Organic Gardening in Your Apartment

Container Gardens will Reward Your Efforts with a Great Harvest

Copyright © 2012 Jeff Orloff; All Rights Reserved; Posted June 13, 2012

Gardening on an apartment balcony; photo courtesy Shamanic Shift


Most herbs, vegetables and fruits available in the grocery store are exposed to artificial fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals while growing. These products can cause harm to the land, as well as impact your physical health.

In fact, researchers have found a link between chemical pesticides and cancer. If you’re looking for a safe alternative, you can always purchase organic herbs, fruits and vegetables from your local grocery store.

Unfortunately, organic foods cost more, and if you’re looking to save on your grocery bill, you might consider starting your own organic garden.

Starting an organic garden is very doable if you live in a house and have plenty of yard space. You can designate a section of your yard for the garden and plant as many foods items as you like. But you don’t need a backyard to start an organic garden; in fact, you can start your own garden inside your apartment. Here’s how.

  1. Purchase your supplies: There is no rule that says a garden has to be large. You only need a few terracotta pots or containers to start your apartment garden. There are round containers perfect for tables or the floor, as well as rectangular containers that fit perfectly on window sills.

    Prepare your soil using a mixture of potting soil and compost. Black Kow® brand is highly recommended; It can be purchased at Lowes. Buy potting soil without any amendments added.

    Fill each container or pot with organic potting soil and place organic seeds into the soil at the recommended depth. For a true organic garden, don’t purchase just any type of seeds or fertilizers. Read labels carefully to ensure that you’re buying organic products. After the seeds sprout, add a layer of mulch to retain moisture.

  2. Choose a space: You don’t need a lot of space to start an organic garden in your apartment. It’s best to start small and select a few herbs, vegetables or fruits to grow.

    Balconies are perfect locations for apartment gardens. They receive plenty of light and rain water provides your garden with adequate moisture.

  3. Make sure that your garden has plenty of light: Sunshine is crucial to any garden — whether outside or inside an apartment. Determine the area of your apartment that receives a lot of sun during the day. This is where you want to focus your organic garden.

    For example, if your dining room receives a lot of sunshine, you might station your containers on your dining room table or perhaps on a table in your dining room. If your apartment receives a lot of shade, purchase an artificial grow lights to help your plants thrive.

    Another option depending on the location of your apartment is to set your containers outside for a few hours each day.

  4. Natural pest repellant: Pests usually aren’t a problem with an indoor garden, but if you start your apartment garden on the balcony, a few bugs might take up residence in your containers.

    You can check your pots each day and physically remove the insects, purchase an organic/natural pesticide from your local garden store, or make your own pesticide. A mixture of water, onion powder, hot pepper and garlic powder sprayed on your fruits and vegetable can solve your insect problem.

    As an alternative, you might find it advantageous to sprinkle some diatomaceous earth on top of your mulch. This will control crawling insects. Keep your plants healthy and productive by applying a foliar feeding twice a month with Garrett Juice. Don’t worry about the smell from the fish emulsion; it will only last a while.

About the Author:

Jeff writes about ideas on making the most out of apartment living for the Renters’ Insurance blog hosted by the Consumer Media Network.

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