What are my options for gardening in USF apartments?

Thinking about taking up the gardening but unsure how to get started at USF off-campus housing? Whether you have a back yard, patio or just a window, you'll be able enjoy different types of gardening while rental living. The Tampa area is home to an active group of gardeners, several vendors and plant sales throughout the year, making it easy to acquire new plants, seeds and knowledge. In addition, the warm weather and sunshine is an excellent climate for many plants to thrive even for brand new gardeners.

Where can I buy plants or seeds near USF apartments?

Well-known home improvement chains, like Lowe's and Home Depot, are available nearby for almost all of your gardening needs. This is a good resource for typical tools and supplies that you would need to get started and care for your plants. However, the Tampa Bay area also has a few fantastic options for local nurseries. For example, Duncheon's Nursery & Landscaping offers a unique selection of plants and trees, including accessories, plan food and other miscellaneous items. If you're looking for specific plants and items, Grace's Hydro-Organic Garden Center specializes in organic and hydroponic gardening. Other nearby shops include Manny's On the Bay Plants, Bloom Garden Shop, and much more. The USF Botanical Gardens also holds two huge plant sales every year.

Most local garden shops are extremely helpful with plant care tips and tricks, especially if you purchase a plant from their nursery. New beginners can easily get all the info about their new plant directly from the people that grew them. It helps to have a good idea of the light availability and likely placement of your plants to get assistance specific to your setup.

How do I get started with gardening when living in an apartment?

The types of plants you can grow will depend on your unit layout. USF apartments with patios will have a wider range of options for plants and more space to keep them. Colorful, well-kept plants are a great way to decorate your patio and create a unique space to relax. Keep in mind that your patio will have varying degrees of light depending on where you place a plant. Plant tags or research will help you figure out where your plant will thrive the most. For example, plants like sunflowers can endure bright light for long hours, but begonias prefer shade and may suffer in direct Florida sunlight. When purchasing a new plant for your patio, make sure to ensure you have enough space in the correct area on your patio first. For tall, larger plants, USF apartments with elevators may come in handle for easier transportation.

Residents without patios can still enjoy gardening inside their home, especially in larger apartments like four bedroom floor plans. Many plants only need a little bit of indirect sunlight for their full potential. The aloe plant, English ivy, orchid and many others make perfect houseplants for apartment residents. Residents with pets in pet-friendly apartments should use caution when buying new plants for inside the apartment as many varieties can be toxic to animals. The ASPCA has a helpful list of toxic and non-toxic plants available on their website.

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