Cramped for space and love plants? Don’t think that just because you’re spatially challenged, you can’t have an amazing garden at your apartment. Here are some tips for filling your small space with lots of fresh greenery.
First of all, take inventory of everywhere you get great light, both direct and indirect because there is bound to be a plant that will flourish in almost every area.
To start, you’ll want to maximize the areas that get light.
Plants for lower light areas
Fill your lower light indoor and outdoor spaces with these hardy plants: Cast Iron Plant, Pothos (Devil’s Ivy, any variety), Lucky Bamboo/Money Tree, or Snake Plant. These plants look great and are hard to kill, so if you’re new to being a plant parent, load up on these and you’ll never be sorry.
Balcony plants and brighter light areas
If you have a balcony or railing with plenty of good sunlight, make use of basic rectangular planters or top railing planters. They offer loads of space to pack in herbs, flowers and even vegetables, and are generally very stable. Make sure to make note of drainage holes as well. Basic planters will often come with a water catch plate, but top railing planters will only have drainage holes that may rain out onto your neighbors. Yikes!
Some plants that look great on the balcony are herbs, such as, parsley, oregano, and thyme. Growing your own can save you lots of dough at the grocery store, too! The key to getting started is not to overthink things, sometimes basic is best, and starting off easy is the way to go!
Next, go vertical! Make use of every dimension in your apartment with a hanging planter. They’re cheap and look great. If you have enough light, you can even grow some snap peas or trailing herbs. Hanging planters come in plastic, metal, and wood mostly. Metal planters can be lined with coconut fiber which is great for airflow and preventing root binding.
Get some grow bags
If you’re a bit more advanced and ready to go “all out” in your apartment gardening venture, grow bags are amazing. Grow bags can be incredibly powerful tools for small spaces. There are all different types of grow bags to choose from that can accommodate just about anything.
Why do we think grow bags are so good?
Grow bags allow for airflow in the soil which is important for roots. Compared to standard plastic containers, grow bags help prevent root binding. The way it works is this: the root grows to the edge of the container. In a typical plastic container, the root tip will wrap around, up, and down searching for a new way to go. In grow bags, however, once the root tip reaches the edge of the bag, the tip senses the air and dies. This sends a message back to the plant to create more fibrous roots.
Plant the walls
Don’t forget about the walls and sides of your apartment. These are perfect for hanging gardens to grow flowers, herbs, succulents, and even lettuce. Hanging shoe racks are ideal for this. Before planting, pour a bit of water in the pocket to check the drainage and cut a little slit at the bottom if necessary to make sure the water has a way out. Cute and easy.
Other than that, nearly anything that can hold soil can be a planter, just like the repurposed pallet rack in the photo above. Check a local goodwill or second-hand store for potential containers, like old luggage and boxes. Create your own drainage holes with a drill and you’re all set!
If you’re intimidated about gardening, start small, remember just a few things:
Water. Sunlight. Food.
Grow Goodies™ is a wonderful plant food for establishing transplants in their new home.
Practice, practice, practice! And as always, enjoy your hobby.