Last Updated on January 15, 2023 by a Friendly Gardener
If you live in an apartment, chances are that you might be a bit worried about how to manage your love for gardening within the relatively small space that you live in. However, apartment gardening can be a fairly simple and extremely fun, and fulfilling process as long as you do it right.
So, here are some tips to help you get started and to give you that boost of confidence. Take a look!
Account for Climate
The climate that you live in is important since plants have their own requirements when it comes to climate, so make sure to choose plant species that suit your climate zone. The USDA plant hardiness zone map can help you understand growing zones, also allowing you to understand whether your zone is suitable for the species.
Choose Multiple Species
Different plant species have different lifespans and growing seasons, which is why it can be better for you to opt for a mix of such species so that you can always have some plant companions by your side. You can also make a choice based on your requirements for the apartment and the garden.
Start Small and Easy
If you are new to gardening, you must start small. Grow one plant and figure out how to care for it well. Once you manage to see through the process successfully, you can start adding plants to your collection. The first few plants should also require minimal care conditions so that you do not get too overwhelmed.
Consider Space and Location
Space and location are important considerations when it comes to apartment gardening. Finding a space in your apartment without enough light, humidity, temperature, and free growing space is essential for your plant to thrive. You can also invest in growing containers or boxes and grow multiple plants there.
Balconies and windowsills are usually ideal.
Consider Lighting Requirements
How much light and heat each plant needs can differ, so make sure you are aware of this for each plant that you grow in your apartment garden. Opt for natural sunlight as much as possible by placing your plants on the balcony or windowsills. If this is not possible, you can invest in growing lights or use mirrors to capture light.
Establish Gardening Schedule
It is important for you to have a gardening schedule in place so that you can care for your plants well without neglecting any of them. If you have multiple plants, note them down and create a schedule so that you can water them at a set time. Put reminders or alarms on your phone to help you remember.
Choose the Right Containers
Plants need the right kinds of containers to grow well. Ideal materials include clay, ceramic, and plastic. Drainage holes should also be present in these containers to prevent root rot due to water pooling. The height, depth, and width are important so that the roots can grow freely as well. Make sure you repot when required.
Choose the Right Soil
Some plants in your garden might need loose and coarse soil while some might need tight and compact soil. You might also need to make adjustments to the soil by adding substances like peat, perlite, sand, pebbles, and organic matter. Do some research about what kind of soil your plants need.
The soil pH and nutrient levels are also important to maintain.
Learn Care Requirements
How much water does your plant need and how often? When should you fertilize your plant and what kind should you use? What light requirements are essential? What about humidity and temperature? How can you avoid pests and diseases? Should you prune your plant?
These care requirements can differ among plants, so ensure that you answer these questions for each of them.
It is best to grow your plants vertically instead of horizontally to save space and brighten up your apartment. If there are plant species that grow as creeping vines, then you should set up a trellis or pole or other such support that can allow the plant to creep upwards around this structure.
Buy Tools and Supplies
You might think that your hands will do the trick, but for your own safety as well as the plants’, you should gather essential tools and supplies like shears, gloves, buckets, shovels, cultivators, and others. Make sure you also keep a bag of soil and some organic or commercial fertilizer handy.
Plants that bloom flowers in their growing season (or at other times) can be a great way to add some color to your apartment. Many species bear beautiful flowers, so choosing those can be quite satisfying. However, some might not be able to bloom flowers at all or in such restricted settings, so opt for a good variety.
Planters come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Apart from simple pots, planters can come with railings, stands, multiple spaces for holding multiple pots, different colors, and different designs. Some might also be hanging planters that can help you save space on the floor and add to the aesthetic of your apartment.
Opting for different kinds of planters can work well.
Set the Right Humidity
Some plants require low humidity levels while some require high levels. You should establish this level by keeping high-humidity plants in rooms with a humidifier or in bathrooms and kitchens while keeping the rest separately and controlling the humidity with a dehumidifier.
Take the natural humidity in the air into account as well.
Opt for Safe Plants
There are several plants out there that can be toxic to your health in varying degrees. Avoid bringing them into your home to prevent issues. Some might also be okay for you but poisonous for pets, so avoid those as well if you have pets.
The Bottom Line
Essentially, apartment gardening can be an easy and fun process if you make the right choices, use the right tools and materials and provide the right care to your plants. Keep these tips in mind to ensure that you and your apartment garden have a good time.