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Gardening 101: A Garden for Every SpaceJune 27th, 2016 by
Contrary to popular belief, gardens are not one size fits all. Whether you’re an apartment-bound urbanite or the proud owner of a yard the size of a baseball field, you can plant and grow a garden. No matter what your space looks like, it’s important to know that you have a wealth of options when it comes to using that green thumb.
The Indoor Urban Farmer
Whether you’re looking for a low-maintenance pop of color or the ultimate indoor Eden, there are houseplants that will fit your lifestyle. Succulents, for example, are some of the easiest plants to grow indoors. Place an aloe or agave plant in an eastern- or southern-facing window, and you’re on your way.
If you want something less Southwestern but equally undemanding, consider plants like the peace lily or English ivy. Both tolerate less sunlight and only require weekly watering and feeding. African violets, hibiscus, and certain begonias are brighter but still easy-to-grow plants that also thrive inside.
For those looking to become urban farmers in the comfort of their homes, boxed or wall-affixed herb gardens are a simple way to make the most of your available space. If you’re low on space but have a lot of sun, your options are far from limited. Herbs like oregano and sage love the sun and will grow best near east- and south-facing windows. Bigger crops like chili peppers, strawberries, and dwarf citrus plants will also grow in confined spaces as long as you find them a spot in the light. Cilantro and parsley grow well in shadier environments, i.e., spots facing east and west. If you’re low on natural light, mint plants will grow in almost any condition.
Working in Tight Quarters
If you can’t build out, try building up. Vertical gardens are a new take on an old idea. They perform the same function as traditional gardens and mostly require the same care, but they can add a unique flair to your home’s décor and potentially reduce noise and energy costs. Succulents, ferns, and waxy-leafed plants work especially well in wall gardens, but most plants will thrive with the correct support and care.
With research, you’ll find that nearly any space can be turned into a green space. Anything from a tire to a rain gutter can be outfitted to support the right plants, so don’t get bogged down by the traditional potted planter. After all, you can grow your perennials in bags if need be.
Plenty of Room to Grow
If you’ve got a lot to space to offer but no idea what to do with it, your first step should be to decide what you want from your space.
If you’re hoping to start a vegetable garden to help feed you and the family, start out by deciding on a few crops to try to cultivate. Lettuce, carrots, green beans, tomatoes, and squash are easy-to-grow crops for beginners. Root vegetables like carrots and radishes are especially hardy and likely to thrive under a novice’s care. You might consider an app like Zukeeni to help you plan everything from types of crops to the layout of your planting beds.
When picking your plants, climate is key. Black-eyed Susan and phlox are perennials that thrive in the South, while golden marguerite and lily of the valley are more likely to thrive in a garden north of the Mason-Dixon Line. An easy way to narrow down your options is to decide on a color scheme for the garden and consult with local experts from there.
If you really want it, you can grow a garden in any space at any time. It’s all about deciding what you need and what you’re willing to put into your garden. Luckily, nature has just about every situation covered.