Apt. Gardening 101: Intro To Growing Fresh Fruits And Veggies In Small Spaces
For all the perks of apartment home living, one of the tradeoffs is not having a yard.
Where you can plant a garden.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a garden. If you have a balcony or patio you can grow more fruits and vegetables than you can eat.
Even if your thumb isn’t as green as you’d like it to be, getting a good harvest isn’t as hard as you think.
We’re going to show you 3 ways you can turn almost any balcony or patio into your own private farmers market.
You’ll need to do two things first:
- Check the amount of sun your balcony or patio gets. Most plants need at least 5-6 hours of sunlight per day. If you don’t get a lot of sun, here’s some plants that grow well in the shade.
- Measure the area. You’ll need to know how much space you have to work with before you decide on which type of arrangement is right for you.
Now to the setups:
Setup #1: Container Garden
This one is probably the easiest and will get you the best yields. Container gardening is just another term for growing plants in pots.
First decide what kind of plants you want to grow. Here’s a list of things that do well in containers. Some will do good in small container, some need more room.
When you’ve decided on your plants, you’ll choose what type of pots you want to use. There are a variety of materials they’re made from, including metal, terracotta, stone, plastic and cloth. Some stack and some hang from a rail.
You need to choose soil with good drainage. There are many types of general purpose potting soils that’ll work fine. Some prefer organics but you can look here to learn a bit more.
Then you’ll need to either buy seeds or seedlings. Seeds are a bit more difficult since you have to sprout them. Seedlings are easier because all you have to do is transplant them into the pot, but you get less variety.
Here’s a bit more on the seeds vs. seedlings debate.
Setup #2: Raised Bed Garden
A raised bed is similar to a pot in that it’s just a square or rectangular container, sometimes on legs or a platform. Here are some examples. This is a good option if you want to do less bending over.
You’ll do everything the same with the soil and seeds as you’d do for a pot.
Here’s a great primer on raised bed gardening from The Farmer’s Almanac.
Setup #3: Hanging or Vertical Garden
You’ll be gardening vertically and very surprised at what you can get to grow.
Tip: Put something like a tarp underneath it to catch leaks.
So that’s it. Three ways you can grow fresh fruits and vegetables on your balcony or patio. All you have to do now is get started and be patient.
The rewards are worth it.
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