If you are lucky enough to have some space in your apartment where you can grow a few vegetables or flowers the time to start is in early spring. Vegetables are normally available in starter packs at your local stores and home centers from March to April and the variety will change as the season progresses.
Since you are starting a garden in your apartment you will need to plan your space and what containers are necessary to grow good roots.
Most people think they can start much earlier then the plant will support because they are inside and the warmth of the heating will help the plants grow. To some extent this is true but once the seedlings break the soil surface they will need a large amount of light to grow. Unless you can provide 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight in your home it is best to start with starter plants that you can move to your balcony within a few weeks.
Tomato plants will grow about 3 feet tall and three feet wide. Pruning will be necessary during the growing season to cut back branches that wont produce fruit. You will need at least a 1 gallon container for each tomato plant and you should start your plants by purchasing starter plants.
Peppers are very similar to tomato plants but they will not get as large. You will still need a 1 gallon container for the plant roots to grow but the plants will only grow about 1 foot wide and 2 feet tall. You can expect to get about 20 good sized peppers from an average bell pepper plant.
Herbs will grow well in both round containers and planter boxes. Mint, Oregano, Basil will grow relatively fast once they get about a foot tall and require at least 4 inches of soil.
If you want to grow lettuce you can grow that in a tray and the plants will need about 6 inches of spacing. Trimming back the lettuce as it grows will give you something to eat while the plants that remain grow to full size. Lettuce is very easy to grow and is one of the first plants of the season that will get you results.
Flowers are also great to have in your garden and the variety that you can plant is really up to you. Spacing is important and you need to transplant your starter plants into larger containers just like you would your vegetables.
Growing a garden in your apartment is really up to the amount of light you can get. By planting with starter plants you will take 2 to 3 weeks off the time it takes to get seeds to grow and this will extend your time to enjoy your vegetables and plants.
Peppers are relatively easy to grow as is lettuce and herbs. When you see these starter plants available outside stores it is time that you get to planting.
Sun, Water and light Fertalizing will be necessary throughout the growing season.
Also remember plants need bees to make fruit If you have a screened in area they will never get cross pollinated and won’t produce unless you manually pollinate the flowers by touching one plants flowers to another of the same type. Just break off one or two flowers and touch them to the flowers on the other plant.