Container Gardening in Your Apartment

A set of three potted plants of oregano, basil, and rosemary with a watering can for an indoor garden.

Contrary to what you may have heard, sprucing up your apartment balcony garden is not limited to spring time alone! With that being said, the warm month of July is the perfect time to plant a few vegetables, herbs, and greenery to give your luxury New York City apartment a fresh new look. No balcony? Never fear, many herbs grow well in small pots that can be placed on a windowsill, or plant stand near the window. Let’s dig into a few seasonal crops that will flourish for the remainder of the summer, and well into the fall!

First things first – always check with your apartment manager to see what is, and isn’t, allowed on your balcony. While most landlords won’t have a problem with a few plants, they may limit the number or size (dirt in a large pot can be quite heavy, creating a safety issue). Others may not allow hanging baskets. So, find out in advance before your green thumb takes over!

For all of those urban farmers out there, the first step to planting veggies and herbs is to analyze the atmosphere of your balcony. How much sunlight do you get, and for how many hours throughout the day? Does your outdoor space tend to be windy? These pre-planting questions will help you determine which types of plants will grow in your space. 

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The next step is to gather a bit of inspiration from nearby gardens. In fact, many of Glenwood’s luxury apartment buildings with balconies, such as The Pavilion, The Fairmont, The Stratford and The Somerset are close to community gardens and parks in the Upper East Side neighborhood of Manhattan.

Next, you’ll need gardening supplies. Plant Shed on the West Side has a wonderful collection of accessories you’ll need to get started planting:

  • Decorated pots and plant holders
  • Gardening tools
  • Organic soil
  • Vegetable and herb seeds
  • Mature plants that are ready to be placed on your balcony
Three pots of rosemary, parsley, and mint for an indoor garden.
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Now that we have our gardening supplies, it’s time to get planting! The following vegetables and herbs tend to flourish best when planted in the month of July, so have your pots and shovels ready!


Carrots plant your carrot seeds by mid-July, and see sprouts popping up for a fall harvest! Carrots can be kept in your balcony garden’s soil until used. The best types of carrots to grow in pots are Chantenay Red Core’, ‘Pariesenne‘, ‘Tonda di Parigi‘, and ‘Touchon.’

Cucumbers with the summer heat in full force, there’ss nothing better than a crisp glass of cucumber lemon water (especially when the cucumbers come straight from your garden!) The cucumber plant grows quickly, so be sure you have enough space to accommodate these veggies.

Kale take a twist on your usual salad lunch with some homegrown kale! These tough, leafy greens will yield an excellent fall harvest. Kale plants can even be brought inside during the cold winter months to continue growing!

A set of fresh herbs and plants in a burlap hanging garden.
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Basil not only is basil one of the most popular herbs to grow – it’s one of the easiest! As a member of the mint family, basil is often used in cooking recipes, and often grown to 3 feet tall with full exposure to sunshine.

Cilantro planting cilantro gives New York City’s urban gardeners a win-win scenario: green herbs to cook with and beautifully budding flowers for your balcony! Cilantro likes  partial shade, and will grow between 6-10 inches tall.

Parsley you may be the most familiar with parsley as a decorative plate accent at your favorite Downtown Manhattan restaurant, but this herb adds freshness and flavor to dishes! These plants are adaptable to both sun and shade, and will grow between 12 and 18 inches tall.

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Now that you’re able to decide which types of vegetables and herbs will grow on your apartment balcony, it’s time to get creative with your planting. If you’re more of an indoor gardener, there are quite a few plants (especially herbs) that will work inside, as well! Garden World has a variety of hanging baskets, plant holders, and decorative pots to add a pop of color to your new green space.

Which types of fresh veggies and herbs have you had success planting? Share your urban gardening tips with us on Facebook and Twitter!