Gardening has been a well-loved practice for reducing stress, beautifying your surroundings, and growing your own food from scratch for the longest time. You may be wondering how this would be possible when you only have your cosy shoebox apartment in the city but trust me – no space is no problem anymore. Sprawling, luscious lawns filled with greenery and flowers in every colour is not always a possibility for all of us but what is definitely possible through urban gardening, is having a garden to call your own.
Whether you just want something green to brighten up the industrial vibe of your space, something living to connect you back to nature when everything else has been taken over by concrete and brick, or you are keen to start growing your own food to minimise cost and exposure to pesticides, anything is possible even on the smallest scale. Apartment gardens can be a one container on your balcony kind of deal or, if you have the option, a rooftop garden of seemingly endless eco-friendly project possibilities.
The only aspects to consider when planting your miniature masterpieces are sunlight (plants need sun, unless you’re happy to have potted dry sticks after a while) and space to grow with adequate drainage (plants also need water, however if you’re having to learn this fact by reading this article then perhaps take up crocheting or keep your zero maintenance pet rock, Steve, instead). Do not get me wrong, if you are just in this for the greenery aspect then by all means experiment with low-maintenance options like a friendly fern. That fern will require very little input from you to not only survive but to thrive, a little morning sunlight here and a spritz or two of water and it will be yours for life.
If your plans include organically grown tomatoes and lettuce and all the vegetable cousins in between, that you can do too – it will just require a little more effort and attention. You can plant just about anything at the right time of year and in the right climate and in a few short months you will be one step closer to the benefits of having an apartment garden. You can reduce your own carbon footprint, skip all the extra not so pleasant pesticide sprays AND you get to slide into conversation the fact that your entire salad is the veg of your own loins, so to speak. Another great addition to your apartment can be your own compost box that you can add eggshells, sawdust, potato peels and really any organic matter to and intermittently add this wonderful waste to your garden as a natural growth booster.
Plants, the miraculous little munchkins, can grow in just about anything so do not worry about fancy containers or boxes, you can reuse bottles and plastics or even an old bucket. Cut the top off your chosen container, punch a few holes in it for the drainage mentioned above and you have yourself a conduit for really anything to grow. Add in a good quality soil and some seeds and you are well on your way to achieving the farmer’s market stall of your dreams. Be mindful of how much heat or cold your new little buddy will be subjected to though, whilst growing plants might not be rocket science as such, it is still a science and requires a bit of research or a YouTube video here and there.
Good luck and get planting, your balcony will thank you later.