Garden

Small Container Gardening for the Apartment Owner

If you live in a small apartment, or only have a small outdoor area where you can plant a garden, don’t despair. Even if you have never given planting a garden a second thought, you too can have a garden with some ingenuity and space saving techniques. If you love gardening it is possible to design a garden for virtually any space. From balconies, rooftops, and outdoor patios a garden can be planted by choosing the right plants that are easy to grow in almost any container or space.

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Vegetables and Fruits

Start by choosing various fruits and vegetables that grow well in a small area. Some excellent choices are cherry tomatoes, radishes, snap peas, strawberries, and half-high blueberries. Herbs such as basil, cilantro, parsley and rosemary will grow well in containers, they will add a nice aroma to your small area garden.

Location

Prepare your growing location as best as possible by clearing out debris and removing all obstacles that may block your small space from the sun. Plants will prosper with more than 6 hours of sunlight a day. If your space has too much shade, you may want to invest in a grow light to help your plants along.

Soil

As with any outdoor garden, your small space garden should have adequate, healthy soil that will allow for water retention, proper nutrients and appropriate drainage. Perlite, vermiculite and peat moss are all good choices to use for soil in a container or patio garden. Compost can be purchased to add to the soil for your plants to receive necessary nutrients. Standard potting soils do not work well in container gardens and you should choose a mix that is specially formulated for outdoor container gardening.

Techniques

For a small container garden, plant taller vegetables, fruits, and herbs on the north side of the garden, while keeping shorter varieties on the south side. Sun is most abundant in the summer from the south and by planting shorter plants “in front” you will ensure that all plants receive as much sunshine as possible.

Keep your garden well weeded to allow for maximum growing space. As seeds begin to sprout, allow larger plants to grow while pulling out small, weak looking seedlings. Since your space is small and healthy plants need room to grow, you have to keep the garden clear of all unnecessary plants.

Pick herbs often and they will continue to grow abundantly throughout the growing season. Picking the herbs before they get long and tall will encourage the herb plants to grow more dense and shorter.

Watering

Watering your garden shouldn’t take much time as your space is limited. A watering can should be all that you need to bring enough water to your outdoor garden. If you really want to get creative, there are planters that are self-watering and they can be great if you don’t want to have to water your garden daily.

Make sure that the soil for your plants is moist without giving the plants too much water. Since your plants are in containers, they are more apt to grow mold or mildew if they are watered too much and they are not draining properly. Once the weather gets hot, water plants every day to make sure that they remain moist throughout the growing season.

Gardening is often seen as therapeutic and everyone should have the ability to benefit from sitting out in the garden, playing in the dirt. Stress melts away while you dig, prune and cater to your plants. People who reside in apartments should have the same chance to enjoy gardening, even if they have to be more creative and resourceful with the space available.

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