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6 Apartment Gardening Tips for Downtown Vancouver

apartment gardening basil

As a downtown Vancouver resident, I don’t have any access to outdoor gardening space but still want to be able to grow herbs for cooking, so year after year, I’ve been growing basil on my windowsill.  Indoor plants (and the pretty plant pot they are in) can help improve the aesthetics of your space and can provide you with a wealth of yummy, edible foods all summer long.  Here are some tips and tricks for growing indoor plants if you live in an apartment in downtown Vancouver:

  1. Adequate sunlight. This isn’t a problem for me because I live in an apartment with big windows.  Make sure to keep your plants within two to three feet of a sunny window. Most plants will require at least six hours of sunlight a day, so choose a window that will have enough exposure to the sun. Also, because plants naturally turn to the light, make sure to rotate your plant every week to help it to grow straight.
  2. Temperature. Plants typically grow best when the temperature of your apartment/condo is between 18 to 21 degrees Celsius during the day and a couple degrees cooler at night.  Make sure not to put your plants near an air conditioning unit or vents as the cold temperature of the air may produce plants that have yellow or brown leaves that will fall off.
  3. Sufficient water. Be careful not to overwater which can cause your plant roots to rot. To see if your plant needs water, stick your finger in the pot and if it is damp, wait a couple days before watering again.
  4. Temperature of water. Make sure that you use room temperature water when watering your plants.
  5. Size. While some plants may seem small when you purchase them, once they are mature they can grow too large for a small apartment or condo. Research the plants you are choosing to ensure that even at their maturity they will fit indoors.
  6. Choose the right type of plants. Basil is my personal favourite indoor plant to grow because there are so many uses for this herb and it’s easy to maintain.  If you don’t want to start from the seed, Superstore has a Grafted Greek Basil Tree from President’s Choice, which is already leafy and ready for harvesting.  Parsley, oregano and rosemary are other good options for apartment gardening.

Thanks to Peter Cantley, vice-president, Floral & Garden, Loblaw Companies Limited and mypcgarden.ca for the tips!

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