Just because you don’t have a yard doesn’t mean you can’t have a garden. If you have a balcony, patio, or even a window space, you can exercise your green thumb in even the smallest of places. Perfect for those living in an apartment, condo, or urban area or just starting out with planting and not wanting to over-commit. These simple tips and tricks will have your gardens bloom in places you never thought possible.
Living in the city means our garden is restricted to one small balcony. With insufficient space to fit all the things we wanted to plant, we had to get creative. Through lots of research, trial and error, and several trips to the outdoor section at our favorite store, we were finally able to put together a horticultural wonderland that rivals many “yard” gardens. To learn how we did it, read our best gardening tips for small spaces:
Deciding What To Plant
Not everything you want to grow will do well indoors or in small spaces, so it is important to determine which plants grow best in containers. Herbs are easy and take up little space. Choose the herbs you use most often in cooking, such as basil, rosemary, chives, and oregano. These plants do not take up much room and can fit on the ledge of most windows.
Green onions are also one of the easiest plants to grow indoors. Save the white ends from the bunch and submerge them in a glass of water. After a few weeks in a sunny window, you will have a fresh batch that can be trimmed again and again.
Tomatoes are a great starter plant since they grow so well in containers and are fairly easy for newbies. Just be sure to start them indoors and then move outside to your balcony or patio after any danger of frost has passed.
We decided to try sunflowers, dahlias, and roses in pots this year, and they are doing beautifully!
We added a hanging strawberry plant to our balcony for an easy, pretty, and yummy addition. Looking to grow some fruit but don’t have space outside? Lemon trees do well indoors, and they make your house smell wonderful!
Maximizing Your Small Space
A great way to fit more plants in a small space is to use a shelving rack. Depending on the size of your unit, you can fit 10-20 plants in a space that would normally only hold three or four. Remember the height your plants will need to grow when determining where to space them, with taller ones placed on the top shelf. This method works best for short and wide species, such as pansies or herbs.
To add an abundance of floral accents to your space, think up. Using a metal or wooden stake, stack pots of decreasing size (the largest on the bottom) on top of each other. This will allow you to grow several containers of flowers in the same space as one large planter.
A similar method can be used for plant beds, stacking 3-5 pallets like stairs.
Dress up your garden by forgoing the traditional clay or plastic planters. Take a look around your home to see what alternatives you may already have on hand. Tea and coffee can work great for your herb garden and add a unique touch. Mason jars can be used for your green onions and other small plants. Instead of traditional flowerbeds, use wine crates from your local liquor store. They are smaller than traditional beds, and their markings add a vintage flair.
Other decorative tips:
- Paint store-bought clay pots to add a pop of color.
- Create garden markers with rocks.
- Hang lanterns on your patio so your masterpiece can be admired at night.
There are many ways to create a beautiful garden in a small space. However, it requires you to maximize your space and keep potential problems under control.