Gardening When You Lack a Garden

Arizona Pottery
by Arizona Pottery
When summer finally begins, the majority of front gardens and backyards will be filled with laughter, fun and frolics, and naturally become a hive of exciting activity both day and night. But what if you don't own a garden or a backyard? What if you live in an apartment or somewhere where, instead of a garden, you only have the option to hang out on a rooftop deck or patio instead?
If you reside in a property that does not have a garden, it can be somewhat frustrating at times when you want to do a little gardening. For many gardening enthusiasts, getting their "green fix" on a regular basis is extremely important, even if they do not have a garden of their own. Some experienced gardeners turn their attention to using their skills within a patio or balcony gardening area.
If you want to do a bit of gardening without having the luxury of owning a large expanse of land, there are still a handful of things you can do in a smaller area with limited dimensions.
1. Rooftop Vines - If your apartment opens up onto a communal rooftop area and it is okay for you to add vegetation, one idea is to grow some vines or other fast-growing climbers. Although it may take some time for the vines to flourish across brick walls, balcony handrails and gutters, they will make things look much more vibrant, vivacious and colorful. However, it must be noted that this idea is only for those who own the property and are planning on living in the apartment for a few years (given that you won't be able to enjoy the fruits of your labors if you leave before they begin to grow). As such, if you're a renter, check the community rules in case you get penalized by your housing community!
2. A Rose Garden - If you have your heart set on starting up your own rose garden in the sky, Grandiflora and Floribunda rose bushes will look fantastic on any apartment terrace. They require little regular maintenance other than the typical watering and fertilizing duties, and obviously offer an incredibly pleasant aroma.
3. A Herb Garden - The easiest (and most delectable!) edibles to grow on your patio or balcony garden, herbs such as cilantro, chives, marjoram or tarragon are typically planted in small containers that you can place on your balcony and/or window ledges. However, you should bear in mind that many containers available on the market today offer poor drainage, which is why small flower pots are more preferable. Another idea is to use wooden wine crates, or this great idea ( to use a vintage Pepsi crate to house your herbs! Just make sure that the crates you use possess sufficient drainage capabilities.
4. Fruits - Yup, you can even grow a few of your own fruits on a small balcony or patio area, such as blueberries! Many people use fresh coffee as a ph modifier if the soil level is too acidic or alkaline. For more information on growing blueberries in a patio container, this useful link shows some great know-how.
Other things to take into consideration:

• When it comes to watering, grouping together your plant pots means that you can water them much quicker. Most containers require one watering every day or they will dry out, especially in scorching hot states such as Arizona, Nevada and Florida. Water twice a day during a heat wave, although be mindful of mistakenly overwatering; avoid inadvertently flooding and drowning your plants.

• Use an organic potting soil, and add compost when needed.

• Learn the patterns of the sun's rays over the course of a day, so you can arrange where each plant should be placed, and for how long.

• If you are positioning your plant pots on window ledges or around the edges of a balcony, make sure that they cannot fall onto the street below due to strong winds or other sudden or extreme weather conditions.
Frequently asked questions
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  1 question
  • Jasmine Jasmine on Aug 14, 2016
    can tomatoes be planted indoor at the south facing window? if yes, will beefsteak type do well or only cherry tomatoes will?

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  • Annie Doherty Annie Doherty on Aug 12, 2016
    This us a terrific post thank you for sharing, your rooftop garden us stunning. Hard work and imagination shows what can be achieved dedpite not having a garden you don't need to miss out.

  • Annie Doherty Annie Doherty on Aug 12, 2016
    Apologies for the spelling, should have read is stunning and despite.