22 Jun, 2021

Apartment vegetable garden: how to do it and how to care for one

Having a vegetable garden in an apartment is a way to make the environment lighter and more beautiful, in addition to ensuring fresh vegetables always at hand, increasing the consumption of vegetables. Other than that, it is also a way to reduce the production of waste, as these products come in plastic packaging, consume pesticide-free food and save a little in the month.

The apartment garden is practical and anyone who thinks that a large space is necessary for it to be possible is mistaken. The vertical garden, for example, is a viable option for small apartments. In addition, there are a number of plants ideal for indoor environments and with limited space.

How to make a vegetable garden in an apartment

Making an apartment garden requires some care, but it does not mean that it is a complicated and challenging task. Some elements are necessary for plants to grow, such as sunlight for at least five hours a day. It is recommended to take advantage of a sunny wall, a balcony or choose the window with the greatest sun exposure in the house. If it is not possible, choose plants that need less sunlight, such as spinach.

The interesting thing is that the vegetable garden can be a decorative element of the apartment. Therefore, the vases can be made of various elements such as decorated cans, reused pots or wooden boxes, as long as the chosen container has a hole in the bottom, through which the water can flow. Some pot holders can even be moved, which guarantees the freedom to change the furniture without compromising your garden.

Another option is to use pet bottles as vases for your apartment garden. In addition to saving, recycling the material is ecologically sustainable, contributing to the environment. In addition, these bottles can be customized through paintings or cutouts.

Seeds or sprouts: understand the difference

Regardless of the choice to plant seeds or sprouts, the result will be the same. The main point of this choice is the process. As each type of plantation has its own characteristics, the choice will depend on your profile. Beginners looking for faster results may choose to plant sprouts instead of seeds.

The shoots or seedlings are small plants that can be planted directly in their vessels. Its value is usually higher when compared to seeds, since it is possible to prove that you are taking home a healthy plant and that it will develop more quickly.

Seeds are the most economical option, as they tend to be cheaper than the seedlings already planted. However, there is no guarantee that the seeds will germinate and therefore are not cost-effective. In addition, its cultivation takes longer and requires many steps in relation to the sprouts already germinated. For them, it is necessary to wait for germination and then transfer them to a larger pot.

3 steps to make your home garden

1st step: choose and prepare the pots or planter. The ideal is to cover the bottom with a geotextile blanket. It will prevent the soil from draining every time the pot is watered.

2nd step: Use special soil for planting. Easily found in stores or gardening sectors, using the right land is essential to success. Put some soil in the pots, then the seeds or sprouts and make sure that there is space between them for the root to develop. Anyway, cover with more soil.

3rd step: position the vase at the location of the apartment of your choice. If you choose a vertical garden, make sure that the containers are securely suspended. In addition, it is important to check the level of sun exposure to which the plant will be subjected as this will determine the irrigation time that the plant needs. In some situations, the root of the plant can rot if exposure to the sun is not sufficient to evaporate all the water.

When ready, the main necessary precautions are fertilization and irrigation. Ideally, the soil should always be covered with dry organic matter, such as straw and leaves. This ensures the conservation of moisture.

The importance of good soil

An essential part of growing any plant is ensuring quality soil. A well-prepared soil is known as a quality substrate and has a lot of organic matter that guarantees the strong and healthy growth of your plantation. You can find the prepared substrate at specific garden stores or departments. However, it is possible to prepare your own soil, consisting of:

  • 1 part of plant earth
  • 1 part of red earth
  • ½ manure or humus
  • 1 pinch of limestone
  • Sawdust or dry leaves

You can choose to buy ready made fertilizer. However, there are easily accessible materials at home that can be used in fertilization. Coffee grounds, for example, are rich in potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus and can be placed directly on the ground. Another very sustainable option is to use the banana peel. It must be buried in the pot or decomposed in water for two or three days and the liquid used in the soil and leaves.

Vertical garden: the solution for small apartments

Living in a small apartment does not have to be an impediment to having your own vegetable garden. A widely used solution is the use of the vertical garden. As with the verticalization of cities so that more buildings are built, verticalizing your vegetable garden can be a way to better occupy the space.

The vertical garden can be made in several ways, in addition to being installed in various environments. People whose interest is to plant spices, usually choose to set up the vegetable garden in the kitchen. Those who have balconies, no matter how small, find a great environment for cultivation, since, most of the time, it is where there is the greatest exposure to the sun.

As we know, it is very important that plants receive sunlight for a few hours a day. One option is to place the vases in the apartment’s own window. Hooks can be installed and the pots secured by techniques such as macramé.

It is worth remembering that having a vegetable garden in an apartment does not mean changing the original decoration. For rented apartments, for example, where tenants cannot make many changes, the suggestion is to purchase supports that do not need to be hung. In other cases, it is possible to prepare the vegetable garden to match the decor. For those who like an industrial style it is possible to make the vertical garden from PVC pipes.

Another option, even more practical, is to opt for the mini vegetable garden. This model can be made on a piece of furniture such as an island or sink counter in the kitchen. Some people choose to transform the mini vegetable garden into magnets, simply paste enough strong magnets to the pots and place them in the place of their preference in the refrigerator. This version can also be carried around easily, making the decoration dynamic.

The best plants to grow in your garden

The good development of plants in your apartment garden depends a lot on the care that is spent on them. However, some vegetables require less or more care. We list the most common plants and how to care for them.

Spices

Spices are widely used in home gardens because of the ease of cultivation. These plants do not need to be replanted, just harvest the leaves.

  • Mint: this spice is very versatile, goes well with sweet and savory dishes, in addition to being used for the preparation of teas. We call mint the dominant plant, as it requires a larger pot and is in the category of plants that should not share containers. This is because its roots occupy a larger area than other herbs. It needs direct sunlight, but it is also resistant to overcast days, enjoying humidity. The mint should be watered, on average, every 2 days.
  • Parsley: one of the most common herbs in food preparation, parsley grows best on its own, as its roots are deeper.

 

  • Chives: the main care with this plant is the time of its harvest. Always remember to remove the stems at the base and never in half. For cultivation, chives require at least 4 hours of sunshine daily and should be watered every 3 days. 
  • Oregano: this seasoning is easy to grow and its fresh version is as good as the dehydrated one.
  • Thyme: with a flavor very similar to that of oregano, thyme is mild and used in cooking in mushrooms and meat. It is also one of the best options for setting up your garden in an apartment, since thyme adapts even in the smallest pots. You need at least 4 hours of sunshine every day and the soil should only be watered when it is dry, which happens every 4 or 5 days.
  • Pepper: The most suitable peppers for small gardens are the finger, pout and tabasco.

 

Fruits

The fruits usually demand more attention in their cultivation because they are very delicate.

 

  • Cherry tomatoes: the important thing in the cultivation of these tomatoes is to plant the sprouts in bigger and bigger pots as the fruits grow. The ideal is to place stakes in the pot to optimize the space. In addition, they need direct sunlight, but do not require watering every day, just 4 or 5 times a week.
  • Strawberry: different from what many imagine, it is possible to have a strawberry plantation in an apartment. Not requiring too much sun, they just need the heat. The ideal is to leave them in the shade of other plants or near the window. The secret to the success of planting strawberries is to plant them with the seeds already ready, in addition to using quality land. The pot must be suspended because the strawberries grow in cascade and the plant demands watering daily or every other day.
  • Blackberry: this fruit grows in a similar way to strawberries and its cultivation can also be done in the same way.

 

Vegetables

Many think that growing vegetables requires wider spaces. However, there are varieties of mini vegetables that can be easily grown in small environments.

  • Kale: its varieties are easy to grow, especially kale.
  • Lettuce: adapting well to apartments, its version known as baby lettuce fits even in the smallest pots and is ideal for gardens in small spaces. Lettuce needs direct sunlight and a lot of humidity requiring daily irrigation.
  • Spinach: this vegetable grows best in cold places, being excellent for those who live in the south of the country.

Apartment garden: sustainability and beauty

Having a vegetable garden in your apartment, regardless of size, is not such a challenge. It just requires care and attention, having several benefits such as the economy in the market, having your favorite ingredients always at hand, in addition to being a sustainable and cheaper way to consume vegetables. In addition, there are health benefits as food grown at home does not contain pesticides.

The plants in the apartment are also great decoration options for those looking for cheerful and cozy environments. Occupying little space, versions like vertical gardens are excellent for vegetable gardens in small apartments.

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