Container Gardening for Urban Dwellers

Thursday, April 28, 2022 15:33:26 PM America/Los_Angeles

Space is a precious commodity for urban apartment dwellers, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice having a garden. Urban container gardening is a low stakes approach to gardening that can turn a balcony or bay window into your very own green retreat! 

Photo by Jana Briede 

What Is Urban Container Gardening? 

Container gardening isn’t just for people with smaller spaces. So, what sets urban container gardening apart? Because there’s less square footage, it’s likely that container gardening for urban dwellers will require a bit more creativity. Think window boxes rather than troughs when it comes to appropriate containers. Many people use shelves or tiered systems to make the most use of their space and light. 

How to Get Started with Container Gardening 

The first order of business is to find an area that will receive direct or indirect sunlight. This will depend on what is grown, but some level of sunlight will always be important to have. Afterwards, assess what the space can accommodate. Is there a ceiling or roof that hanging planters can be hung from? Is there a wall that a trellis can be propped up against? Or what about a sturdy ledge for a few rail planters? If none of these are available, fret not! You can always take advantage of vertical space by utilizing shelves or tiered stands. 

After designating a gardening space, a space-appropriate container will have to be selected. Some popular choices for those with smaller homes include: 

  • Window boxes 
  • Deck rail planters 
  • Tiered container garden stands 
  • Hanging planters
  • Woven fabric pots
  • Conventional stackable pots 
  • Reusable containers such as mason jars and wooden wine boxes

Benefits of Container Gardening 

There’s one clear benefit of container gardening for those living in a big city–a greener space that offers some respite from the concrete jungle that many urban dwellers occupy. However, that isn’t the only plus. Many plants can thrive with container gardening because it becomes much easier to treat and accommodate each individual plant. 

For example, an entire backyard garden may not be able to shield itself from intense sun on a bright summer day. Container gardening allows more light or heat sensitive plants to be moved easily until the weather shifts. The same goes for our green friends who may not do well in heavy rain or snow. In addition, plants that need different types of soil, fertilizer, or nutrients can be grown and treated separately. Want a succulent collection next to your mini lettuce garden? Not a problem for container gardeners! 

There are numerous benefits to urban container gardening, and a greener, happier home is just the beginning. One additional upside is that it’s also very low stakes. Wondering if your home could use a bright burst of color or want ready-to-use fresh greens for dinner? You’ve got nothing to lose, so try giving container gardening a whirl! 

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