Residents of The Avenue at South Orange Showcase Their Green Thumbs with Container Gardens

Spring is the perfect time to begin container gardening

The month of April can mean different things to people. Many individuals dread the month as it is federal income tax time. However, many people enjoy the month as spring is in full effect, allowing them to indulge in outdoor activities like going to the beach, playing baseball, or hiking. Another great activity during the spring is gardening, which has actually increased in popularity over the last few years. The 2018 National Gardening Survey found that 77% of American households are gardening and that spending hit a record $47.8 billion on lawn and garden retail sales. (1) Another growing component of the gardening scene is container gardening, which is when people use pots instead of the ground to grow plants. A number of those living at The Avenue at South Orange, New Jersey, are showing off their green thumbs through their container gardens.

The 16,764 people who call South Orange, New Jersey, home have a lot of options when it comes to having fun in April. (2) There are 10 parks that offer activities such as tennis, jogging, bocce, horseshoes, soccer, kite flying, softball, and basketball. (3) Naturally, many people choose to garden as the temperature features a very comfortable average high of 62º with an average rainfall of 4.6 inches. (4)

Many residents of The Avenue indulge their inner gardener by creating container gardens due to space being limited to an apartment. There are some useful tips one can use when making the decision to start up a container garden. The first is to make a plan, such as deciding what one wants from the garden and what will be needed. Each plant has its own specific needs, such as the amount of soil needed, the size of the container, how often it must be watered, and so on. A person can look up such information online or check with local experts. There are a number of gardening businesses located within a short commute from The Avenue. Some of the local gardening businesses include Main Street Hardware Inc, Orange Valley Hardware, L Epstien Hardware True Value, Orange Garden Center, Landscape Supply Inc, and the Garden Center at The Home Depot.

An important consideration for container gardening is to make sure the containers have adequate drainage. If the pot retains too much moisture, the plant’s roots will rot, causing the plant to die. Another tip is to use as much potting soil in the containers as possible. Some people put in items like packing peanuts to reduce weight, but the more potting soil there is, the more water retention the container has. This allows the gardener to have a greater margin of error in keeping the plant alive if they mess up, such as forgetting to water the plant for a day. One crucial tip for those living at The Avenue is to make sure the plants will be getting the sunlight they need. One surefire method to determine if an area is getting enough sun is to use a sunlight calculator, which can be bought online or at most gardening centers.

Container garden options are limited for residents of The Avenue at South Orange due to being restricted to gardening within one’s apartment. Still, there are viable options. Plastic and clay pots can still be used by being placed close to windows. Hanging baskets are another great option, and many people like to use hanging baskets in their kitchen to grow herbs for cooking. A tremendous option is the use of vertical wall planters. WallyGro has a large selection of different vertical wall hangers that are installed by just hanging the planter on the bracket that is drilled into the wall. WallyGro notes that vertical wall gardens act as natural air conditioners and have decreased air conditioning use for some by as much as 30%. (5) The company makes a range of environmentally-friendly plant hangers that are made from 100% recycled plastic. They also make multi-pocket vertical wall hangers, which are also made out of 100% recycled plastic.

Cynthia Hernandez of The Avenue at South Orange says, “Container gardens are a great way to indulge your green thumb even if you don’t have a yard to build a garden in. What is fascinating is that there are now so many options on creating a green space in your own apartment. You can use traditional pots to grow plants, and hanging baskets are great for herbs and vegetables. One of our residents uses vertical wall hangers, and the overall effect is just stunning. They have multiple walls of their apartment covered with plants, distributed according to how much sunlight they need and whether they grow well together. I was impressed with what they had done so I bought a wall hanger too, which I have used for marigolds and geraniums. I have to say I enjoy the splash of color, not to mention the sweet fragrance, so I’m thinking about adding some more vertical wall hangers to expand my container garden.” (6)

References:

1) https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2018/04/18/1480986/0/en/Gardening-Reaches-an-All-Time-High.html

2) https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/nj/south-orange/demographics

3) https://www.southorange.org/341/Fast-Facts

4) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Orange,_New_Jersey#Climate

5) https://wallygro.com/pages/benefits-of-living-walls

6) Quote from Cynthia Hernandez of The Avenue at South Orange

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