From relieving stress and increasing happiness to providing your family with organic produce and herbs — the benefits of gardening are plentiful! Even if you don’t think of yourself as someone with a green thumb, there’s a garden style that can fit your skills. While gardening does require a dedicated space, there are options to make it work while living in Gainesville apartments. With a little research and some clever tricks to maximize space, residents can start reaping the rewards of their own apartment garden in no time.
Assessing Your Garden Potential
Gardens aren’t a one size fits all activity, but it’s best to start small, especially if you’re new to gardening. The first point of consideration is how much sunlight is in the apartment. Even if there are several windows, none of them may get direct sunlight. Knowing how many hours of sunlight you can get and whether it’s direct or indirect will help you decide on what plants will work best in your home. If your living space isn’t filled with natural light, there are still options available, such as ultraviolet (UV) lights or plants that prefer less sunlight.
Take into account the amount of space available for the garden. Window sills, patios, and tables might be obvious locations, but don’t forget to consider vertical space as well. Hanging planters, wall fixtures, or custom solutions can allow for more plants without crowding your living space. With a little bit of creativity, you can add greenery in most places. Some plants require extra care, such as strict watering cycles and pruning, so be honest about how much time you’re willing to spend taking care of the garden.
Choosing The Right Plants
If access to light is an issue and you don’t want to invest in a UV light, research plants that require little to no sunshine. Some popular options include weeping figs, peace lilies, ivy, money plants, and fittonias. If your apartment has a good amount of sunshine available but low-maintenance plants better fit your lifestyle, cacti and succulents are both great options. Residents looking to grow plants that are useful in the kitchen should consider herbs such as mint, chives, basil, or parsley. They can also grow foods like strawberries, salad greens, tomatoes, or peppers. If color and beauty are the goal, flowering plants such as begonias, bromeliads, African violets, poinsettias, and geraniums are excellent options to look into. Just because a plant flowers, it doesn’t mean that the plant requires a lot of maintenance. Remember that you’re not limited to just one species of plant. Assessing the space and choosing plants that work better in each area can help residents grow a variety of plants. No matter which plants you choose, it’s always best to begin by researching the types of soil, pots, and extra care required.
Caring For Your Garden
Gardening is a fulfilling hobby and a good way to get everyone in the family to do something together — no matter the size of the space! Gardening in apartments in Gainesville is possible and can radically transform your living space for the better.While individual plants are prone to different issues, it's important for residents to understand common plant problems, including the following.
- Watering: Both overwatering and underwatering can create issues for plants. Before acquiring a plant, be aware of how much and how often it needs to be watered. Common signs of overwatering include wilting leaves, brown leaves, or falling leaves. Underwatering can result in dry soil, discolored leaves, and wilting.
- Feeding: Unless your soil contains fertilizer, it’s important to feed plants on a regular schedule. Some plants require different nutrients. Check the fertilizer information to see what types of plants are best for that particular type of fertilizer. A water-soluble fertilizer can be administered while watering, which can make taking care of your plant all the more convenient.
- Pests & Disease: Even in the relative safety indoors, pests and disease can find their way to plants. The earlier you catch these problems, the easier it will be to deal with them. Some common signs of pests are holes in the plant’s leaves and produce, brown or white spots, or other color changes. When dealing with pests or disease, it’s best to seek professional guidance to ensure that you’re administering the correct treatment.
- Overcrowding: Make sure to give plants enough room to grow, both above the soil and under it. A general rule of thumb is to space plants 18–30 inches apart, but this can vary depending upon the plant.
- Harvesting: When growing edible plants, it’s important to know how and when to harvest. While it may seem like harvesting is hurting the plant, regular harvesting can actually help it grow in fuller.