As Americans continue to downsize, gardening in small spaces has become a topic of great interest. All across the country, home gardeners are discovering fun and creative ways to grow plants, flowers, and vegetables in compact spots. Gardening in small areas requires the usual suspects: good soil, sunlight and water. Beyond that, all you need is a bit of thinking outside the box.
Containers are the perfect way to garden in a small space. You don’t need a yard, and you can move your containers to take advantage of the sun’s movement and avoid cold weather that would devastate a traditional garden. Many flowering plants and varieties of vegetables and fruits are available in miniature form, perfect for pots. Look for plants called dwarf, tiny, baby, or patio. In most cases, only the plants are miniaturized, not the edible output. Even your favorite fruit trees can be sourced in container-friendly “dwarf” versions!
Vertical Space Gardening
Vertical gardening is taking urban areas by storm. Vertical gardens can be created from some pretty creative materials, including pallets, gutters, pot racks, and trays. Even over-the-door shoe organizers can be repurposed to create vertical gardens. Any found object that can be hung on the wall can be transformed to a growing platform, as long as you can give it drainage and good soil. Some retailers offer vertical gardening platforms, but these can be expensive and may not fit your small space. Search for vertical gardens or living walls on Pinterest or Houzz, and you’ll quickly have hundreds of examples for inspiration.
Creative Planting in Small Areas
If you can imagine it, you can plant on it. One creative condo owner planted an herb garden on the roof of her doghouse. An apartment dweller in New York designed a “salad box,” growing a full complement of salad ingredients in a single window box mounted to her patio railing. Herb gardens can be created in tiered hanging pots, in a tabletop planter, or in a stacked “tower” garden. Possibly the most creative application of small space gardening seen involved cutting the center strip out of a picnic table and adding planter boxes.
However small your space, chances are you can grow whatever plants you prefer. Whether you want to grow colorful and fragrant blossoms, sweet strawberries, or vibrant, healthy vegetables, modern technology makes it possible to do so in the tiniest of spaces. Visit your local garden center and describe your space. They can help you select the right containers, soil, and plants to make your dream a reality. Today, gardening in small spaces has become every bit as simple and enjoyable as the traditional approach for condo, townhouse and apartment dwellers.