A garden is one of the most peaceful places you can be. It can help us destress and reground our roots back into the earth after a stressful week at work. On the weekend you can get your hands dirty and start growing plants from seedlings. But what if you live in an apartment?
If you live in a small house in town or in an apartment, the chances are you don’t have a garden to work with and reap the rewards of your produce at the dinner table. Luckily, now that technology has increased and become more cost effective, you can create your own apartment farming in South Africa.
We are going to look at what the best plants are to grow in your indoor garden apartment, along with the different ways of growing food in an apartment.
Indoor Apartment Gardening – How Does It Work?
Apartment planting is extremely rewarding. But it does require some additional features to grow a variety of plants. Some plants can grow fairly well just from the natural light your apartment creates.
Plants like tomatoes and lettuce on the other hand need additional light to mimic the growing environment outdoors. Although this might seem like a lot of information, we are going to show you everything you need for growing vegetables in an apartment.
Growing Plants in an Apartment – What to Consider
The first thing to consider is how much space you have to play with. Work out the m2 and start getting creative. Maybe you have a cupboard that you don’t use or you could shift some objects around creating the necessary space.
If you opt for a grow tent combo you can place it in the corner of your bedroom or even the lounge. This is always great when showing your guest where the fresh produce they are eating comes from.
Apart from space you are going to need lights and a grow medium.
Apartment Hydroponic Garden – What Do You Need?
Before you can consider what plant to grow indoors, you should plan for everything that you’ll need first. You need to decide on what type of growing method you are going to use. You may be considering an apartment hydroponics set up or just a regular soil garden.
Hydroponics can be defined as the process of growing plants in sand, gravel, or liquid, with added nutrients but without soil. If you grow without soil you will need to provide your apartment plants with nutrients. An example of an apartment hydroponics set up would be to use the growing medium as coco coir (the husks of the coconut) mixed with perlite.
Coco coir is a great medium to grow with as it’s extremely difficult, if not impossible, to over water your plants. This is because when coco coir is 100% saturated with water there is still 10% air where the roots of your plants lie.
Apartment Indoor Garden – Using Soil
Using soil is great, just make sure that you are using a good quality brand. There are two things to consider when selecting to use soil:
1) Using high quality soil may be a bit smelly in the first couple of months as the soil will often come with fertilizer pre mixed.
2) After a growing season your plant may have used up all of the nutrients in the soil – leaving it barren. A great way to keep your soil from becoming stale is by using a worm farm and keeping some worms in the soil with your plant.
Growing Food In An Apartment – Grow Lights
There are many different types of lights that you can use to grow your indoor plants, vegetables and herbs. As technology has increased and the feasibility of using these lights has come into the commercial market we can recommend using LED grow lights.
LED grow lights are perfect for indoor plants as they use less power, but make sure you get the right type of LED lights for your plants. Some plants require the full light spectrum in order to photosynthesize. Do some research on the plants that you will be growing and make sure that your light supply is adequate.
If you spend a bit more, you can get a full spectrum LED light and not have to worry about the different wavelengths as all your fruits and vegetables will be able to grow.
Indoor Gardens for Apartments – What Can You Grow?
There is a large range of fruit and vegetables that we can grow indoors. In this range the grow difficulty will change from easy to challenging, depending on what type of indoor grow setup you have.
We recommend growing the following, but experiment with different plants and find your favourites.
- Micro herbs – easy to grow
- Radishes – hard to grow will need lights
- Herbs – easy to grow
- Potatoes – hard to grow
- Tomatoes – medium/hard
- Strawberries – medium/hard
- Cannabis – medium/hard
The growing difficulty can change due to the space you have and if you have access to grow lights. Grow lights come in many different shapes, sizes, styles and colors. This is not for aesthetics, this is to increase performance of the lights in many different areas such as electricity consumption, lumens and wattage.
Final Thoughts On Your Apartment Garden
Your apartment garden will require some thought and planning along with clever use of space, but to reap the rewards from your own freshly grown herbs is incredible. Being surrounded by plants, fruits and vegetables that you have grown is very stress relieving.
Now that working from home is more apparent in our lives, indoor apartment gardening brings nature back to your home. Apartment farming is a good excuse to get up from your laptop and change your perspective from a screen to plants for a while.