4 Tips For Small Space Gardening

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windowsill plants

Small spaces present a challenge for urban or suburban home dwellers alike; gardening is especially difficult in a concrete jungle full of uncomfortably close neighbors. Sure, you’ve made strides to go green, but with almost zero green space, the idea of growing your own food – or even flowers – may seem suspect. If you’re ready to start growing (despite your lack of yard for mowing), then read on for ways to get fresh with small spaces.

1. Work in Windowsill Herbs

Herbs are the hallmark of a well-rounded garden. Luckily, they thrive in low-light areas. Save larger outdoor space for bigger, more stubborn plants that need constant sun. To start a windowsill herb garden, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Containers – Get creative! Pots, jars, or almost any old container will do. Remember, the roots will still need to drain, so if you choose containers that double as décor, you may need to drill holes in the bottoms to prevent root rot.
  • Seeds – Choose the staples: basil, oregano, and sage are just a few that grow well indoors.
  • Kitchen Window – An east of south-facing window is best. If you don’t have an actual windowsill or edge to hold the pots, consider setting up vertical planters (see below).

2. Create a Container Garden

A container garden is great for small spaces – especially your balcony or porch. Container gardens are basically small plots organized in boxes or other breathable objects. According to Apartment Therapy, you can choose reusable shopping bags as your containers. To get started, you’ll also need soil and a plastic kid’s swimming pool to provide extra water. Check out the complete instructions here.

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3. Take Advantage of Vertical Space

Sometimes growing small means growing up. Whether you’re gardening in your window or on your balcony, taking advantage of vertical space is a must. Vertical gardens grow in almost anywhere. For example, if you lack a windowsill or edge for seating your herbs consider a rigging a rail and hook system with a few inexpensive items.

pots on a wall

(image: normanack)

Lattice, trellis, and even traditional outdoor window boxes will help you grow up and more. If you need some vertical inspiration, perhaps you only need to look up – or check out these 11 inspiring ideas.

4. Get Familiar with Awkward Areas

Every green and soil-filled space around your home is a growing prospect. Shady spots tucked away along the edge of your house are no exception. There are several types of shady areas to consider (including dappled shade and partial shade); each presents its own challenge, but also its own opportunities.

Getting familiar with awkward areas really just means turning over new ground where you wouldn’t normally think to grow. Consider these veggies that grow well in partial or even shade – most need only two to three hours of sun per day:

  • Root vegetables
  • Scallions
  • Arugula
  • Asian greens

Remember, almost any space is good for growing. If you’re still finding it difficult to harvest on your home’s property, contact your city or local landowners about starting a sidewalk garden or community garden. Getting your neighbors involved in collective gardening means more hands for digging as well.

What about your space?

We want to hear from you.

What’s your experience with DIY gardening in small spaces?

What’s the biggest challenge your small space presents?

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

 

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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.