How to Grow a Garden in Your Apartment

Many people believe that if they live in an apartment, they will be unable to grow their own food-producing plants. As long as you have a porch or balcony that gets sunlight, however, you are actually able to grow quite a variety of fruits and vegetables.

Container gardening is easy, movable, and can be accomplished in a very small space. Save containers in which to plant your vegetables such as coffee cans (place the lid on the bottom to prevent rust stains), water jugs with the top cut off, deep bowls, plastic nursery planters, flower pots, empty milk jugs, etc. Make sure to put holes in the bottom of your containers for excess water drainage.

You will be able to utilize your entire porch area, not just the outer edges of your porch. Line your potted plants in rows so that you will have just enough room to stand and place your feet between them. Railings can be used as trellises for taller climbing plants. If you will grow trailing plants such as melons or cucumbers, they can also be trellised to save room and the fruits will grow just fine if they are hanging.

Plants You Can Grow in a Small Space

  • Sugar baby watermelon
  • Any small squash or melon
  • Cucumbers
  • Beans
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes and cherry tomatoes
  • Small potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Onions, chives and garlic
  • Herbs and spices
  • pineapples
  • Peppers
  • Lettuce, cabbage and kale
  • Broccoli and cauliflower

Because you are growing in such a small area, you will not want to waste your space on just any plants. Make sure you look specifically for high-yield plants so that you will be able to make the most of your tiny garden.

Pay attention to which areas of your porch get the most sunlight and for how long each day. You want to place sun-loving plants where the most sun is and shade-loving plants behind those. Be careful not to block sunlight with trellised plants. Taller plants should go in the back where they can share light with the smaller plants out front.

You can make your own compost for your garden as well with little more than a plastic five gallon bucket.

To grow potatoes in an apartment garden, you will need long trough-type planting beds. Fill the beds about halfway with soil when you plant. Cover the potatoes with hay instead of soil. That way, when you pull them up, they will be clean and not covered with dirt.

To keep birds away from your porch, hang old CDs from string. The more you have, the better. They will twist and flash, effectively scaring birds away. You can also place rubber snakes around your plants which keep birds away. Just be sure to change their position every few days or the birds will realize they are not real. Thin netting will also keep out birds and cats if they are a problem.

Purchase a book on container gardening to learn effective ways of trellising plants in a small area. You will also need at least one book as a resource on what to do for specific pests and how to eradicate them. With just a little effort, you can grow some of your own fresh fruits and vegetables at home, no matter where you live.

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