A container garden is a great option for apartment renters who don’t have access to a yard for growing plants and flowers. With the right containers and the knowledge of the common problems to avoid, you gain great satisfaction and reward in growing a garden to meet your needs. Here are 4 common problems you need to know about:
1. Higher Electric Bills
If you plan on growing your container garden indoors, one problem that you’ll run into is a monetary one: a higher electric bill. It may take the use of artificial lighting to get your plants growing to their full potential if you live in location where you don’t get enough sunlight or heat. Paying the rent on a monthly basis may be hard enough, and therefore some renters avoid starting a container garden for the added utility expense. If you have access to a balcony or deck, or access to the yard, you can avoid this problem by putting your containers outside. Otherwise, you can try using LED grow lights to reduce the energy usage that an incandescent bulb requires.
2. Choosing the Wrong Plants
As much as you would like to grow your favorite fruits and vegetables or exotic plants, it may not be feasible where you live. It’s important to find out what plants do well in your region of the country and which plants do not. Every state has a Cooperative Extension Office, usually housed at a local college or university, that can tell you all you need to know about what, how and when to grow certain plants in your container garden for that region. You can even enroll in free courses to learn to become a “Master Gardener” in exchange for teaching future workshops to others who want to learn. Choosing the wrong plants will only lead to frustration, and a waste of precious time and money. Get a list of what plants do well, when to start growing them and when to harvest.
3. Too Much Water
Your container garden will need water for the plants to grow, but too much water can kill them. Don’t overdo it when watering your plants, and find containers that have holes in the bottom for drainage. If you make your own containers, be sure to drill holes at the bottom of them for water to escape. You can set the containers in another small container to catch the water and dump that out when it gets full.
4. Not Enough Air
Indoor plants need a good amount of air circulation to survive. If you don’t have enough air circulating through your apartment, your indoor container garden won’t survive or thrive. Heat, humidity and stale air will cling to your plants and cause them to die. The remedy is to open your windows when you can to let air flow through your rooms. You can also turn on ceiling fans or floor fans, but make sure they don’t blow air on your plants directly.
You don’t have to miss out of the benefits of growing your own vegetables and herbs just because you’re renting. Start a container garden and avoid these common problems to get the best results possible.