No yard, no problem: Apartment gardening for the ecofriendly urbanite
When choosing containers for your plants, consider more than just new, glossy ceramic pots that might look lovely but can quickly send you over budget. Your plants can grow happily in containers made from empty plastic paint buckets (cleaned out, of course), plastic storage bins, planters made of two-by-fours, and even old tea kettles.
The main necessity of any plant container is that it has sufficient drainage. So for the most part, if it will hold soil and you’re able to drill some holes in the bottom, it’ll get the job done. Keep in mind that larger plants need larger pots, and even a small plant can find its growth limited by an undersized container.
So what are the benefits of apartment gardening? While it’s true that growing your own veggies might take more effort than picking some up at the store, there are a whole host of benefits that come from growing food at home.
First, there are the health benefits, the list of which is impressively long. Homegrown organic food reduces the amount of pesticides and herbicides we ingest.
Additionally, studies on the health benefits of gardening have shown that gardening can reduce stress, improve symptoms of depression and possibly even lower the risk of dementia.
Then there are the environmental benefits of gardening. For those trying to decrease the environmental footprint of their kitchens, apartment gardening is a great approach. Gardening reduces the frequency of trips to the grocery store for fresh produce, and for those of us who drive, this means less gas used and less pollution.
While it might take a bit of trial and error for new gardeners, apartment gardening is a great component of green living. It’s fun, it can be relatively easy, and the rewards are beautiful, plentiful and, best of all, edible!
- The Urban Homestead: Your Guide to Self-Sufficient Living in the Heart of the City by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen
- The Vegetable Gardener’s Container Bible by Edward C. Smith