vegetable gardening

Vegetable Gardens for Apartment Dwellers Require Planning and Imagination

City life can put a damper on the plans of the urban gardener, but vegetable gardens for apartment dwellers are far from impossible. Gardens can grow on a balcony, along a fence, or even in containers in an apartment window. With a little bit of research and creativity, you can enjoy fresh herbs and vegetables even in your own high rise building. The key is in understanding your environment, and selecting plants that require less space to grow. You may even find that you enjoy your vegetable garden so much; you want to expand to a collection of flower pots as well. Plants that grow on an apartment balcony can provide a much needed oasis from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Step One: Assess your Conditions

The first step in establishing a vegetable garden for an apartment dweller is to determine what the conditions are on the balcony that you wish to add your plants to. Sunlight will be the biggest determinant of which plants will thrive in your urban environment. If you live in a building that is surrounded by other high rises, you may find that your patio area is in the shade for most of the day and you will need to choose your plants accordingly. On the other hand, if you are blessed with a sunny spot outside of your apartment door, you will have a much wider variety of choices in the types of plants that you can select. Spend a few days watching the sun pattern on your deck or patio before beginning the process of plant selection.

Step Two: Selecting Plants for Small Spaces

While pumpkins and squash may not be the best choice in a vegetable garden for apartment dwellers, there are many other choices that will do quite well in a limited amount of space. Tomatoes and peppers can flourish in containers, as long as they have support for their tall stalks and plenty of sunshine to keep them happy. Other good choices for a vegetable garden for apartment dwellers include leafy vegetables like lettuce, cabbage and mustard greens. Keep in mind that these types of plants also do well with limited sunlight, and might be good choices for those shadier spots. Donít shy away from root vegetables entirely, just because your garden must be grown in containers. Carrots will do especially well in this environment, as long as the container is deep enough to accommodate them.

Step Three: Feeding your Plants

Another important consideration in vegetable gardens for apartment dwellers is the soil content that is used for the plants. Since these plants will most likely be growing in containers, the soil that is used will have to be fertilized more frequently than if the plants were in the ground, taking nutrients from the soil around them. You can talk to your local garden center about the best type of soil and fertilizer for the plants that you would like to grow.


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Gardening Tip #9

Houseplants can survive in cool or warm temperatures, but drastic fluctuations of temperature may not be good for them. One thing that most plants cannot survive is gas heating. If you have a plant that likes warm conditions, don't put it near an air conditioner in the summer.