If you live in a condo, apartment, or home with limited outdoor space, you are not alone. In fact, 20% of Americans live in condominiums or apartments. If you’re one of many American condo owners–or if you live in an apartment– you’re not out of luck if you want to have a garden. With a little creativity and a lot of organization, you’ll be able to garden ’til your heart’s content, whether you prefer veggies, flowers, or a little bit of both.
Tip 1: Window Boxes
Short on space? No problem! Window boxes can provide an excellent place to plant everything from herbs and small vegetables to your favorite annuals. Hang them from your windows as intended or place them on a tall rack or outdoor shelf and you’ll find you get ample room to plant without taking up much space on your porch, balcony, or patio.
Tip 2: Containers & Plastic Bins
Containers just might be the king of condo gardening tips. From flower pots to plastic storage tubs, container gardening makes it possible to grow vegetables, flowers, and herbs in nearly any space–no matter how cramped.
Plastic storage bins make ideal growing containers for plants that require deeper soil, such as peppers, tomatoes, or even root veggies like potatoes. They’re ideal for nearly all vegetables, and while they aren’t that pretty to look at, they’re usefulness makes them one of the best condo gardening tips out there.
Tip 3: Get Vertical
Vertical gardening continues to increase in popularity because it’s such a versatile way to garden. Whether using a simple shelf or a DIY vertical gardening rack made from discarded shipping pallets, vertical gardens allow green thumbs to grow their gardens up instead of out.
If you’re not the crafty type, vertical gardening centers are now available from most major retailers online–and in many cases, right in big box retail stores. They can be placed on patios, balconies, or porches, so they’re one of the best condo gardening tips.
Tip 4: The Right Soil
When soil is at a premium (as it will be when gardening in smaller spaces), make sure you’re using the best soil possible. Soils that include plant-specific fertilizers are wonderful and tailor-fit each type of plant you want to grow. You will also want to make sure your soil has the correct amount of acidity for the plants you will be planting.
Tip 5: Dwarf Trees
Dwarf trees are one of the coolest condo gardening tips out there! Think of dwarf trees as miniature versions of their full size counterparts. What’s that mean? It means you can grow fruit-bearing trees in containers or in small spaces right at your condo or apartment.
From lemons and limes to apples and peaches, dwarf fruit tree varieties make growing your favorite fruits easy–even when space is limited.
Tip 6: Spice Rack Garden
Use a wall mounted spice rack outside for a great way to grow your favorite herbs and spices. Basil, parsley, cilantro, oregano, and even small peppers that can be dried and made into powders are perfect for this spice rack hack.
After all, what better place to grow your spices than in the place where you usually store them? Genius!
Tip 7: Cans
Coffee and food cans that are made from aluminum make the ideal place to grown plants. Drill holes in the bottoms to promote drainage.
Have the kids help to decorate the outsides of the cans with paints and not only will your cans become home to beautiful flowers and tasty veggies, but they’ll be pretty and meaningful as well.
Tip 8: Balcony Rail Planters
If you have a balcony, you can actually purchase rail planters at many online retailers and garden centers. These innovative flower pots are designed to hang sturdily on your balcony railings so you can maximize space. They come in all shapes and sizes, so they are perfect for both flowers and veggie plants.
Tip 9: Functional Landscaping
One of the best condo gardening tips for those who live in condominiums is to turn what little landscaping opportunities they have into a functional garden. Many condos provide owners with a simple flower bed or small landscaping area outside their condo. And while most people think shrubs and ivy belong in these types of areas, they might be surprised to learn that they can, indeed, plant vegetable right there in the landscaping beds.
Protect vegetation with a short barrier and spray tender leaves with a natural deer and insect repellent, such as one made with hot pepper oil or garlic.
Tip 10: Think Drainage
In small spaces, drainage is incredibly important. Be sure your soil type allows for plenty of drainage, and make sure your containers have holes in them to let excess water out.
Water the plants sufficiently; especially on hot, sunny days. However, beware that overwatering your plants can kill them–which is why proper drainage is so important.