Planting a Garden With Limited Space
It’s that time of year! Freshly picked strawberries, peppers, squash and zucchini right out of your garden. Except you live in an apartment, or in a house with a really small backyard. How can you manage to grow fresh, delicious produce? Luckily, there are still plenty of ways to plant produce. Keep reading for some ideas on maximizing your gardening space.
If you live in an apartment, window boxes might be a good option for you. Grab a couple window planters from your local hardware store, and plant your strawberries and herbs in these; they can go indoors on the windowsill or outdoors on the balcony. Just make sure they are getting plenty of light, and don’t forget to water them!
Hanging Pots Another option that can work in the kitchen is hanging pots. You could plant strawberries, herbs, tomatoes or peppers in these and place them on the balcony or hang them over a kitchen window on layered curtain rods or decorative tree branches. Depending on how you decorate your house, this might be an attractive option.
Trellis If you want to get really fancy, and spend a little more money, you can also hang pots on a trellis that’s propped up against your indoor wall, or the wall outside your house. A trellis is also a good tool for planting blackberry or raspberry vines in a small backyard.
Small Backyard Instead of keeping the standard decorative bushes right against the back of your house, plant a few squash and zucchini plants. Even just a few plants should produce a good amount of vegetables for you to eat during harvest season.
Now that you know that you can plant a small garden indoors or outdoors, what are the benefits of having a garden?
Psychological health - Planting a garden is a simple way to increase cognitive function and improve mood while decreasing anxiety and depression. In line with improving mood and cognitive function, having plants in your home can also help increase productivity as well as promote relaxation and improve concentration.
Fresh air - Some experts have found that rooms with plants have less mold and dust than those without plants, with the observation that these plants help collect dust. Indoor plants also add moisture to the air, reducing the risk of catching unwanted illnesses, such as the flu or colds. Even though they work at a slow rate, plants also act as air filters, facilitating removal of VOCs that can cause irritation of the eyes, skin and lungs.
Convenient produce - If you are really craving some roasted vegetables, fresh salsa or a colorful fruit, getting these fruits or vegetables can be as simple as walking into your kitchen or out on your balcony and cutting them off the vine. You don’t even have to drive to the grocery store, and let’s be honest, your produce probably tastes better and is definitely fresher than the produce at your local grocery.
Budget-friendly - You already paid for them. Buying plants and herbs are usually pretty inexpensive, and the produce they yield, even from your kitchen, can save money in the long run. Maybe you’re a mom who just spent the last of the grocery money on diapers for your newborn, or you’re an in-debt college student. If the produce is right there in your kitchen, you don’t have to stress about trying to budget in fiber-filled and antioxidant-abundant produce.
Now that you have your blooming garden of tasty fruits and vegetables, here are some must try recipes:
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Written by Kyla Sullivan, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern.