Gardening is fun. With a bit of guidance, just about anyone can do it.
Well, anyone with space, that is. And with well over 5 million apartments built in the U.S. between 1990 and 2014 alone, it’s fair to say there are a good number of you out there without the space to grow a healthy garden.
Add to that the number of people who have the space but are unable to plant in their yards for whatever reason, and you’ve got a good chunk of the population missing out on all the gardening hype.
But here’s some good news – You can grow a staggering amount of produce in containers under your very own roof. Here’s a handy list with some resources.
Apples can be grown in a container, as Life On The Balcony reports:
Choose a pot that is at least 10-15 gallons in size and while you’re at it, pick up some potting soil that is coarse and fast-draining. If you’re going to need to move your apple tree in the winter, you’ll also want to get one of those little wheeled trolleys that you place under the pot. Put the trolley under the pot before you put the dirt in the pot and leave it there.
If you bought a bare root tree, trim the roots so that they will fit in your pot without wrapping around the pot. If you bought a tree that is in a nursery pot, inspect the roots to see if the plant is root-bound. If it is, try and loosen up the roots and disentangle them. Then trim them so that they will fit in the new pot.
Fill the bottom of the pot with dirt. Then place the tree in the pot so that the graft union (the bulging point near the bottom of the trunk where the tree was grafted onto its rootstock) is level with the lip of the pot. Continue to fill the pot until the dirt is two inches below the lip of the pot. You will need to stake your tree to help support it and keep it growing upright. Be sure to tie the tree to the stake loosely! You don’t want to cut into the trunk as the tree grows.
After planting the tree, you should prune back the branches by about one third (see below for more advice on this point). Then water the tree thoroughly, until water streams out of the holes in the pot.
Here are instructions from eHow on growing berries in pots:
Select a container for your blackberry shrub that holds 15 to 20 gallons. It should be at least 18 to 24 inches wide and 12 to 16 inches deep. If your container is deeper than 16 inches, use a trowel or shovel to add wood chips to the bottom to reduce the depth.
Fill your pot to within 6 inches of the top with 1 part peat moss to 1 part potting soil. Add several inches of organic, weed-free compost and blend well. Remove half of the soil with the trowel or shovel and set it aside for planting time.
Choose a blackberry cultivar or variety with an erect growth habit for your container, rather than one that trails. Erect blackberry species have thick, stiff canes that can usually support themselves without a trellis. It’s also important to pick a cultivar that’s guaranteed to be free of viruses, preferably a thornless variety, such as ‘Black Satin’ (Rubus subgenus Rubus Watson “Black Satin”, USDA zones 5 through 8) or “Chester” (Rubus fruticosus ‘Chester’, USDA zones 5 through 9), These tend to be less vigorous and thus less likely to rapidly outgrow their containers.
Remove the shrub from its nursery container by squeezing on the sides gently. A container-grown plant can be planted at any time of the year, although early spring is best. Set the plant on top of the soil in its pot; then use the trowel or shovel to fill in around the plant with the soil you set aside. The plant should end up at the same depth at which it was planted in its nursery container. Add water slowly until it drips from the drain holes in the bottom of the container. Plant only one shrub per container.
Starting the second year, prune your container-grown blackberry shrubs early in the growing season in the same way you would if they were planted in the ground. First,sterilize the blades of the pruner by soaking them in a mix of 1 part water to 1 part rubbing alcohol; allow the blades to air-dry. Trim out any damaged canes or canes that rub against others. Then trim back second-year canes to between 40 and 42 inches and lateral branches to about 12 to 18 inches. Prune the shrubs again in winter to remove dead canes that produced fruit the prior summer. Dispose of all clippings.
This guide from Backyard Food Growing tells you how to grow cherry trees in a container.
Check out this video for information on growing lemons indoors:
This video is an way to learn to grow limes indoors, as is this guide from Indoor Citrus Trees.
Check out the video below for information on growing pineapple indoors.
I also recommend taking a look at this extensive guide from Rick’s Woodshop Creations.
You can grow strawberries in a pot using this guide from Gardening Know How:
When considering how to grow strawberries inside, one must consider space issues and variety of strawberry houseplants one wishes to cultivate.
Space-saving ideas such as strawberry pots or growing strawberries in containers which hang from the ceiling are great options. Whole areas of a home or just a windowsill may also be dedicated to growing strawberries indoors, but be sure not to overcrowd the plants lest they become susceptible to disease or mold issues.
The key ingredient to growing strawberry houseplants, of course, is sun exposure. Whether indoors or out, strawberries need at least six hours of sun per day, which can be provided by window-facing sun exposure or by using indoor plant lighting.
It’s not just the small fruits, either. You can grow a cantaloupe in a container using this video:
Grow watermelon indoors using this video:
These tips from Burpee will also come in handy:
Try a small variety such as an eight-pound ‘Seedless Big Tast Hybrid’ that will fit in the refrigerator easily, or go for the glory and sow watermelon seeds for a whopper like the 30-pound ‘Million Bucks Hybrid’. Heirloom fans will want to plant ‘Moon and Stars’, introduced in 1926 with a deep green skin speckled with tiny yellow stars and quarter-size moons. The leaves are speckled with yellow stars as well. If you don’t have room in the garden for watermelon vines, think about growing them in the middle of the lawn. Yes, in the middle of the lawn. Simply dump two 40-pound bags of composted cow manure and one 40-pound bag of topsoil into a heap on the lawn. Mix and mound with a trowel or by hand to integrate all materials. Water well and plant 6 to 8 seeds and later thin to three plants. The vines will ramble all over the lawn, and you will have to mow around them. But, the watermelon foliage will shade most of the grass underneath it and slow growth.
Basil can be grown indoors and kept around the kitchen – where it’s most handy – using this video:
Oregano can be grown indoors using a plant light.
This guide from Gardening Know How does a good job of providing information:
Indoor oregano plants need similar conditions to exterior raised plants. The ideal temperatures for growing oregano inside are between 65 -70 F. (18-21 C.) in the day and 55-60 F. (13-16 C.) degrees at night.
This video is great for growing parsley indoors:
Gardening Know How also has a pretty good guide on the topic of parsley:
Parsley herbs (Petroselinum crispum) grow best in a sunny, preferably south-facing window where they will receive six to eight hours of direct sunlight every day. If your window doesn’t provide that much light, you will have to supplement it with fluorescent lighting. Turn the pot every three or four days so that the plant doesn’t lean into the sun.
Parsley container gardening is no different than growing any other potted herbs. Choose a container that fits snuggly on the window sill. It should have several drainage holes and a saucer underneath to catch water as it drains through. Fill the pot with a good quality potting soil and add a handful of clean sand to improve the drainage.
Humidity isn’t usually a problem when you grow parsley in the kitchen where steam from cooking and the constant use of water helps keep the air moist. In other locations, you may need to mist the plants from time to time. If the leaves look dry and brittle, set the plant on top of a tray of pebbles and add water to the tray, leaving the tops of the pebbles exposed. As the water evaporates, it increases the humidity of the air around the plant.
Rosemary can also be grown anywhere there’s sufficient warmth, as this guide from Fine Gardening shares:
Growing rosemary from seed typically results in low germination and excessive plant variation. With cuttings, the plants are always identical to the stock plant. Rosemary is easy to propagate, and sometimes roots will develop even in a glass of water on a sunny windowsill. I have found that the best time of year to take cuttings is in the late fall and early winter.
To take cuttings, clip 2-1/2-inch stems from new growth on an established plant (see Propagating rosemary). Snip off the bottom leaves (rather than pulling them off) and dip the bottom 1/4 inch into a hormone rooting powder. Place the cuttings in a container with equal amounts of peat moss and perlite. Spray the cuttings with a light mist on sunny days.
Chives can also be grown in a south-facing window, as stated by Gardening Know How:
A sunny south window offers the six to eight hours of full sunlight needed when growing chives inside. Rotate pots if chives are reaching toward the light.
If a sunny window is not an option, chives growing indoors can get the necessary light from a fluorescent fixture six to twelve inches above the pot. Two 40-watt bulbs work best when growing chives inside.
Chives growing indoors appreciate other growing pots close by to provide humidity as well as a fan for air circulation. Humidity for indoor chives may also be provided by nearby pebble trays filled with water or miniature water features nearby. Misting with a water bottle can also help prevent low humidity.
Who says you’re the only one who can benefit from indoor gardening? You can keep your feline friends happy by growing catnip indoors with this handy video:
This video from The Rusted Garden will help you grow thyme in your home… in no time!
Sage has one of the longest culinary histories of any herb. This guide from The Kitchn shows you how to grow sage in your very own home:
Where: Sage will grow almost anywhere, but it provides the tastiest leaf when it receives a lot of sunlight. This evergreen shrub is hardy from zone four through 11, and because of its affinity for well-drained garden soil, it performs well in containers. I have a couple of sage plants dedicated for culinary use, nestled alongside my carrots and tomatoes. I also have a few more planted within the landscaping. I love using sage springs in flower arrangements.
When: Sage can prove challenging when planted by seed, but it is very easy to grow from cuttings or by “layering.” I purchased my first sage plants from the garden center, and now I propagate new plants via one of the two methods listed below. Regardless of which propagation method you choose, plant young sage plants only after the ground temperature hits 65°F, one to two weeks before the last frost.
Who said you can’t grow a garden if you’re short on space?