No matter how small your patio or balcony is, you can grow your own plants, herbs and vegetables (Google / Moving Today)

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Container Gardening For Your Apartment

In apartments, space is almost always at a premium. But no matter how small your patio or balcony is, you can grow your own plants, herbs and vegetables. All you need to do is get a handle on container gardening, which utilizes planter boxes, flower pots and similarly-sized items to grow your plants. Here are some tips to get you started on your container garden.

Check it out
Before you get all excited about growing your own container garden, you’d better make sure you can even do it where you live. Some apartment communities have rules on what you can keep in your outside space, sometimes banning items like grills or yes, small gardens. So call your property management team and ask if it’s going to be a problem. If you get the green light from your property manager, it’s time to do some gardening.

Shedding light on the situation
First evaluate your outdoor space, checking the lighting conditions and space available and whether your garden going to affect your neighbors in any way. Some plants do well in small spaces or low light where others need more light and space to grow.

Be sure to check how light falls on your patio or deck: Parts may often be in shadow during the day, which means that may be a poor location for certain annuals. GardenGuides.com provides a guide on how much sunlight certain plants need to help you figure out the ideal garden positions.

What to plant
Once you know what you have to work with you can decide what you want to grow. There are a number of herbs and vegetables that grow well in containers, such as carrots, garlic, basil and chives. GardenGuides.com has tips on growing herbs and vegetables, along with handy guides on which plants work best in containers. The site also lists a number of annuals that work well on patios.

Box it up
Once you’ve decided what you’d like to grow, pick your containers. Web sites like Container-Gardens.com offer tips on the best kinds to use for the type of plant you’re growing. For instance, lettuce needs a container that’s several gallons in size, while garlic can grow fine in an 8-inch deep pot.

HelpfulGardener.com recommends being creative if you want a more decorative look, but also stresses that no matter what container you choose, make sure it has drainage holes. Experts recommend that you avoid containers with small openings, and warn that wood containers can rot with exposure to the elements.

Playing in dirt

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Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.