5 Tips for Starting Your Own Apartment Garden

Herb garden

It’s easy being green: Generally, all you need to get started is an ample windowsill and access to a decent amount of sunlight. (ramsey everydaypants via Flickr)

OK, so maybe apartment living doesn’t exactly give you the chance to till the earth and grow most of your dietary essentials.

But guess what? You can still grow quite a few things both indoors and on balcony gardens, and there are resources on the Internet that will give you all types of tips. Whether you live in Bethesda, Adams Morgan or Shirlington, you can grow tasty vegetables and hopefully save a little money.

Here are five tips for growing veggies in your apartment that I’ve cobbled together from various sources.

1. Give your plants plenty of sun – I know this seems obvious. I have a friend who even suggested that you should try to have your plants get as much south/southeastern sky exposure as possible. Now, if only your apartment cooperates!

2. Pick the correct plants – Not that every plant needs that much sun … If you live in a place where trees or other buildings block a lot of sunlight, don’t pick plants that only thrive with a bunch of it. According to e-book author Becky Sheldon, who runs ContainerGardeningCenter.com, lettuce, chives, carrots and radishes all do well in low-light conditions.

3. Go organic – I shouldn’t have to explain this one. You should try to use natural fertilizers whenever possible. OrganicGardening.com has a good primer as far as that goes.

4. Grow herbs – I know, they’re not sexy, pretty, and they’re not tomatoes or bell peppers. But they’re probably among the easiest things to grow on a balcony or indoors, and they give you tremendous bang for your buck. Herbs are used in salads, dressings, sandwiches and cooking. Also, harvest them regularly: The more you pinch off, the more they’ll grow back.

5. Don’t overwater – Most people are aware that they need to water their plants for them to survive and be healthy, but some may not know that you can overdo it. If you overwater your plant, it can cause mold and fungus, as well as root rot. Heather Rhoades at GardeningKnowHow.com states: “How can you tell plants have enough water? Feel the top of the soil before you water. If the soil is damp, the plant does not need more water. Water only when the surface is dry.”

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Scott D

Scott D

Scott is a local writer and has been with the Apartment Showcase blog since its inception in 2010.

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  • Picking out the right plant is the first step you should do when creating an apartment garden. Not all plants can endure the small space and minimal sunlight that apartments offer. So look for ones that can live even with these challenges.