There's nothing quite like the taste of fresh picked produce and herbs or the satisfaction that you get from enjoying a meal made with ingredients that you grew yourself. Don't think that because you live in an apartment you can't experience the fun and the flavor of growing your own produce either.
With these tips on how to start a small container garden, you can begin gardening in a small space and be on your way to enjoying fresh grown veggies and herbs.
1. Go Big
Even though you're gardening in a small space, it's always best to use larger pots than the ones that starter plants come in. Transferring the seedlings to bigger pots will allow the roots to spread and allow for more soil to retain moisture and nutrients to nourish your plants. Window boxes or garden beds can be a great option for keeping plants outdoors or for gardening in balconies. Not only are they spacious, but they also enhance the curb appeal of your apartment. You can use any potting soil, but be sure to place at least 2 to 4 inches of it in your container.
2. Choose the Right Plants
If you're completely new to urban gardening, start off by growing herbs. Herbs do very well in container gardens, and they grow quickly, so you'll be rewarded with a crop fast. , fresh herbs can be some of the most expensive items on your grocery list, so growing your own can reduce your costs at the checkout line. Once you've mastered the art of growing herbs, you can move on to fast-growing veggies like lettuce and arugula. Then, progress to other vegetables. Sticking to plants that grow above the soil rather than root vegetables will give you the best results when you're gardening in balconies or indoors.
3. Do Some ResearchOnce you've decided what types of plants to grow, spend a little time learning about what conditions they prefer. Every plant has its own temperature, sunlight and moisture requirements. You'll want to make sure that you space the plants. Then, take the time to determine which areas of your home or apartment have the right lighting conditions to suit your plants' needs. You may determine that you're better off placing your plants in the front window than on the balcony or vice versa.
4. Keep Up With Watering
No matter what type of plants you choose when you're urban gardening, you need to make sure that you're providing enough water for them to thrive. Even when gardening in balconies or in window boxes outdoors, you may still need to water occasionally during drier seasons of the year. Remember that plants have different moisture requirements. Some may need damp soil. Others will do better with drier soil conditions.
5. Always Snip
When it's time for your first harvest, don't simply pluck off your herbs or lettuce, as this can damage the plant and hinder future growth. Use scissors to cleanly cut through the stems. With lettuces, it's especially important that you cut from the base of the plant to allow proper growing to continue.
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