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Dec 31

Manifesting Makeshift Gardens

All hope is not lost if you love gardening and live in the city, or have limited space in your apartment or home. You can still add a bit of green to your dwelling by introducing fresh elements including plants, small shrubs, flowers, and herbs. With a little patience, persistence and determination, you can grow a garden almost anywhere — on a rooftop, patio or even an apartment balcony. Get creative and you’ll be harvesting your very own garden oasis no matter where you live!

 

Window Boxes

If you’ve got a sunny window, you can make a garden to grow your own herbs for a fresh, natural addition to your cooking endeavors. If you don’t have window boxes, simply install some — two feet is all you need. Then add soil and seeds to start growing any herbs you want, such as rosemary, chives, oregano, and basil, says Martha Stewart. Water regularly and you’ll enjoy a low maintenance window box garden. You won’t even have to go outside to tend it; simply reach out the window for regular watering.

 

Turn Patios Into Palaces

Adding greenery to your otherwise boring, concrete patio can bring renewed life to the space. No matter how small your patio is, all you need is consistent sunshine to create a gorgeous, functional vegetable garden. Shoot for six to eight hours of bright light daily, advises Martha Stewart. Also, since your garden will need plenty of water, make sure you have ready access to a hose or faucet. Pick up some bags of soil mix for a variety of container sizes, ideal for their fast-draining characteristics vital for growing vegetables. Your mini-garden is perfect for planting small veggies like mini cucumbers or tomatoes. Nothing’s better than fresh salsa made from your very own tomatoes, or grilled peppers made possible by your outdoor patio garden.

 

Roof Top Oasis

If you live in the penthouse of an apartment building or high rise, you may be able to incorporate a garden on the roof top by adding potted plants, furniture, and a fountain. But first, make sure the roof can handle the additional weight. According to HGTV, the typical roof can handle about 40 pounds of weight per square foot. If weight is an issue, consider plastic or foam containers over concrete. For proper drainage, make sure they’re placed a couple of inches off the floor. While rocks at the bottom of your containers provide good drainage, these may be too heavy as well, so try foam peanuts instead. To shield the view from nosy neighbors, add some clumping bamboo. Bamboo grows fast — between one to 20 feet tall. Install a bubbling fountain to mask loud sounds from the street and loud neighbors.

 

Maximizing Space

If you live in a cabin, cottage, small home, or have a porch or balcony off your apartment, your best bet is to maximize the space you have by growing plants vertically. HGTV recommends planting vining vegetables like zucchini and squash on a trellis. You might also plant cherry tomato vines at the top of an arbor, where they can spill over the edge, lending a pop of color to the greenery.

So what if you have a small space — don’t let that stop you from creating a vibrant, functional garden space that’s all your own.

 

This article was provided by Charity Bailey, green-thumbed Environmental Studies major. If you’re looking to make another positive home improvement, Charity recommends working with Guardian Roofing.

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