Eating right. You know it’s important and a part of a healthy lifestyle. But you may prefer to grow your own fruits and veggies. If you live in an apartment, you may think that you can’t have a garden. Think again. All you need to do is create a space indoors that’s perfect for growing fresh fruits, herbs, and vegetables. You can plant your seeds in a vertical garden system that’s on wheels. Read on to learn how you can do apartment gardening, and you’ll have fresh foods in no time.
Apartment Gardening: How to Grow Fruits, Herbs, and Vegetables Indoors
Some vegetables are surprisingly well-suited to being grown indoors. These are types of veggies that don’t require as much sun as others and don’t take up too much space. Here are some types of vegetables that are ideal candidates for apartment gardening.
Vegetables to Grow Indoors
Some tomatoes (such as Maskotka, Garden Pearl, and Tumbler) will do well hanging in baskets in front of a window indoors, assuming they get plenty of water
Green beans can also be planted indoors, because they grow as a vine, so a large container isn’t necessary. In fact, you can use a container as small as 8” in diameter (just plant one seed about an inch deep). If using a larger container, make sure to give at least 4” of space between each seed.
- When planting green beans indoors, try to plant mid-to-late spring to ensure your beans will get an adequate amount of sunlight. Green beans require at least 6 hours of sunlight and do best in temperature between 50-80°.
- Do not overwater—only water enough to keep the soil moist. Your container will need to have drainage holes, so make sure to use a drainage tray to avoid getting water on your floors.
- Green beans thrive when they are planted in good soil. You can make your soil with 2 parts garden soil, 1 part gardening sand, and 1 part aged compost.
Your green beans should be ready to harvest in about 60 days after planting.
Create a simple craft stick trellis to help hold your beans. You will need:
- Craft Sticks (4 or more: also called popsicle sticks and available at craft stores)
- Hot Glue Gun
- Paint of your color choice (optional)
Although you can create any type of shape you want for your trellis, for this example we will be making a simple grid.
Start by standing two sticks straight up in the dirt of your planter, side-by-side about 3-4 inches apart. Then glue another stick horizontally across the top of the two. Glue a fourth stick across the lower part. (You’ll end up with a capital letter H with an extra stick across the top.) If you need your trellis to be wider just make more squares—with this simple grid design you can make your trellis as large as you need it to be.
When you have completed your trellis and everything is dry, feel free to paint it to match your home decor. (Remove it from the soil first!)
Many varieties of salad greens can also thrive indoors with any type of pot that has adequate drainage.
Carrots grow well indoors and are good candidates for apartment gardening. Make sure your container is deep enough for a 7-9” inch carrot. Use a container with drainage holes (don’t forget the drainage tray!) and fill your container with a good-quality potting mix, keeping the soil loose (do not pack it). Spread your seeds 2″ apart and lightly push them into the soil, no more than an inch. Water only enough to make the soil damp. You should be ok to water twice a week until you start seeing sprouts, then water once a week. Just make sure not to over water—you want to keep the soil moist, not soaked. Carrots do best if kept in direct sunlight for up to 3 months. Your carrots will be ready to harvest when you start to see raised areas around the leaves.
Herbs to Grow Indoors
If you’re new to apartment gardening (or just looking to add some flavor to your meals!), consider an herb garden. Most herbs can grow in small, shallow containers, which fit perfectly on a windowsill. Look for an elongated pot or several individual pots, with drainage holes and a tray underneath. Many apartment gardeners like to grow herbs on the windowsill above the kitchen sink, where the sight and fragrance perk up even dreary days.
South-facing windows are best, but east- or west-facing windows will also give the herbs plenty of sunshine. Herbs like to be well-watered, but shouldn’t retain the water at all, making proper drainage essential. The herbs can often be used straight from the pot, and many of them produce all year round.
A few herbs that do well in indoor pots include thyme, sage, dill, and oregano.