We city-dwellers love container gardens, since they're fairly inexpensive, easy to start, and (of course) fun to shop for. One great way to learn the fine art of gardening is to visit a couple of stores and start asking questions. Although we've highlighted just a few stores below, you'll find links to garden stores by city at the bottom of this post.
Choose What You Want to Grow
Good options for beginning container gardeners include herbs, succulents, and (if you're looking for something a little more advanced) tomatoes. Most herbs need a few hours of full sun each day. Tomatoes need full sun and they like the heat. Succulents generally like bright light. (An overlit succulent turns brown or white and an underlit one stretches its stem and has wide gaps between leaves.)
Find the Right Container
Most plants do best in a container that aerates the roots and allows for correct drainage. If the container doesn't have built-in drainage and aeration, you can lay rocks at the bottom. Herbs, arugula, and succulents like a shallow container with about 2-4 inches of high-quality compost soil, while tomatoes need a deep container that won't let the roots get soggy.
Tools that Help
To keep your garden thriving, use high-quality compost. Water regularly, and if you're a bad waterer, use a self-watering planter or a water stick to keep track of when your plants need a drink. A hand-held garden cultivator (or claw) is also helpful for gently turning over the topsoil every once in a while to get some oxygen into the roots.
GARDEN STORES BY CITY
To find an Apartment Therapy-reviewed garden store near you, click through the links below.
• New York Garden Stores
• Boston Garden Stores
• Washington, DC Garden Stores
• Chicago Garden Stores
• Bay Area Garden Stores
• Los Angeles Garden Stores
• Texas Garden Stores
• Online Garden Stores
Photo: brewbrooks licensed under Creative Commons