When growing an apartment garden, planning is very important. Before I started my garden, I tried to plan it as much as possible. In this case of an apartment, the first thing to do is to find out if it's ok to grow plants on your balcony as some apartments or condominiums are against growing plants.
Select a location for your plants. When selecting a location for your plants, it’s important place your plant s in the area that has the most light. In many cases that will be the balcony, (Include pictures of the balcony) if you have a balcony. If sunlight does not reach your apartment then you will have to use grow lights (provide link) to help your plants grow and stay healthy.
Select the type of container you will use. (I.E. color that marches the paint color of the room) (I am really ignorant when it comes to color so I went to the thrift store with my wife to help me pick a container that matches the paint color of the balcony.
There are several types of garden containers out there that are suitable for indoor gardening and here are a few types of gardening containers that you can use. I did a search on Amazon for gardening containers and this is what I found:
Vertical containers and vertical grow bags
The thrift stores are probably the cheapest place to purchase garden container for your apartment garden. If you have a thrift store close to you, it’s worth the time to go there and see if they have any cheap garden containers. My wife went to the closest shrift store and found four containers for $1 each.
Selecting the type of plants to grow in your apartment garden.
Select the type of plants you will grow. (remember the reason you want to grow a home garden is not because you have land to grow a farm, but it's rather because you don't have land to grow a garden) That means you are limited to the types of plants you can grow. For example, it will be difficult to grow a coconut tree inside of your apartment. So what types of plants do you grow
Herbs and vegetables that don’t grow tall are ideal for your indoor or balcony garden. Example of some of the indoor friendly plants is green garlic, tomatoes, beans, pepper, mint, etc.
Once you know the type of plants you want to grow, it’s time to go out and buy some soil.
Soil is complex and getting into details of the types of soil you need for your home garden goes beyond this post. With that said, he’s my experience with buying soil for my apartment garden. Since I live less than 10 minutes away from a Home Depot store, I decided to go there to get the soil for the garden. I wanted to stay away from composted soil and got basic organic soil. I ended up getting two different types of soil and mixed them together.
It’s important to get potting soil when you’re buying soil for your garden, if you will use the soil in pots because some soil are not designed to use in pots. Don’t ask me why because I have no idea. :)
Another thing to consider when buying soil is the type of plants the soil was prepared for. If you’re growing vegetables, there are soils that contains vegetables foods which can significantly improve and support faster plant growth. That’s why it’s good to know the types of plants you will grow before you buy the soil.
The thrift stores are probably the cheapest place to purchase garden container for your apartment garden. If you have a thrift store close to you, it’s worth the time to go there and see if they have any cheap garden containers. My wife went to the closest shrift store and found four containers for $1 each. The containers weren’t clean, since I didn’t know what type of material was in there, I decided to wash them. He’s a before and after pictures of one of the containers.
With only 4 containers, including 2 smaller ones, my wife and I took a trip to Home Depot to get some bigger and more appropriate garden containers.
Home depot has many different types of garden containers so my wife helped me pick the right size and color for the garden.
We also purchased some bean seeds to grow our garden because most bean plants don’t grow tall and bear beans within 3 months.
As you know, fertilizer is very important in any type of garden because fertilizer will provide the plants with needed nutrients such as Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Most fertilizers have instructions and on the label you will see the letters N-P-K and that’s Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and potassium.
There are two types of fertilizers: Organic and inorganic; and fertilizers can be dry or liquid. I decided to purchase a bottle of organic fertilizer that’s made of fish. Later in this post, I share my experience with the fish fertilizer.
Water: As you already know, without water the plants will die therefore it's important to have a water schedule or plan for your plants. Whether you develop or purchase an automated system CONTINENTAL AWS-10 Automatic Watering System for containers that will water your plants or you dedicate the time to water the plants, it’s important that you water your plants regularly. I am keeping everything simple at this time so I purchased an old school Watering Can from Home Depot.
Let's get started:
Now that I have all of the basic materials and ingredients I need to for the garden, it’s time to start sowing seeds. As I said before, I mixed the two different types of soils I purchased and water the soil because if the soil is too dry the seeds won’t germinate.
There are instructions on the seed packages so it’s important to follow the instructions.
There are instructions on the seed packages so it’s important to follow the instructions. I followed the instructions on the package and cover the seeds with about two inches of soil.
6 days later
7 Days later
These beans have grown really fast in just two days.
Now the plants are growing it’s time for me to fertilize them. According to the instructions, I should apply 2 tbsp per gallon of water every 3 weeks.
He's the fertilizer I am going to use.
This thing smells like dead fish mix with modern cow poop. That's my only problem with fish fertilizers, they small like dead fish because they are dead fish. :)
Plants are very smart in their own ways, if you look at this pic, these plants are not standing straight, they're tilted toward the direction of the sun. I am growing them in my balcony so the sun is only in one side.
After I fertilized the plants last night with the fish fertilizers, our dog, Scram dug up some of the plant beans thinking there was fish under the soil. Well done, Scram. I think most of them will be able to recover from the damage, but I need to put the plants in a place that the dog can’t reach or soon I will have no garden. If you have pets and are using fish fertilizers, be aware that your pet might dig the plants up.
Here's what the dog did to the garden:
I removed the plants from the ground and now the dog is unable to reach them. A few days later, the plants have completely recovered and it looks like the fertilizer didn't cause any harm to the plants.
This is the latest picture I have taken of the plants.
I will update this blog post every 3 days to so come back for the latest on the garden.