Don’t let your small space hinder your growing dreams.
Would you love to grow your own fruit, vegetables, herbs, and flowers, but think you lack the space necessary for a successful garden? If your tiny balcony or lack of a yard is hindering your green thumb, don’t worry! There are many alternative options to grow things without a traditional garden. Whether you have a patio, balcony, or simply a window sill, the garden of your dreams is still possible.
If you have a window that sees adequate sunlight, a window box is a perfect way to cultivate a small, year-round garden. Two-foot-wide homemade wooden or store-bought plastic containers with ample drainage are perfect for housing peppers, salad greens, green onions, garlic, aloe, and more. To beautify your home, hang the window boxes outside and fill them with your favorite flowers. Impatiens, begonias, pansies, and marigolds do well and are perfect for beginners who don’t have a lot of time and energy to invest.
A patio with six to eight hours of sunshine is a perfect spot for great success growing a wide variety of edibles. Start with a number of pots of different sizes. Fill them with a lightweight soil mixture to ensure proper draining. Soil crops like these need consistent watering (especially in hot weather), so be sure to invest in a good watering can or make sure a hose or faucet is close by. Large pots are great for tomatoes, beans, carrots, onions, radishes, and cucumbers, while peppers, greens, and kale do best in smaller pots. Since space is at a minimum, plan thoughtfully and do some research, planting only things your family loves. Miniature vegetables are also great choices, allowing you to plant more fresh produce in the space you have.
Herb and Tea Gardens
Traditional herbs like parsley, basil, cilantro, oregano, and chives all grow well together and will fit nicely in a small box by a well-lit window. Rosemary and thyme can also share a small pot together, but if you like dill or mint, it’s best to give them each their own container. All of these herbs can be grown indoors or outdoors, but be sure to harvest herbs regularly to keep them healthy and abundant.
If you enjoy herbal tea, consider starting a tisane planter including bergamot, chamomile, thyme, lavender, peppermint, and lemon verbena in a small container with ample drainage. Clip a few sprigs and add hot water for an enjoyable and healthy cup of tea.
Though generally thought of for displaying flowers, hanging planters are also a perfect way to grow a number of things. Strawberries will hang over the edge of the planter, producing beautiful fruit that is easy to pick. Tomatoes are also popular to grow this way, and some are even bred for this purpose. It’s usually best to house tomato plants individually so they don’t overtake each other. It’s also possible to plant small beets, carrots, and radishes in hanging planters. What you grow in your small space garden is limited only by your imagination!
By Kristin Johnson