My apartment gardening friends and I are always asked “What exactly is apartment gardening?” A quick definition: apartment gardening is the cultivation of small, compact groups of plants to improve your home’s indoor air quality. The plants are usually contained within a tightly-knit unit with a mesh backing. There are several reasons why an apartment gardening enthusiast might choose to create a small apartment garden.
My personal experience with apartment gardening started when we were living in an apartment for 5 years. While there were certainly some limitations to apartment gardening – no plants in the yard! – the lack of space did not stop us from having a beautiful, thriving garden. We loved planting colorful flowers among the tomatoes and succulents and enjoyed coming home from a hard day at work to harvest our fresh produce.
Many apartment gardeners start their own apartment gardening do it yourself project. They will either purchase or pick up a few gardening books at the library and follow the gardening instructions provided. Many books are also available via the internet at affordable prices. Some people also learn from their local gardening store assistant. Others will learn by doing – getting the books, tools and materials and doing it themselves. This is how we got our start and continue to garden to this day.
Most people interested in apartment gardening do something similar. They buy plants and pots and plant them in a specific place inside their apartment. This may be the kitchen garden, back yard, or balcony. Many apartment dwellers like to bring in exotic plants to add color or variety. In this way, the apartment building can be filled with lush colorful gardens all year-round.
It is important to realize that apartment gardening don’t do anything for you. It’s simply a fun way to decorate an apartment if that’s what you chose to do. You’ll have to maintain the plants and water them on a regular basis. But that is about all you have to worry about. If you have a little extra money, it may be fun to buy flowers, shrubs, or trees for your apartment gardening.
Before you plant anything, check with your city, county, or state to see if you have zoning restrictions. In some places, for example, gardens are not allowed altogether. Check in advance to find out the rules. Also, make sure your city, county, or state has recycling programs.
Before you start planting, make sure you have the proper soil and fertilizer for your plants. Most cities require certain quantities of certain things for planting. Soil should be rich in nutrients; use peat moss for this purpose or a simple garden soil mixture with potting soil.
As far as plants go, there are literally hundreds of types of apartment gardening possibilities. Go online and look up herbs, vegetables, flowering plants, fruit trees, ornamental grasses, and even perennials. The possibilities are almost endless. Just remember that your apartment will smell like it’s planted permanently. But that is something you can live with.
When choosing plants, pick ones that will work together well and consider growing plants from the same season. Some flowers bloom in the spring only, so if you have them planted a year in advance, they will have time to come into shape and mature before your next frost. Some plants can bloom a long time even when you are not planting them, so try to think ahead. An apartment gardening guide should give you a good idea about what to plant and where.
Many apartment gardening guides will show you how to prepare your soil, fertilizer, tools and supplies, and even the weather conditions. It is usually easiest to get an apartment gardening guide in print. There is a lot of information online that you can get for free. But if you don’t like print, then check out ebooks online.
What about bugs? Your apartment may attract some bugs from your neighbor’s dog, so check it out. Your plants could be attracting some pests as well. Try to put out some organic food in the fridge to attract friendly insects. A fun project for apartment gardening do anything you do is to make a compost pile and let it sit until it is full. The next time you lay down mulch, do what you did with the compost.
Of course, there is plenty more to learn about apartment gardening than the plants themselves. But if you follow the steps, you’ll be safe. No one wants bugs and rodents invading their apartment. With a little bit of effort, you can garden healthy and pest free plants all year-long.