How I made an urban garden while living in an apartment

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Urban gardening has really taken off on blogs and social media as people begin to take a closer look at the food they consume and the prices they pay for it, and as eating organic as risen in popularity.

I’m used to growing a large garden at my parents’ house. When I moved to an apartment, I was unhappy with the idea of living in a small apartment with nowhere to garden, but found a place with lots of windows and a large porch.

It wasn’t perfect. The apartment had its issues. But I could garden.

I kept a large container garden with hanging pots, dollar store pots and larger ones filled with a dwarf blueberry plant and veggies on my porch at my apartment.

If there was a spot with space and light, it had a plant in it. I started seed trays on top of the stove and on coffee tables by windows, kept little greenhouses (out of the picture) on the porch, filled the sunny floor space and used hanging baskets and boxes mounted on the porch railing to maximize vertical space. My husband said we practically lived in a greenhouse.

He wasn’t exactly wrong.

Several of my plants loved a sunny window in my apartment.

I collect pots from clearance sales, the dollar store, thrift stores. Some pots are boring, but others, especially from thrift stores or as gifts, are beautiful. I also collect seed trays when they go on sale– they often sell for $5 regularly but go down to $1 or less at the end of the season. When it was time, I’d put the tray with seeds in a bright sunny area and, when the seedlings were reading, put them in pots on the porch or in the window. I also ordered a small blueberry plant from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, one of my favorite seed companies.

To successfully urban garden, you have to have sufficient light. If you don’t have a good sunny window, you may be able to find an inexpensive grow light to mount over your plants. You could also check with your landlord to see if you can put window boxes in, or add plants to a shared porch or front steps, if they’re wide enough and won’t cause a hazard.

I kept herbs, squash and other plants in inexpensive pots on my porch.

I had some losses (once from people tossing my plants off, once or twice when I was on vacation, and one when I was so sick from pregnancy that I couldn’t properly care for them) but overall my plants thrived in containers. Overall, urban gardening was a success!

So many tomatoes!

Have you ever grown a container garden? What did you put in it?

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