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A Guide to Growing an Indoor Vegetable Garden in Your Apartment

women waters indoor vegetable garden

Just because space is limited in your apartment, that simply does not mean you have to give up on having a delicious and healthy vegetable garden at your fingertips. All it means is that you have to get a little more creative when putting your gardening skills to use. Luckily, as more people turn toward urban-style living, the ideas for small-space indoor gardening are becoming better tested, fine-tuned and therefore more readily available.

If you’re looking to grow an indoor vegetable garden in your apartment, consider the following options. An apartment vegetable garden is within your grasp.

Herb Gardening & Microgreens Gardening

When considering growing vegetables indoors, apartment living may not seem like a suitable environment. It might be worthwhile to start small with herb gardening or microgreen gardening, especially when you consider that you only really need a window or a countertop to get started.

For herbs you need pots that are at least eight inches in diameter, though larger is generally better. Choose a high-quality potting mix intended for herb gardening rather than an all-purpose gardening soil. Mix in some natural compost and coarse sand to improve nutrients and drainage.

The key to harvesting herbs is to take 1/3 or less of the plant at a time and to harvest in the morning as the midday sun will sap the essential oils out of the plant, taking away the flavor. Some of the best apartment herbs are basil, mint, rosemary, oregano, thyme, sage, parsley, and cilantro. Each has its own planting requirements, so make sure to read the instructions on the individual seed packets when doing your initial planting. A kitchen herb garden is a great way to get started learning how to manage an apartment veggie garden.

Microgreens are another great alternative to full on vegetable gardening because they offer a high yield without a lot of effort. You can buy a microgreen growing kit or build your own out of pretty much anything, including a plastic clamshell container originally used for lettuce or strawberries. Set your microgreen containers down inside a large foil container such as a lasagna pan, fill them with potting soil and plant quick-sprouting microgreen seeds. It is best to choose seeds intended specifically for microgreen growing, as you will get more bang for your buck this way, and also, they will not be treated with the fungicides that many commercially available fruit and vegetable seeds are often treated with when intended for traditional growing.

Sprinkle the seeds across the soil and lightly mist them with a spray bottle. Two highly recommended seeds for beginners are alfalfa and radish, as they sprout quickly and do not take a lot of effort. Your mileage will vary. Experiment with different techniques to determine what works for you.

Container Planting

When you are ready to move to something more complex when it comes to growing vegetables indoors apartment features like size, shape, lighting, window access, and balcony or patio access will play a role. Container planting will give you the opportunity to grow a variety of different edible plants including vegetables, but only if you can get adequate lighting either through windows and patio or balcony access, or through grow lighting in your apartment and ample space.

The types of containers you choose will ultimately be up to you, but make sure that you are choosing containers that provide ample growing space for the vegetables that you decide to grow. Some vegetables will be easier to grow indoors than others. For example, you will have easier luck with growing carrots, arugula, kale, scallions, tomatoes, ginger, and lettuce greens. These will grow year-round in an apartment without requiring a ton of space or the best lighting. If you want to expand your garden beyond these vegetables, don’t feel limited to these seven, as you will just need more space, light and know-how to expand your apartment garden to include more options.

Other great indoor-friendly vegetables include beets, onions, garlic, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, potato, avocado, mushrooms, scallions, peppers, eggplant, radishes, dwarf beans, English peas, swiss chard, and sprouts.

Each of these vegetable plants is going to have different potting requirements, and it will likely take some trial and error to find the right lighting and potting requirements when growing vegetables indoors in your apartment space, but that does not mean you cannot have a healthy vegetable garden growing in your apartment. Whether you decide to utilize wooden planters, terracotta pots, plastic pots or homemade upcycled plastic planters made from plastic bottles, or smart pots designed to encourage better drainage and root growth, the odds are good that you will find a rewarding experience when you turn a portion of your apartment into a vegetable garden. It will benefit you to consider the amount of space you have when choosing garden containers, because some are more space-conscious than others. Another option, noted below, is trellised gardening which allows you to grow plants vertically rather than taking up as much space horizontally.

Trellised Gardening

When you’re ready to take your apartment vegetable garden to the next level, consider trellised gardening, which is great for growing your gardens up your walls. Trellised gardening and other vertical gardening ideas are a great way to save on space when growing an apartment veggie garden because they allow you to cut down on the amount of space you’re using while growing a wide variety of different edible plants and vegetables in your home. Because the odds are good that you aren’t using the vertical space in your apartment as well as you could.

You can utilize the ground space in your apartment vegetable garden for terra cotta pots and plastic homemade pottery, then utilize your vertical space for trellised gardens for climbing plants like tomatoes and other creative gardening ideas in order to save space while growing your garden. You do not have to allow space to limit your creativity when growing a garden in your apartment!

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