Growing Food in an Apartment

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Growing Food in an Apartment

Somewhere between 20 and 30 percent of the population lives in apartments, rather than in single family homes. That adds some difficulty to the survival game, as an apartment has limited space and no backyard. Many of the things we talk about doing as part of our survival plans are more difficult for those who live in apartments.

Take growing your own food. Most of us think in terms of a vegetable garden in the backyard. That gives us plenty of room to work with. But that option doesn’t even exist for someone in an apartment, unless they have an enclosed patio. At the most, the best most apartment dwellers can hope for is a balcony.

Yet that doesn’t mean that they can’t grow their own food. It just requires a bit of imagination in how to grow that food. The biggest problem is having enough space and sunlight. Space is dependent on the apartment itself and sunlight is dependent on what side of the building the apartment is on and how much window area there is.

If you’re looking to move or rent a new apartment, this is something to keep in mind. Getting an apartment on the south side of the building will increase the amount of sunlight you’ll have. While that will raise the electric bill in the summertime, it will also provide the sunlight that plants need to have, in order to grow. Try to get an apartment with a balcony too, if you can, as that provides some excellent gardening space.

The key to making the best use of available space is to use vertical gardening. Turning the area on the balcony, the space in windows or the wall across from a sliding glass door into a vertical garden will give the most bang for the buck. Fortunately, pretty much any container can be used for vertical gardening, so it’s really not all that expensive to get started.

Vertical gardening works for all sorts of vegetables, although it doesn’t work too well for most root vegetables. You’ll need larger containers for those. But still, they can be integrated into the overall garden scheme, by placing those larger containers at the bottom of the vertical garden.

Vines can be a bit tricky, especially vines with melons no them; but not impossible to deal with. Pot the plants in large pots, so that the roots will have a lot of nutrients to gather. Then run the stalks of the plants around the room, as they grow. Just make sure that they come out in the open from time to time, so that the leaves can get access to daylight.

Tomatoes and strawberries have both been grown successfully upside-down. So you can pot them coming out of both the top and bottom of hanging flowerpots and hang them from the ceiling. Herbs can be grown in pots on the kitchen counter, keeping them convenient for use.

Another good way of growing food indoors is to use miniature fruit trees. Most people like having plants growing in their home anyway, so those might as well be plants that provide food. Miniature fruit trees can produce as much as a bushel of fruit each and won’t take up any more room than the pot.

The one thing you have to be careful about is not damaging the apartment, especially from watering the plants. But the simple precaution of putting something under the pots, which can catch the water, will prevent 99% of that damage.