Who says you need a yard to build a garden? Most of us associate gardens with endless rows of flower beds but you could also grow a pint-sized garden in a small apartment. It’s possible to liven up your space and add a splash of color with flowering plants, herbs, even fruits, and vegetables despite the cramped space!
Are you ready to get your hands dirty? Here are smart small apartment ideas on how to build your own urban garden:
The Dreaded Black Thumb
If you’re like yours truly who’s more likely to kill (by accident) than growing plants, now’s the best time to arm yourself with information. It’s never too late to educate yourself how to earn a green thumb! Pore over gardening books to know the basics of gardening. Go to your local library and read up, join gardening clubs or visit a nearby plant nursery/plant shops for gardening tips.
The internet offers a wealth of information about gardening basics too. You could visit messaging boards, blogs, and other resources related to growing a pint-sized garden. Go ahead and explore all these resources to earn your green thumb.
The Right Weather Conditions
Plants are fickle creatures; some are more sensitive to weather changes than others. This is why it’s important to learn more about your regional climate or weather zone. There’s no need to conduct soil tests or consult historical materials to determine what’s on or adjacent to your city apartment. When you’re ready to buy plants for the garden, ask gardening tips from your local plant shop.
Nearby plant shops sell plants that are suitable for your local area’s weather zone. You can also ask what types of plants are best grown outdoors for your urban garden, how sensitive are certain species to sunlight, the wind, etc. Are there plants that are best grown under the shade, etc.? These questions will help you narrow down the specific types of plants that you could grow in your garden.
Planning Your Space
Once you’ve got a good idea what plants to get for your garden, it’s time to check out your space for the actual planning. If you live in a small apartment then you probably don’t have much outdoor space for a city garden. A tiny patch of outdoor space is enough to get your garden started, you just need to be a little creative to make the most out of the space.
Here are a few small apartment ideas for getting started: go for climbing plants or vines if you can’t grow out plants. A vertical garden is perfect for small spaces because it’s easy to maintain and won’t take much room.
Another idea is to use your balcony to grow a container garden! A container garden is essentially comprised of potted plants. Good thing there are loads of plants that could grow in individual pots or containers. Some plants are also bred to grow in containers. These mini plant varieties will tolerate the lack of space of a city apartment; some are even hardier, less sensitive to harsh weather conditions.
Because the plants are grown in containers, you can move them around and adjust the garden according to the space’s layout. They also save space. Of course, growing plants in containers will take considerable planning too. You should learn how to provide proper soil drainage for your plants. You need to consider what type of soil to use and how much soil is needed to grow a certain plant’s roots. Gardening may sound intimidating but you’ll learn as you move along!
Choose Your Plants Wisely
Now that your space has been set up to accommodate a mini garden, it’s time to fill it with plants. So what type of plants thrive in urban places, you ask? Would you like to build a flowering garden, an herb garden or a vegetable patch? This guide outlines the best plants for urban gardens.
Choose the plants wisely, because some plants cannot tolerate certain types of soil. Again, consult your local plant nursery for tips. Lay the groundwork, prepare the soil first, add the plants at the right time every season, and build your garden in stages. There’s no need to grow your garden quickly or spend more to fill an empty space with plants. The fact is, some plants have to be planted in specific seasons. For instance, evergreens are best planted during the mildest times of the year.
Always consider the amount of sunlight your urban garden gets every day. Some plants are more delicate than others so get to know the types of plants that require minimal care or maintenance if you’re a lazy gardener. Also, some plants require more sunlight than others while there are plants that either needs full sun all day or partial shade. If you’re planting seeds, always check the instructions at the back of the seed packet.
An urban garden should include different species of plants to thrive. Diversity makes plants resistant to certain disease. Combining pollinator plants with herbs, vegetables, fruit plants or native plants in your garden will make your plants resistant to environmental shifts too.
Organize Your Urban Garden
Say you’ve picked out the plants you’d like to include in your urban garden, how do you keep your mini garden organized? Gardening is a dirty job but that doesn’t mean maintaining a pristine garden is next to impossible.
One of our favorite small apartment ideas is to mark the plants to organize the garden and keep the plants neat. This goes especially for indoor urban gardens. Go to your local arts and crafts store to make your own pot labels. Repainting old plant pots is one way to add a touch of kitsch to an urban garden.
You can use mason jars as planters for single plants and herbs or hang your plants to free up your floor space. There are so many ways to organize your urban garden to suit your home décor so have fun experimenting!