Not all of us are blessed with a large backyard or a big balcony. This doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy lush and thriving garden. You will be astounded by the variety of edibles that can grow in pots, window boxes, hanging baskets and other containers. From fresh greens and herbs to tomatoes and other delicious edibles, you can grow almost anything, even if you are running short on space. We’ve rounded up a couple of gardening tips for all the urban dwellers with green thumbs.
Know What Plants You Can Grow
Herbs and leafy greens are some of the best options for indoor gardening. Fruits and veggies like berries, tomatoes and sweet peas will thrive in your urban environment. The key to successful garden is to asses properly the needs of your plants. Before planting your crops, consider the amount of sunlight that your home gets. Each plant has different requirements. Some crops prefer full sun, while other can’t tolerate any direct light. Not sure about the sun exposure in your home? Read on.
- Full shade: on the north sides of buildings
- Partial shade: areas that get direct morning sun such as the east side of a building
- Part sun: same as partial shade, but the plants also tolerate midday sun
- Full sun: places that receive direct sunlight for at least 6 hours
The morning light is considered cooler, while the afternoon sun in the western parts of the building is more scouring. Most plants prefer areas with morning and midday sun and afternoon shade. Veggies like tomatoes, hot peppers and eggplants need full sum, while herbs and leafy greens flourish in part shade.
Pick the Right Containers
The size and the type of containers affects how often you need to water your greenery and how long your pots will last. There are all kinds of options available on the market. In general, ceramic, terracotta and clay pots are more visually appealing, but they also dry out faster than the plastic and wooden containers.
In terms of the container size, it all depends on the type of plant. Herb, leafy veggies, cherry tomatoes and hot peppers grow well in smaller containers (1 to 3 gallons). Eggplants and full-size tomatoes will do better in a 4 or 5 gallon container.
Stick to Potting Soil
According to the expert gardeners, it is better to get fertile and light potting mix rather than garden soil. The reason is that the latter may contain weed seeds and diseases. You can also make your own potting soil by combining half compost half soilless mix.
Water Regularly, but Don’t Drown Your Plants
Be sure that thoroughly soak the pot or the container when water your plants, but remove any excess that fills the saucer. When the greenery sits in water, its root system begins to rot. However, if your plants are exposed to extremely hot and dry climate, you may need to water them every day.