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“We Don’t Have a Yard!” - Garden Series

One of the biggest obstacles to having a garden is space.  In the modern world, most of us live in urban and suburban areas.  We don’t have lush green fields to plow or an acre of land at the side of the house to put in a garden. 

Yes, this is a challenge.  But it may be easier to overcome than you think.

For years, my family lived on the third story of an apartment complex.  To say gardening space was limited would be an understatement.  However, we were still able to get creative and grow a few plants each year.

Here are some quick gardening tips for if you live in an apartment:

  1. Choose an apartment with south-facing windows.

The summer sun comes from the south.  Your plants need sunlight.  So if you have the option, choose an apartment facing the south for optimal sun exposure. 

  1. Choose an apartment with a balcony.

Yes, you can grow many plants in a windowsill, but it is definitely convenient to be able to keep the mess outside if you can.  When dealing with soil and watering cans, it is certainly a blessing to have a balcony to work on. 

  1. Buy miniature versions of regular garden plants.

You may not think you have the space to grow cucumbers or watermelons, but did you know there are compact versions of almost every plant that exists?  Check out sites like to find seed varieties that were specifically cross-bred to make them compact. 

  1. Get creative with containers.

Sure, you can buy expensive (and beautiful) planters for hundreds of dollars, but that isn’t necessary at all.  If you are on a budget, check with local garden centers for free used plastic pots or head out to yard sales and see what sorts of unique containers you can find.  

  1. Ask your landlord if you can start a garden in a public area.

In very urban settings, see if you can get permission to set up raised beds or a container garden on the rooftop.  Or in more suburban areas, perhaps there is an unused grassy lot at the complex where you could put a few plants.  Even better, get a few neighbors involved and begin a community garden. 

Using these tips, you will be able to create a beautiful small-scale gardenscape at your apartment or condo.  Happy gardening!

And let me know in the comments if you have any other insider tips for growing a successful urban garden!