How to Start a Garden in Your Apartment

AJ & Rebecca    City Gardening

We don’t all have access to a garden nowadays. Especially with apartment and condo buildings being built left and right, it becomes nearly impossible to start a garden without living in a rural area. Well, that’s only true if you don’t know where to look. Luckily, we have a guide on how you can start a garden in your apartment no matter where you live.

Where to Plant?

Before you start a garden in your apartment, it’s important to find the most suitable place to begin with. Consider choosing any of the following areas to start building your household garden:

fire escape garden
Courtesy of our city living friends, Rachel & Jorge in NYC

Fire Escape

This is a pretty commonplace for city-dwellers to begin their descent into organic gardening at home. So many of us lack an area to begin a garden in our small city apartments but have a fire escape ready to take on its purpose of producing garden plants. Gardening containers and pots can go right on the landing and stairs. Just be sure to secure the containers to avoid anything falling and harming a passerby. Also, leave some room for walking back and forth, you know in case there is a fire and you need to escape!

Balcony

You can fit a nice sized garden right on your balcony or outdoor patio. Bring out some pots and containers to be filled with your favorite organic soil and plant seeds. Balconies and patios are awesome areas to start a garden in your apartment, plus it serves as a beautiful outdoor decoration.

Walls and Railings

Hanging garden techniques are popular amongst city gardeners. We’ve taken plants to gravity-defying areas by hanging pots, containers or bottles filled with soil and sprouts to be mounted on handrails and other nearby railings. Use a structure like a wall-mounted shoe rack to mount your containers on, or build your own wall-mounted structure. This is pretty much a DIY that anyone can do.

Vertical Garden

Vertical gardens are one of the trendiest new designs in home gardening. A quick search online will turn up hundreds of do-it-yourself project ideas, or kits for purchase to help you turn a wall of your home into an herb or flower garden in no time. Some vertical gardens are self-supporting, stand-alone pieces, some attach to a wall, and some are actually suspended, hanging designs. Many are created from old pallets and “up-cycled” or repurposed materials. Whatever you choose, know that this is one excellent way to design a garden that is tailored to your space, your specifications and your taste, completely.

Windowsill

You can easily find or build a windowsill box or container to house a few plants. When you start a garden in your apartment, utilize the space below your window as it can house some essential gardening plants.

Hanging Plants

Hanging plants aren’t just for your grandmother anymore! Keep this old-school method of indoor gardening in mind for your favorite herbs, flowers, or even tomatoes! Hanging potted plants are an excellent solution in small spaces because you can utilize often-overlooked places like doorways or windows, as well as creating all-natural living decor.

Front, Back and Side Yards

Try talking to your landlord about starting a garden in the front, back or side yards/lawns. Many apartment buildings have this space available for grass and flowers, so some veggie or fruit plants can really spice up the homeowner’s land. Who knows, they could be on board instantly!


What to Plant?

Now that you’ve chosen an area to begin your garden, even if it’s hanging off the side of your building, it’s time to start choosing which seeds to plant. Some of us may want our garden to nurse organic vegetables, fruit or simply a set of beautiful flowers. Here are some common, easy-to-grow plants you could begin growing in your city garden:

Avocado

Okay, so this one might not necessarily need a garden or soil to begin, but once it sprouts, it will. Take an avocado pit, we’re sure you have one or two lying around, and poke some toothpicks into it. Suspend it in a glass of water, pointy side of the seed aimed upward, and place near a window to sprout. Once it does, plant it in one of your garden containers.

Herbs

Herbs are pretty easy to grow, making them ideal for apartment gardens. Gather some basil, rosemary, mint, ginger, cilantro or parsley seeds. These are the most common herbs you could find – and plant them in your garden containers. They require little effort and basic gardening upkeep.

Tomatoes

Plant some tomatoes in your garden and watch them grow. Be sure to keep them in a place where they can receive at least 12 hours of sunlight a day.

Lemons, Limes and Oranges

Another plant that could use some gardening love are lemons, limes, and oranges. These offer a way to spruce up your garden by adding a citrusy scent and zest to your meals. These also require lots of sunlight.

Courtesy of our city living sister and brother-in-law, Ashley & Ryan in Seattle, WA

Succulents

Succulents are the new “popular” plant in the nursery, it seems. Referring to a class of plants that retain moisture in their fleshy, thickened leaves, succulent plants require far less watering and are considered to be a very hardy plant that will survive in nearly any environmental condition. They are a favorite for indoor gardening as they require very little maintenance, can grow to be quite large, and some even bloom! There are many varieties of succulent plants, and they are widely available everywhere from local garden supply stores to gift shops (though, of course, the best quality plants will always come from a trusted organic gardener or nursery).

Other Easy to Grow & Edible Plants:

When you start a garden in your apartment, you’re giving yourself a way to relax and produce something beautiful, potentially in the midst of a crammed and loud city. Gardening eases our minds, so consider creating yours in your city home.

One response to “How to Start a Garden in Your Apartment”

  1. How Gardening Can Improve Your Health | Growing Organic says:

    […] located outside. To maintain our garden, we usually have to step outside, unless you have an indoor or urban garden.  Studies have shown there is an increase in sadness and depression when we stay indoors or at […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.