Urban Gardening Ideas

Urban gardeners don't have a lot of outdoor soil to garden. Many, such as condo dwellers, might not have any at all. Don't let that stop you from enjoying your gardening hobby. If your green thumb is itching to get getting, take advantage of every nook and cranny of sunshine in the space you do have.

Window Boxes

Traditionally, window boxes are fastened to the outside of the window. The boxes are planted, watered and maintained by opening the window, and caring for the plants from inside. That's not possible with a high-rise apartment where the windows won't even open. Fasten the window box to the inside sill or use a table to support the box. South- or west-facing windows receive the most sunshine. If that window gets at least six hours of sun, plant flowers like marigolds, geraniums and pansies. In the spring, plant forced bulbs like daffodils and tulips. In the fall, fill the box with chrysanthemums.

Hanging Planters

You don't need any garden space for hanging planters, just a wall or fence. Hang a few planters outside your entryway, by the back entrance or on your patio. The light the location receives determines what types of plants will grow. In a sunny spot, plant cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and pole beans. The plants hang over the edge and grow up the supports of the planter. Three or four hanging containers provide enough vegetables for a salad or two every week. Grow shade-loving flowers like tuberous begonias, impatiens and fuchsia where there's not enough light for vegetables. Coleus has insignificant white flowers but beautifully colored leaves, often variegated with three or more colors.


Take advantage of the space on a balcony or deck for container gardening. East-facing balconies receive morning light, which is gentler and cooler than west-facing. On a west balcony, shade the containers or use an outer decorative container in a light color and place the growing container inside. Make sure the outer container has drainage holes. If it doesn't, remove the growing pot for watering and don't replace it until it has thoroughly drained. Wind is a factor in high-rise buildings. Place plants in a protected area. Choose varieties of vegetables that stay compact such as bush cucumbers, patio pick tomatoes and bush beans. Take into consideration your downstairs neighbors when watering. Even with saucers under the pots the excess water may run off your patio and onto your neighbor's below. Water by plunging the pots in a bucket of water.

Community Garden

Join a co-op or community gardening group in your city. If there's absolutely no space inside or outside that is appropriate for gardening, a community garden is the answer.

Keywords: city gardening, balcony container gardening, community gardens

About this Author

Katie Rosehill holds an MBA from Arizona State University. She began her writing career soon after college and has written website content and e-books. Her articles have appeared on GardenGuides.com, eHow, and GolfLinks. Favorite topics include personal finance - that MBA does come in handy sometimes - weddings and gardening.