Urban gardening is about to get easier

IKEA, the Swedish master of innovation in affordable home designs, is going to unveil their new hydroponic counter top garden kit next month.

Here’s an example of a DIY hydroponic garden. flickr photo by J Wynia 

It’s OK, we didn’t know what hydroponic gardening was before this either. Hydroponic means growing plants in water instead of soil. The advantage seems to be that it can be done in a much smaller space—and it can be done year-round! There’s no price yet for IKEA’s KRYDDA/VÄXER, but we are definitely intrigued by the possibilities.

Now, as it turns out, people have hacked other IKEA products into hydroponic gardens long before the company came out with their own. So for anyone interested in an even more DIY option, check out ELIOOO.

Now that we know that hydroponics exists and seems to be fairly simple to DIY, we’re excited to start growing our own veggies, no matter the season, no matter how busy we are, no matter how much space we may or may not have.

Alvern Gardens residents may plant their own gardens

Because we want our residents to feel as at home as possible at Alvern Gardens Apartments, residents are welcome to plant their own small gardens on the property.

Residents are asked to stop by the Alvern Gardens leasing office to ask permission first, or call us at 412-561-4663. Residents plant these gardens at their own expense and management is not responsible for any damage the garden might sustain.

To help residents (and all our readers who are gardeners) decide what to plant, we’ve found some flowers that are good for honey bees. Why plant these flowers in particular? Because our honey bee population is in crisis, and scientists aren’t sure why whole colonies are dying. To help save this species that is essential to our ecosystem, avoid using pesticides on your garden, and plant flowers that will attract the critters.

Alvern Gardens
Residents of Alvern Gardens have access to green space around the property for planting their own small gardens.


  • Lavender
  • Caimini
  • Sage
  • Cilantro
  • Thyme
  • Fennel
  • Borage


  • Calendula
  • Poppy
  • Zinnia
  • Heliotrope
  • Sweet asylum
  • Sunflower
  • Cleome


  • Crocus
  • Buttercup
  • Aster
  • Hollyhocks
  • Anemone
  • Snowdrops
  • Geranium

Interested in putting down roots in Alvern Gardens? Contact us at alverngardens@yahoo.com or 412-561-4663 for our current availability and specials.