Beginner Tips To Get Started
Apartment gardening is the best way to bring some greenery indoors and enjoy your own urban jungle. Gardening is no longer just for people with considerably large gardens.
Despite whether you have an outdoor garden, you too can appreciate the benefits of gardening and having a corner of nature in your home. You can grow herbs, fruits, vegetables, plants, flowers, and more in your apartment.
Continue reading for the benefits of apartment gardening and how to get started.
Why Start Apartment Gardening?
Before diving deeper into how to start your own little apartment garden, let’s first talk about the why. There are lots of benefits to having a small jungle in your garden.
Scroll down to discover the mental and physical health benefits and how apartment gardening can add great joy to your life.
Apartment Gardening is Good for Your Health
The most significant advantage of apartment gardening has to be the positive effects on our health. This is particularly the case for air-purifying plants. These include spider plants and peace lilies, which have been found to remove toxins from the air and purify it.
These toxins include ammonia, an ingredient found in many household cleaning products, and formaldehyde. In addition, research has confirmed indoor plants can fight other problems like air pollution.
While air pollution is not spoken about frequently, it can severely impact people’s health. NASA conducted a study on the health benefits of plants and concluded that having 15-18 houseplants for a 1,800 square-foot house is optimal.
You Can Grow Your Own Fruit and Vegetables
Another plus to apartment gardening is growing your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs. It’s a myth that you need a large garden to become the ultimate veggie grower. Many people are restricted to small spaces like apartments and have found ways to grow their own edible greens.
For example, arugula, lettuce, and spinach because they are not hugely fussy about their growing conditions. All they require is an adequate amount of water! Herbs are also a popular choice as they can grow in something as simple as a container.
Just imagine yourself chopping up your freshly grown herbs and vegetables in the kitchen to make mouth-watering dishes! Other popular vegetables and fruits for apartment gardening include strawberries, lemons, chilli peppers, and tomatoes.
Apartment Gardening Allows You to Connect with Nature
Not everyone has access to a big garden or green space, so having a little garden in your apartment is a great way to connect with nature. This is mainly if you are a bit of a workaholic and struggle to get outside for time in nature.
We all know connecting with nature is good for the human body. When we get outside, our settings generally have calming effects on us. According to research, plants increase oxygen levels in the air.
Studies have discovered the increased oxygenation improves our mental focus, energy and mood. In essence, if you struggle to take the time to get outdoors, you can still get all the benefits of nature from your indoor garden!
Apartment Gardens Are Easier to Care For
Beyond the health benefits and growing your own fruits and vegetables from your windowsill, apartment gardens are also easier to maintain. With a garden outdoors that has a patch of vegetables, flowers, and plants, you often have to water it, fertilize it, let cross-pollination happen, and care for it in other ways.
By contrast, if you have a small plot, it is easier to give your leafy greens a splash of water, and other care requirements are generally not needed. For apartment gardening, all you need is a small space, and your plants will flourish. Plus, there is no excuse to not look after them since they are in the corner of your eye.
Apartment Gardening is a Great Hobby
Apartment gardening is also a great hobby to indulge in that you and all your family are sure to enjoy. In the case of family, it provides a great way to connect with each other and have fun.
You can learn how to grow in your apartment together, and it will only feel more special than when your plants and vegetables grow. We spend way too much time on our phones and laptops and engaging in technology.
Apartment gardening allows people to connect or engage in an activity free from technology and phones, which we know is in everyone’s best interest. Therefore, your leafy green children can help you cut your screen time and participate in an enjoyable and thrilling activity.
How to Start Gardening in Your Apartment
After reading about the enticing benefits of apartment gardening, you are likely amped to start your own apartment garden. Before you hop, skip, and jump to your local gardening store to pick up seeds, there are a few things to consider when gardening in your apartment.
After all, plants have different profiles and, as a result, can thrive or die in certain conditions. Below are some crucial elements to be aware of when planning to start gardening in your apartment.
Like us humans, most plants love and thrive in sunlight. They often require between six to eight hours of direct sun. This is usually not an issue if you have an outdoor garden, but it can get a tad complicated with apartment gardening.
This is because apartments often do not have the same light exposure. These tall buildings tend to block the sun more so. Therefore, if your apartment has a rooftop or a balcony, this would be an excellent area for your apartment garden since it will still get that much-needed sun.
However, we understand not everyone living in an apartment will have access to a balcony or rooftop. Windowsills still work well, but you may need to select plants that require less sunlight. For example, herbs and salad greens. Alternatively, you can use devices that replicate the sun’s rays.
Similar to sunlight, plants need water to grow. What’s more, they often need water numerous times throughout the day. If you are using your windowsill, you can purchase a small watering can or misters to ensure your plants get adequate water so they don’t dry out.
For those who plan on setting up their apartment garden on a rooftop or balcony, you may find carrying those heavy watering cans becomes tedious. Instead, you can use a watering house if you have access to a faucet.
This means you can easily water your plants as they need it. You can also find plants that require less water, such as succulents, snake plants, salad greens, basil, chives, parsley, thyme, and mint.
Soil is so important for plants as it is how they receive their water, nutrients and air. Since you are apartment gardening, your plants will likely be housed in containers, and because of this, you cannot just use any garden soil.
Plants that are kept in containers need a good draining pot mix. This soil allows air to circulate and water to reach the roots, so the plants grow healthy. In addition, this kind of soil is sterile, so you can rest knowing your green children will not be bringing any diseases into your apartment.
When it comes to plants, each one has its own set of requirements. Naturally, where we live will not automatically meet these. Therefore, some plants you grow may require additional humidity.
This is particularly the case when you have the heat on. To give your plants that bit of added humidity, buy a fine mister or place your plants on trays of water.
On the topic of weather, you need to stay on alert to the wind when engaging in apartment gardening. If you plan to keep your plants on a rooftop or balcony, give them some added protection.
Heavy traffic and high winds from weather conditions can tear the leaves and damage your plants. To keep your plants safe, consider adding a railing or screen. You could also anchor your pots down with something heavy.
Apartment Gardening: What to Grow?
You’re likely eager now to get started on your apartment gardening journey. With that comes the question, ‘what are the best plants to grow in my apartment?’ Continue reading to discover the best plants to grow in your apartment, whether on a windowsill, rooftop, or balcony.
Herbs are some of the easiest plants to grow, especially in an apartment. Typically, they don’t require a lot of space. They are easy to grow – all they need is some frequent watering and sunshine.
In addition, since most of them smell great, they are an excellent choice for apartments. The best part is that you can easily snip some off and use them in your cooking. Some great herbs for apartment gardening are mint, parsley, ginger, basil, and cilantro.
Air Purifying Plants
Air purifying plants such as peace lilies, aloe vera, dracaena, and spider plants are also great for apartment gardening. Most of these plants do not take up a lot of space, so they fit nicely on a windowsill or in a corner.
They purify the air and are incredibly easy to care for. Generally, all they require is some sunlight and water. Spider plants, in particular, filter benzene, formaldehyde and xylene and are powerful carbon monoxide consumers. Therefore, it is a great idea to position them near a gas burning stove and nearby your heating vents.
Succulents are another great, popular choice for apartment gardening. They look fantastic and are entirely unique. Succulents are also very low-maintenance. Unlike other plants, a lot of sunshine and water are not required. This is because they store water in their leaves.
Therefore, watering them every now and again will last them a considerable time since they keep themselves well hydrated. Some succulents require more sunshine and good weather conditions than others. Cacti, in particular, can survive with less water but need a good amount of warm weather and sunshine to thrive.
Some other great options for apartment gardening are tropical plants. These include snake plants, monsteras, philodendrons, pothos, and snake plants. They thrive so well in apartments because they do not require a lot of sunshine.
Therefore, you can leave them in the shade and water them occasionally, and they will flourish. The best part about tropical plants is they deliver that authentic urban jungle look. Let’s face it, all of us, plant enthusiasts, are trying to achieve this!
Fruits and Vegetables
One of the biggest misconceptions is that you need a large garden to grow your own fruits and vegetables. However, this is not the case. Many fruits and vegetables can flourish in something as small as a container. This kind of planting has become very popular as a result.
If you have a rooftop garden or balcony, the space is helpful; however, you can still grow many fruits and vegetables on your windowsill. For example, lettuce leaves since they are a shade-tolerant plant.
The best part? You’ll have lettuce for life if you harvest the leaves while the lettuce is young. Some other fruits and veggies you can grow in your apartment include tomatoes, salad greens, peppers, etc.
How to Take Care of Your Apartment Garden
Despite whether you have room outdoors, you can still engage in apartment gardening and participate in the plant-mum/dad lifestyle. Those who want to apartment garden can expect to have lots of potted indoor plants, but they can also grow their own vegetables, fruits, and herbs.
In addition to having potted plants, many apartment garden enthusiasts have taken advantage of window boxes, containers, and hanging baskets to optimize space. However, the plants will not grow all by themselves; you need to ensure you look after them, so they flourish. Below are some tips on how to maintain your apartment urban jungle.
Keep An Eye On Your Soil
Regularly check your soil to ensure it is not drying out and that the water is draining appropriately. If you already have house plants growing, check what soil they are currently potted in.
General garden soil is unsuitable for these plants since potted indoor plants need good draining and specific nutrients. Likewise, you shouldn’t use dirt from your garden to grow your plants.
Don’t Forget to Water
Life is busy; we get it! Sometimes, we forget to water our plants. It is vital to make sure you do not over or underwater your plants. Therefore, create a watering schedule, so you don’t forget and regularly check to ensure they receive adequate water. Checking couldn’t be more straightforward; all you need is to touch the soil with your finger. If the soil is dry, it needs more water.
By contrast, if the soil is wet, you can leave it. Most houseplants must be watered at least once per week, and air purifying plants and succulents require even less watering. Keep vigilant to yellowing leaves, too, as this clearly indicates overwatering. If you notice your leaves drying out, you are likely not watering your plants enough.
Grow Your Garden Over Time
If you’re a plant lover, you probably want to grow your garden as soon as possible with lots of different kinds of plants. We love the enthusiasm, but it is best to start small.
Use some of that passion by researching and identifying what plants you would like to keep and their care requirements. Then, fill your apartment slowly with beautiful greens.
Are You Ready to Grow a Vibrant Apartment Jungle?
Gardening is not just for people with large green spaces on their property. Apartment gardening allows people to experience the joys of gardening without requiring a lot of space.
Growing and keeping plants in your apartment has many benefits for your health and is a great hobby to have. Not to mention, they ultimately help in making your apartment feel homier and more attractive.
With that said, if you plan to grow a vibrant jungle in your apartment, it is vital to research which plants will thrive in your apartment’s conditions. Likewise, you must meet the care requirements of the plants you grow.
Overall, creating a garden in your apartment is a journey and one that is incredibly rewarding and adds to a more sustainable lifestyle.