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Do you believe because you live in an apartment or another small space, it’s not possible to participate in composting or gardening? Fortunately, there are ways to do both despite space limitations.
Choose Your Composting Method
Composting allows you to get rid of many types of food waste and keep it out of landfills. Living in a small space might mean you can’t create your compost pile in a spacious backyard, but fear not.
Numerous techniques work well for apartment dwellers. You could create a worm bin, or go with a bokashi bucket. Those are just two of the many possibilities.
The latter doesn’t require keeping such a careful mix of nitrogen and carbon compared to some other methods.
Once you’re ready to embrace eco-friendly compost methods, it’s crucial to discard the items that don’t enhance your compost pile and are therefore counterproductive.
Get rid of cat and dog waste, fish, meat, and diseased or poisonous plants as a start. However, if you use the bokashi bucket method, it’s OK to add meat to the compost pile.
Related Post: How To Create a More Sustainable Home
Be Strategic About Your Garden’s Design
When choosing the layout of your garden, don’t get bogged down by perceived limitations. Instead, think about how you could get creative with the available space. You might use different sizes of containers and place them in a corner in a row orientation to take advantage of an area that might otherwise get overlooked.
Also, be mindful of vertical space. Hanging planters work well if you don’t have much floor space to devote to pots. If there’s no single area of your abode that’s large enough for a complete garden, why not split up your growing space so it takes up two or more areas? That tactic could help you bring a nature-filled look to your home.
Related Post: How To Create a Wildlife Friendly Garden
Consider Getting Started With Herbs
Many types of herbs can tolerate the low-light conditions of living indoors, making them ideal if most or all of your garden is inside. Mint, oregano and lemon balm are a few herbs you could maintain and use in foods. Lemon balm and mint are also often made into teas. Spearmint, rosemary and lemon verbena are herbs you could eventually put in cocktails, as well.
One reason why you might want to begin your gardening efforts with herbs is that many companies sell kitchen herb garden kits that include planters, seeds and even the soil. Those help you ease into gardening when you’re eager to try but are a little overwhelmed at the same time.
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Think About What You Already Like to Eat
When people get motivated about using their small spaces for gardening purposes, they often don’t think about how the activity could help them spend less during their weekly food shopping trips.
When you’re trying to decide which vegetables to plant, pick ones that are easy to grow in small spaces and happen to be things you regularly enjoy.
Lettuce, tomatoes and summer squash are just some of the many things you can grow on a patio garden.
When you attempt to plant familiar things, you’ll reap the rewards of benefiting from harvests you can use immediately instead of figuring out how to cook with them or eat them raw.
Also, as you pick varieties to grow, study the product information and look for the word “compact.” It indicates you’ve found a type that won’t get too large for your modest-sized garden. Similarly, if you’re adding a fruit tree or two to your garden, dwarf varieties are best for the situation.
Be Aware of Yields and Growing Times
You’ll find it hard to stay motivated if the items growing in your garden take ages to produce results and don’t offer high yields. When getting specific about the contents of your growing area, research to find the highest-yield options, as well as the things that grow relatively quickly.
For example, radishes can go from seeds to maturity in only a few weeks. You can also plant them between crops that grow more slowly, such as onions. Then, you’re making the most of your small space by ensuring no available land gets wasted.
Plus, many people don’t know radish greens are edible. Even if you decide not to eat them, they’re appropriate for your compost bin.
Related Post: 10 Fruits & Vegetables that Regrow Every Year
Space Limitations Need Not Restrict Gardening Goodness
Living in a small space shouldn’t negatively impact your ability to garden. Keep the information above in mind as you go about composting and gardening in a small space. Also, don’t be afraid to start gradually and scale up as you become more confident.
Emily is a sustainability blogger. You can read more of her work on her blog, Conservation Folk.