Radishes for roommates: Apartment gardening small on scale, big on flavor

Trista Freed

As warm weather becomes more frequent fresh vegetables seem more tempting, and what better way to have to them than to grow your own? However, the problem many college students have is that they live in an apartment.

Luckily, there are many plants that flourish in pots. A balcony’s helpful but all you really need is a window where light can come in. If you’re putting your plants in front of a window and have pets, remember to fence them off. Tomatoes, peppers, chilies and herbs are all some of the easiest plants to grow.


The larger variety of these plants need to potted in a five-gallon pot, while cherry and grape tomatoes are fine in a one-gallon home. They require lots of water and can die if they dry out once. A good rule is to water them twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. Placed in the sunlight and properly cared for, they’ll grow quickly after planted.

Sometimes it’s also necessary to stake or cage tomato plants because they will grow large.

Peppers and chilies

Sweet and hot peppers both grow well in the Kansas climate. Each plant should be planted in a separate pot no smaller than one gallon, and for bigger varieties two-gallon pots work best. These plants need to be watered, but not too much. If over-watered the plant dies, so it’s usually best to water them once a day.


There is an overwhelming variety of herbs available and most of them are extremely easy to care for. Basil, dill and summer savory are some of the more easily found annual types. These can be planted in the same container, as long as it’s a large container that gives each plant 3-4 inches of space.

When planting herbs together it’s important to note whether the plants are annual, perennial or biennial, and they should be categorized into separate pots. If not, when one plant dies the roots of the others will be disturbed when the dead plant is removed. If the dead plant is left, it’ll produce a fungus that’ll spread to the other plants.

Herbs should be watered every few days, unless it gets very hot. They’ll survive in fairly dry soil, but if over-watered they’ll develop root rot.

Herbs do require a note on how to harvest them. The important thing to remember is to never remove more than one-third of the plant when cutting the herbs for use. Always use scissors, a knife or box cutter to remove the herbs from their base. Tearing herbs never yields good results and can damage the plant.

Many herbs can also be brought indoors during the winter and cared for inside.


Although these are some of the easiest plants to work with in an apartment, they are far from the only ones. Most plants – beans, beets, carrots, lettuce, really, almost anything – can be placed in pots.

Apartment gardening allows for experimentation with many different kinds of plants and yields results that are up to par with traditional gardening.