Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a large amount of space to grow your own garden. In fact, apartment gardening can be done with a little creativity and planning. Thanksgiving is right around the corner and it would be nice to use some of your own ingredients. Not to mention, you’d save some money by not purchasing produce at the grocery store. Here are some tips to begin your apartment garden:
Use Vertical Space
Your small apartment just doesn’t have the sprawling space to spread out a bed of roses. Rather than covering your balcony in greens, utilize vertical space. Use methods of planting that stack your plants so that you can fit more in confined spaces. All it takes are the right materials.
Pallet: One way to garden vertically is with a pallet herb garden. Head to your local grocery store and see if they have a shipping pallet they are not using. If not, check the dumpster. It may not be glamorous, but hey, it’s free! Repair loose boards by nailing them in and secure landscape fabric to the back. The fabric will prevent the pallet from scratching your exterior walls. Next, head to a nursery to get your plants. A pallet garden is perfect for herbs, such as rosemary and basil. Now when you go to prepare Thanksgiving dinner, you’ll just have to walk onto the balcony to get the fresh herbs you need.
Riddling Rack: Use a French riddling rack to grow an entire salad. Riddling racks are usually used to store wine bottles. Start by putting your seedlings in the rack from the back side. Be sure the greens are poking out through the holes in the front. Next, pack soil around the roots. Add coconut fiber to insulate the soil and keep it from falling. Hold everything together with fencing material, which you can staple or nail to the wooden rack. Lean the garden against your balcony wall and you’ll have all the lettuce you need to prepare an excellent salad to accompany Thanksgiving dinner.
Not all plants will work in all containers. Shallow-rooted plants, like herbs, work well in confined spaces. But for some types of produce in your apartment garden, you’ll need deeper vessels. If you have rooftop space available in your building or you have space on your balcony, go with container gardening. Basically, container gardening utilizes pots and tubs to hold produce. The upside is that they take up less space than traditional gardening and most vegetables can be grown this way. The downside is that container gardening requires frequent watering. However, you can purchase or design your own self-irrigation system.
Though there are tons of produce varieties you can grow in containers, there are a few you’ll want to choose to include in your Thanksgiving dinner. Charlotte, Kennebec, red Pontiac, Irish Cobbler and Epicure potatoes all thrive in containers, which is perfect for apartment gardening. Grow one of these spuds to use for your mashed potato side dish.
White Pear, Japanese Bunching, Beltsville Bunching and Crystal Wax Pickling onions are container friendly. Choose one of these and you’ll have all the bulbs you need for your holiday feast.