There’s something so special about gathering the right herbs and veggies from your own garden. You don’t need an outdoor growing space, or a farm to achieve that. You just need to get clever and optimize your apartment space.
And these tips will help you take local food to a whole new level.
Why Grow Plants in Your Apartment?
You can grow both edible and nonedible plants indoors, but cultivating edible plants is a great way to connect with what you eat. There’s a big gap between what we eat and where it comes from. But you can narrow the gap with an apartment garden.
Another benefit of growing edible plants is that you get them when they’re most fresh. They’ll taste better and you’ll get more nutrients. Plus, you can control exactly which chemicals to use (if any!).
If you’re not into growing tomatoes and green beans, no worries. You can also cultivate some calmness in your living space with simple plants that bring peace and tranquility. We’ll talk about those in a little bit.
What Edible Plants Should I Choose?
The idea of an indoor garden might sound cool at first, but if you’re new to the plant kingdom, you might lose interest. A great way to stay motivated is to choose plants you actually want to eat. It sounds obvious, but don’t plant cauliflower if you don’t like eating them!
Another factor to consider is where you’ll plant them and how much sun they’ll get. Check with your local gardening store to decide which fruits and vegetables would survive in your apartment.
You can always grow herbs as long as you have a windowsill and some basic pots. Common and easy choices include basil, thyme, sage, marjoram, oregano, and mint. Grow the herbs you like and enjoy their uplifting presence.
Optimize Sunny Spaces
Where does your apartment get the most sunlight?
You can easily figure this out by observing and tracking the light throughout the day. In order to optimize your apartment’s sunniest spots, you might need to rearrange certain rooms or spaces.
But you’ll find that the following indoor gardening hacks aren’t obtrusive.
Knowing how much sunlight your apartment has also helps you determine which plants you should cultivate.
Some plants, like bamboo, are perfectly happy in shade. Lemons, on the other hand, need many hours of sunlight each day. With a little online research or a visit to your local greenhouse, you can find the right plants for your apartment.
The Best Gardening Spots in your Apartment
Just because you live in an apartment, doesn’t mean you can’t utilize outdoor space, too. These options can take your greenery outside, too.
- Shelves: With a simple shelving unit, you can easily keep herbs, succulents or small cacti. If your plants are still in the beginning stages, they’ll fit nicely on your shelf without taking up too much space.
- Walls: Most of the time, we think of horizontal gardens, but you can grow plants vertically, too. You could even use an old shoe organizer to grow vegetables and herbs.
- Balcony or fire escape: Here, you can keep your apartment from getting too crowded. Just be sure to follow safety precautions and leave enough room for the fire escape. Also, never place pots and planters where they could fall off and injure anyone.
- Windows: Every apartment has at least one window. If you can, use your windowsill as a home for your plants. And if your windowsills have outside boxes, you can keep plants there, too.
- Repurpose items: Wooden wine boxes are excellent planters for many garden vegetables, such as tomatoes, salad greens, peppers, radishes, and carrots. They’re also easy to transport if you’d like something more mobile. You can also use jars and cups, but just remember that they don’t have holes at the bottom, so you’ll need to be more attentive when watering them.
- Use Wheels: If you use boxes, pots and the like, you can keep them atop a moveable table. This allows you to move it from one sunny spot to the other, and it allows you to create more space at home when you need it.
- Gutters: Repurposing gutters is a great way to efficiently use wall space. They’re easy to build and mount, and they can also work on an outside wall.
Plant Suggestions to Get You Started
If you’d like to have a mini harvest or simply enjoy some greenery, here are some top choices for your apartment garden:
- Avocado: The health benefits of this yummy superfood make it a cool option. Plus, it’s fun to grow a tree at home! All you need is an avocado to get started.
- Microgreens: These are essentially the beginnings of full-grown vegetables and herbs, and with a little know-how, you can easily enjoy these nutrient-dense plants.
- Cacti and Succulents: These little plants have become very popular in recent years, and rightfully so. They’re lovely to behold and require almost zero maintenance.
- Herbs: Cilantro, mint, rosemary, basil and so many more, are all great places to start for the novice gardener. They’re not fussy and they fill the air with invigorating aromas.
- Bamboo: This zen plant requires little attention. But it provides serenity and calms with its quiet nature.
- Lemons: Lemon trees are small, but can still take up a bit of space as they grow. So, if your space allows, you can grow lemons at home! They do need a lot of light and appreciate moist air conditions, but the rewards of having your own lemon tree far outweigh their maintenance.
- Snake Plant, or Mother-in-Law’s Tongue: This plant is nearly indestructible. And even after lots of neglect, it will still look fresh and strong.
- Pothos: Lastly but certainly not least, pothos is an easy indoor plant that also has detoxifying qualities. It can actually help clear formaldehyde from your living space.
When it comes to indoor gardening, a little can go a long way. When you learn to optimize your apartment’s space and sunlight, you can easily create a garden that will bring you joy throughout the year.