Despite the weather trying to prove otherwise, spring is definitely here. The air is warming, the rain is falling, and for those with a green thumb, it’s business time. But what is a gardener to do if they live in a rental with little to no yard? Fear not, there is always a way to get your green. Your first step is to figure out what you want to accomplish. Are you looking for a constant supply of fresh herbs, a few ripe tomatoes, or just a bit of color? Read on for our five favorite gardening options from small to large.
The easiest and most space conscious choice is a few potted plants. They won’t take much energy to care for and they’ll do wonders for your décor. Many plants have the added benefit of filtering your air, so they literally improve air quality just by existing. Mosey on over to Stein’s and ask a green-shirted professional, or check out these lists. Here are some great plants that are darn near impossible to kill, or here’s a great list with the best plants to improve air quality. If you’ve got some extra time and little ones to entertain, buy some seeds and dirt, terra cotta pots and a bit of acrylic paint. Have them paint their own pots, then plant a few seeds and watch the magic happen.
Succulent pots are small, adorable, and super easy to care for. Visit any hardware or plant store and they’ll likely have a huge display of 2 and three-inch pots. Keep them in individual pots and group for an interesting focal point or repot into a large, shallow planter for a mini garden. Since the vast majority are desert plants, their watering needs are low; you’re far more likely to overwater these than kill them out of neglect. Make sure they have a sunny spot and water thoroughly every two weeks.
Fairy gardens are potted plants with whimsy. Great for kids, they can be just as fun for adults. Grab a decent sized pot and three to five small plants. (Most garden stores have a section for fairy garden plants.) This is where the fun comes – gather those little odds and ends that end up at the bottom of the toy box. Dollhouse furniture, action figures, gaming minis, or McDonald’s toys are perfect. Create little living worlds with small plants and toys to be enjoyed for months. For the truly hardcore crafters, check out the fairy garden Pinterest boards and see what you can do with fountains. The sky’s the limit!
Potted Herb Gardens
Both easy and functional, these can be found in little kits at your local garden store, or make your own with a few small pots and a bit of sunlight. Great for the chef in your life, these provide a constant source of fresh herbs just waiting to be eaten, and they smell great on the vine, too. Keep them on the stoop or balcony in summer, then move to a sunny windowsill in winter and enjoy all year round.
Who says you need a garden to garden? Potted vegetables will need larger pots to accommodate root growth, so make sure you find ones at least 2 feet tall. Fill the bottom with a layer or two of stones to ensure good drainage, and use good quality potting mix meant for vegetables. Keep only one plant to a pot and surround each plant with a bit of mulch to provide some extra vitamins. This option will be more labor intensive, but at the end you’ll be eating your own produce.