Urban Apartment Gardening: Gardening Tips For Apartment Dwellers

plants and red tomatoes grown on the balcony in an urban garden terrace
Image by ChiccoDodiFC

By Bonnie L. Grant

I remember the days of apartment dwelling with mixed feelings. The spring and summer were especially hard on this lover of green things and dirt. My interior was festooned with houseplants but growing veggies and larger specimens was something of a challenge, having minimal room on the patio or balcony. Fortunately, urban gardening ideas abound and there are a host of ways to grow tiny gardens for the space restricted gardener.

Challenges for Urban Gardening in Apartments

Finesse and commitment are required for urban apartment gardening. Space is not the only issue. Lighting and ventilation pose a concern, as well as the species and varieties which will thrive in confined and restricted spaces. Over the years, I gleaned some tips on how to grow a garden in an apartment. Follow along as we investigate gardening tips for apartment dwellers for a successful tiny landscape that is both beautiful and productive.


Many apartment denizens lack an outdoor patio, lanai or balcony on which to grow and nurture green things. Some of the ways to get around this obstacle might be to purchase grow lights or use a hydroponic pod kit. The lights will provide the proper amount of energy while hydroponic kits enhance growth with nutrient solutions and self-watering simplicity. Either solution is available in a space saving model, which is useful for smaller crops or herb gardens.

Budget minded gardeners may not have the funds to shell out for special urban gardening ideas like these, but there are still some plants that can tolerate a low light windowsill and produce fairly well. Try herbs like:

The plants won’t get huge, but they will still be healthy enough for you to harvest some fresh grown flavor for your recipes.

Vertical Urban Apartment Gardening

Small spaces can still grow a plethora of plants if you think “up.” Vertical gardening is one of the gardening tips for apartment dwellers that works and conserves space. Growing up allows plants to seek the light and keeps sprawlers from taking over the lanai or balcony. Use stakes, trellises, hanging pots, and layered gardens in step planters to achieve the goal.

Choose plants with similar preferences and install them in one large pot. For instance, place a smaller variety tomato in the center and plant herbs like basil or cilantro around it. Use a trellis to train upward a cucumber plant or plant some sweet peas to easily dance up a wall with a string system.

Vertical solutions for urban gardening in apartments can be made out of old wood, fencing, wire, and many other free or recycled items. The sky is the limit or maybe it is your imagination.

How to Grow a Garden in an Apartment

  • The first step is to assess whether you are a candidate for an indoor or outdoor system.
  • Next, choose your containers and decide if vertical gardening is a choice for you. Containers can be almost anything but make sure they are well draining.
  • Use the best soil possible because limited nutrients are a hazard in small spaces. This makes fertilizing especially important since containerized plants have minimal nutrients stored in the soil, and once they use that up they don’t have access to more.
  • The crucial decision is the choice of plants. Take into consideration your zone, lighting, amount of time you wish to spend on the plant and space. Herb gardens are one of the best beginner projects, but over time, you might be able to suspend an indeterminate tomato vine over your curtain rods.

Practice is key and don’t be afraid to step out of the box. Using seeds is a great way to learn how to grow a garden in an apartment with minimal expense and often excellent results.

Print This Article
This article was last updated on
Did you find this helpful?
Share it with your friends!

Additional Help & Information

Didn't find the answer to your question? Ask one of our friendly gardening experts.

Do you know anything about gardening? Help answer someone's gardening question.

Read more articles about Urban Gardens.

Search for more information

Use the search box below to find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: