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How to Start an Apartment Garden

Spring is here, which means my yearly itch to start a garden has returned, with gumption. The ground is soft, the sun is shining and my tummy is not-so-quietly urging me to get some veggies in the ground so they can get into my belly. There’s just one problem: I live in an apartment – I don’t have ground that I’m allowed to grow things in.

No yard, no grass – nothing. How are you supposed to have a garden with no yard and no grass?

Potted plans and the words How to Start and Apartment Garden

You improves, that’s how. By calling on Pinterest and my mom’s gardening experience, I’ve become quite the small space vegetable grower.

Last year, I decided to focus on tomatoes and grew three different kinds. On a very basic level, if you keep it simple and just choose one or two types of veggie to grow, you’ll face less stress and have more success. Even better, when you don’t have to worry about sharing a lack of horizontal space, you can focus on your verticals. Growing things up, that is!

The only method I’ve ever employed started in my house and then moved into large planters outside. Now is the perfect time to go ahead and either purchase seeds or little starter plants, keep them inside until the last frost, and then transfer them into larger containers to foster continued growth outside. Again, don’t worry too much about the types of seeds you choose, especially if this is your first foray into gardening. Pick something simply and you know you like, I chose to grow tomatoes because:

  1. I eat them a lot

  2. They can be canned for use later for sauces

  3. You get a lot of them from one plant

  4. I didn’t have to do a lot of maintenance with them.

You can obtain deep planters from your local home stores, dollar stores, or hardware stores (some people use plastic totes too!). Potting soil should be available at those stores as well. You’ll want to purchase items that you can tie your plants to so that they grow up and can be held back from overtaking your small growing space. I used dowel rods (and sticks from the yard) and then cut up old nylons to use as my ties (they don’t cut into the plant and it’s a good way to reuse those nylons with runs in them!).

Even though I joke that my garden corner is pretty pathetic, I am proud that I took the time and effort to maximize my little space to provide me with “free” tomatoes throughout the summer and frozen/canned options throughout the winter.

Do you currently have a small outdoor space that you would love to use to grow something? Share pictures of the space with us or share your own small space garden preparation ideas, we’d love to hear them!

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