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If you’ve just moved into a city apartment and wish you could have more greenery around you, growing an indoor garden can be your best bet. While you may not have tried your hand at indoor gardening, it isn’t difficult, and if you do the right things, you’re sure to have a lush garden without putting in a lot of effort.
Here are 7 tips that will help you get started on your indoor garden.
Don’t Go Overboard
Whether you’re new to gardening or indoor gardening specifically, remember to start small and go slow. You’ll have to learn how to care for all the plants you buy and this can get overwhelming if you purchase too many.
If you already have a small space for your indoor garden, build it gradually so that you don’t cramp up the area.
Decide on What You Want
Before going out and buying plants, decide on the type of indoor garden you want to have. If you want just a bit of green to brighten your day, consider covering your balcony floor with artificial grass from a good manufacturer like ForestGrass. Add some potted succulents and your low-maintenance garden will be ready in no time!
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Conversely, you might want to place potted plants in all rooms for some fresh and clean air. You can also opt for a vegetable garden and grow your own fruits and vegetables, or grow flowering plants to add color and interest to the décor.
Take Available Space into Account
The type of garden you can build depends largely on the amount of space you have. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t have a vegetable garden if you only have a little balcony space. Container gardening can help you make the most of a small garden, and you can also use vertical space by placing potted plants on a table, a step ladder, or a rack!
Don’t be disheartened if you only have a couple of windowsills in your new apartment; you’ll still be able to grow a variety of herbs!
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Consider Light Availability
All plants need adequate light to grow, so you’ll have to identify areas in your apartment that receive direct or indirect sunlight. Observe how the sun lights up your apartment during the day and if neighboring trees or buildings block sunlight.
Note that south-facing windows receive maximum sunlight, east- and west-facing windows receive moderate sunlight, and north-facing windows receive the least sunlight. If you don’t have south-facing windows, use artificial lighting for your indoor garden– standard fluorescent lights or HID (high intensity discharge) lights are the best options.
Furthermore, different plant species need varying amounts of sunlight, so make sure that you don’t give your plants more light than needed.
Be Armed with Gardening Supplies
Apart from a light source, you’ll need to stock up on potting mixes, fertilizers, and plant pots for your indoor garden.
Normal soil isn’t appropriate for indoor plants as it is too heavy and may contain insects and weed seeds. So buy a good planting medium for your plants that will remain loose, will drain well, and contains a good amount of organic matter.
As with sunlight, all plants need varying amounts of fertilizer. Remember to give enough time between feedings; too much fertilizer can do more harm than good!
When buying pots, be sure to buy the right size. Choose a pot that is the same size as the original container or one that is about 2 inches larger. Buy pots with drainage holes or drill them yourself if the container you intend to use doesn’t have any.
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Terracotta, resin, and fiberglass are all great materials for plant pots- just keep in mind that resin and fiberglass can hold moisture in while terracotta allows moisture to evaporate. Do use glazed saucers to keep furniture and floors dry.
Start with Indigenous Varieties
Gardening with native plants has several benefits- you save on water, have to put in less efforts, and you can grow plants without using pesticides.
Apart from indigenous species, you can also buy hardy plants or ones that are easy to maintain. Go for plants like begonias, Chinese evergreen, snake plant, and English ivy and you’ll have a pretty indoor garden to boast of!
Water Them Right
Too much water can do as much damage to your plants as too little water can. So before you empty a can of water into a plant pot, be sure to check if it needs water. The easiest way to tell is by sticking your index finger into the pot and pulling it out- if it comes out clean, water the plant. If you feel a bit of moisture in the potting mix, wait for a couple of days and check again.
Remember that plants need varying amounts of water depending on the season. Also, mist plants regularly to help them grow well.
Now that you know how to get started on planting your indoor garden, you needn’t lament over moving into a city apartment. With the tips given here, you’ll be able to get your share of green right inside the comfort of your own house!