November 26, 2017

5 Tips to Start Your Apartment Garden with Very Little Money

This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

I’ve been seeing Facebook posts about starting up this year’s garden.  I know it is still early March and in many areas the cold is still lingering.  But it is not a bad idea to start thinking about growing a few herbs and vegetables in your apartment balcony or patio.

With a little planning, you can get your apartment garden started a minimal cost.  That’s why it’s best to get started early.

Set aside some cash for your garden

Start saving a few dollars a week for your garden fund.  Since you are mostly using recycled materials you will keep costs low, so the few expenses should be covered by the small amounts that you’ve set aside.

Find your space

  • Most apartments have balconies or small patios.   Even if you do not have a lot of space, you can grow something in a sunny window.
  • Make sure your lease does not have restrictions regarding plants in plain view.  Our unit has weight restrictions on what can sit in the patio, any set up that requires large amounts of soil and water would not work.  Since we are only growing small vegetables and herbs, it is not likely we would violate the weight limit.

Get free or inexpensive seeds

  • If you have friends who enthusiastically discuss their gardens every spring, now is the time to ask if they have any seeds.  They will appreciate the interest.
  • Join a seed exchange club where gardeners sell or give away seeds from the previous year.  Some sites offer newcomers a way to get seeds for as little as postage stamp such as this GardenWeb forum.  Make sure the seeds you buy are heritage seeds or non GMO (genetically modified) seeds.

Start collecting containers

You can start your seeds in just about any container that can hold a bit of soil.  Collect empty yogurt cups, plastic soda bottles, baby food jars etc.  You can also collect popsicle sticks that you can use to label your seedlings.  Shop at garage sales, Ebay or Craigslist for used pots and gardening tools such as:

  • Watering can
  • Trowel
  • Plant stands
  • Plant mesh or netting (to protect from birds and insects)

Get ideas from others who have succeed in growing in small spaces 

Check out Urban Green Survival’s Self Watering Propeller Bottle Garden.   You can also borrow or purchase books on container gardening such as The Vegetable Gardener’s Container Bible.

Growing an apartment garden does not have to be complicated or costly.  These easy steps will get you moving toward the goal of growing herbs and vegetables in your apartment.  If you start now, you will avoid missing out on the upcoming growing season.  Growing even a few herbs in a pot will help you develop skill and gain confidence in your abilities.

 

© Apartment Prepper 2017