High-rise gardening made easy

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Gardening concept houseplants at home. Young woman watering home plants in room at home

For those living in tall buildings, gardening as a hobby may be somewhat limited. Any available land is scarce, and they are usually the property of the collective community, meaning that you won’t be able to work any magic with those green fingers of yours.

Luckily, plants can be pretty hardy, and they can grow almost anywhere, even inside your home. The thumb rule for gardening is the availability of sunlight, which entails planting at your balcony or along the windowsill. This guide will take you through the process of turning your apartment or condominium unit into a mini garden.

1/ Altitude

Black and white exterior building

Since your high-rise unit is above ground, your home is itself a micro-environment. Hence, the altitude of your unit is paramount, as an increase or decrease in level influences the wind movement and sunlight exposure. Units on the lower levels usually receive less light as neighbouring structures are shading them. 

Wind movement becomes more intense as the height of your home increases, which is capable of damaging plants with broad, dense leaves. Knowing these factors allows you to mitigate them, either by placing barriers to break the wind, or to grow a specific species of plant capable of withstanding such conditions.

2/ Reaping the fruits of your labour

Closeup of farmer's hands harvest a Tomato in the garden. Farmer

We can indulge in a whole topic of suitable plants for your apartment, but let’s keep it brief in today’s subject. Herbs are among the best choices for high-rise gardening as they require little maintenance, growing easily in small pots or cramp places. Such plants include onions, garlic, basil, parsley and thyme. 

Salad greens like spinach and lettuce also grow quickly, and they make for a healthy meal. Those interested in a larger plant can try growing tomatoes, which can be very rewarding, considering that it is a common ingredient found in almost every dish worldwide. The idea is to grow plants that complement your cooking recipes.

Looking for a suitable indoor plant? Check it out at Filling your house with greens.

3/ Feeding time

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Pots are undeniably the main medium in which high-rise gardening is done. Since the soil is not connected to the land at ground level, it will dry quickly. You can test the soil by sticking your fingers an inch or two into it. If it has a dry and flaky texture, then it is time to water your plants.

Unless you have purchased a potting mix containing fertiliser, you will want to give your plant a regular dose of fertiliser. It is recommended to use a water-soluble fertiliser for ease as you can apply it while watering. Fertilise every other week, or as advised on the fertiliser label.

4/ Pots that matter

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With high-rise gardening, the plants you grow can serve both practical and aesthetic purposes. White ceramic pots blend very well with almost any style of interior decor. Besides, they also give off a clean, spacious look. 

The bigger plants may do better in terracotta pots, which provide more room for their roots to spread. Since terracotta is heavier than plastic, it is more stable, reducing the chance of your large plant toppling over. Experiment with all the different mediums available, mix and match, and ultimately, enjoy the process of nurturing your plants.

For other related gardening topics, read Gardening for newbies.


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