Apartment Style Gardening

Dreams of living the country life often start in times of our lives when we are not yet able to fulfill them. Like many people out there, I myself once dreamed of rolling hills and a simpler life while living in an urban sprawl. My husband and I lived in a small Japanese apartment for 2 years before we settled back in Alabama. That being said, no matter the space you have, there are still many options out there if you want a piece of the farm life.


Apartment style gardening has grown in the past decade, with more and more people maximizing their small spaces to grow their own food. You may not have enough space to grow a whole field of corn, but you can still grow just enough to occasionally give yourself fresh herbs or veggies to compliment a salad. Food just tastes better when you grow it yourself!


Plants grown in containers can thrive in a small space. Your plants will do best if given the opportunity to experience the sun and wind. It has been proven that plants need wind flow to grow sturdy, stable roos. Having our plants close at hand makes weeding easy, and plants potted alone are less susceptible to diseases. Here are two simple, affordable types of apartment style gardening you can try.


  1. Cherry Tomatoes in a Large Pot


Cherry tomatoes do wonderfully in containers and are super tasty if home raised. The average height of a mature cherry tomato plant is 3-4 feet tall. When growing a single plant in a container, it is best to go big. having to move your plant to larger containers as it grows adds undue stress on the roots. Try imagining how large you want your tomato plant to grow, and buy a container according to that end size.

Tip: Don’t aways buy heirloom.


Heirloom plants are very popular these days. You can regrow new plants from the seeds of anything heirloom. However, in my experience, heirloom varieties are more likely to spread and grow large without ever stopping! Especially types of heirloom tomatoes, which seem to reach their arms everywhere.

Much research and breeding has gone into making some hybrid vegetable plants that overproduce and do not take over your entire space. Be sure to read the label and be sure you are getting “determinate” cherry tomatoes. Indeterminate veggies will grow and grow and spill out over your balcony! Lastly, place the container in an area that gets at least 6 hours of full sun.


  1. Indoor Herbs


It is no secret that plants thrive when outdoors, but with the right conditions, plants can do well inside too! Herbs can be grown inside under fluorescent lights! Just be sure to hang the light no closer than 6 inches from the top of the plant. Metal halide or fluorescent lights can be used, and must be on for an average of 12-16 hours a day for maximum production.


Fresh herbs add so much flavor to dishes and you’ll be more likely to use them if they are at hand! Some good indoor herbs include rosemary, basil, oregano, cilantro, thyme, and sage. Avoid spreadable herbs hat like to run, like mint and lemon balm. You can put a fan n low, and blow your herbs occasionally to mimic the wind, making the plant grow stronger.


Remember: Wet dirt is heavy dirt.


Indoor plants will need more watering than outdoor plants. The dry air inside a home quickly zaps out moisture in the soil. You may need to water your veggies and herbs more. I suggest using potting soil from a hardware store for your container plants. Dirt, if collected from outside, if often denser and less aerated, and can be disastrously heavy when wet. Potting soil is much lighter and drains water well. be sure your container can drain, and be aware of exactly where the water is draining.


Apartment style gardening can benefit you, regardless of the space you have at your disposal. Good for the mind, body, and soul, gardening has been with us for centuries, don’t let space hold you back. There are many ideas out there, and you may just come up with some new ones of your own!