Gardens offer a little piece of nature that is your very own. They can help you grow your own food, enjoy your own flowers, and relax with a bit of the outdoors. However, not everyone has the space for a garden or even a yard to plant in. This doesn’t mean you have to miss out though! Gardens can be cleverly adapted to just about any sized space. Here are some ideas on how to incorporate gardening into your smaller spaces.
Herbs are easy to grow in small spaces. They are often easy to grow and quite hardy plants. There are a number of ways you can grow these handy plants indoors and out.
- Hanging Shoe Rack Herb Garden: Use a canvas or plastic shoe organizer that hangs on a door. Simply fill each pocket with soil and plant your herbs in each pocket. Hang it on a deck door outside or any door that gets some sunlight inside.
- Herbs in Mason Jars: Mason jars are handy things, including for planting! Plant your favorite herb in its own mason jar and leave them out on your window sill. Or pick up some pipe clamps, wrap them around the jar and attach them to a handy board to hang up indoors or out.
They aren’t just for the shower anymore! These are cheap and easy to hang in small spaces planters! Hanging plants look great draped over the edges. Or you can plant a small strawberry plant that grows its fruit hanging off. Keep it in the bathroom for a bit of nature inside, or hang it on a nail in your fence or wall.
These have been around forever, and are just as handy for small spaces today as they’ve always been. Again, these can be used indoors or out and just about anything can be grown in them. Have some beautiful seasonal flowers to add a spot of color to your small apartment railing outside. Grow your herbs in them in the kitchen window. Even small bunches of salad greens can be grown in window boxes.
Growing an entire garden out of a container is actually quite trendy right now! Even people with plenty of space are opting to grow more of their plants in containers. Place a coffee filter at the bottom to stop any leaky mess. Fill the bottom with some sand or other aerated material and top up with soil for your plant.
You can create a hanging garden with classic flower pots. Get a length of rope and string it through a pot, letting it come to rest on a knot in the bottom of the rope. Go up from the pot along the rope and place another knot in the rope to hold the next pot. Fill your pots with soil and flowers and hang it securely. These are great for apartment balconies and if you plant hanging plants can offer a modicum of privacy as well!
Deeper pots can help you grow root vegetables as well. They might not be the most attractive, but will still yield great carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, radishes, onions; just about anything!
You can also grow potatoes in a large 30-gallon trash bag. It’s a bit more cumbersome but easy to do. Put some holes in the bottom of the bag for drainage, roll the bag down, fill with soil and plant some potatoes that have sprouted an inch or two down. Cover with some mulch and make sure it gets plenty of sun. Once the sprouts are about 7 inches tall, roll up the bag a bit, add more soil, and wait until the sprouts reach that height again. Once the leaves turn yellow, let the soil dry out then dig up or cut the bag open to harvest!
Gardening up instead of out is also a big deal these days. There is no shortage of vertical gardening ideas for everything from flowers to vegetables. There are even tall specialty containers designed to let you grow as much as possible in very little square footage. Here are a couple of easy ideas you can make yourself for your small spaces.
- Rain Gutter Vertical Garden: You’ll need strong wire, some short lengths of a rain gutter, and ways to tie off the wire (crimping, tying to bolts, etc.) Run a wire through each end of a length of a rain gutter, making sure it’s supported securely. Create the next resting point on the wire and run it through the next length of a rain gutter. Pretty soon you can a hanging garden! These are similar to window bow size, though you can go as long as you want with the gutters.
- Pallet Garden: Pallets are great for vertical gardening and can often be found for free. Seal up the back with extra plywood, fill with soil and plant your plants between the slats. Hanging plants and herbs look very nice in these gardens. It is smart to power wash and seal the wood if you are growing anything edible on the pallet as the wood can leech chemicals from whatever its job was before becoming a garden. It’s also a great opportunity to make it your very own with stain or paint!
- Growing Vines: Did you know fruits and veggies like watermelon and cucumber can be grown vertically? It’s true! Place your plant in a container with a cage around it. As the vine gets longer make sure it starts climbing the cage. Once fruit starts to grow you can add strips of cloth (think old teeshirts or rags) under the fruit to support it. Just tie your sling to opposite sides of the cage. That way the fruit can ripen safely on the vertical vine. Can you imagine growing your own watermelon on your small apartment balcony? Pretty neat!
Finally, there are plenty of smaller plants out there that make great house plants for your smaller spaces. Just because you don’t have an outdoor space doesn’t mean you can’t bring the outdoors inside. Succulents are beautiful, easy to care for, and can fit on a tiny shelf. A bouquet of flowers will freshen up any room and you can make them last as long as possible by adding a bit vodka to the vase with the water. Repurposing old items into flower pots is huge these days! How creative can you get?
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