People who aspire to grow their own food often become discouraged because they believe they need acres of land to grow fruits and vegetables. Luckily for them (and myself) there are many small space gardening methods available to those who live in small spaces. Fresh home-grown produce is available to all of us and the benefits include:
- Better tasting food
- Healthier food
- Gardening as a hobby can be very therapeutic
In this article, I’m going to discuss various small space gardening techniques starting with small yard gardening to progressively smaller spaces. This will show aspiring gardeners how they can grow their own food depending on what space they have available even if the space is very small.
Small Space Gardening: Small Backyard
Square Foot Gardening
Square foot gardening is a method of growing lots of vegetables in a small space. In this method the space is a raised garden bed divided into sections. By comparison, this technique grows more produce than traditional vegetable gardening in rows.
The term “square foot gardening” was created by Mel Bartholomew over 35 years ago. As mentioned, the garden bed is divided into sections which creates concentrated areas that produce higher yields.
Gardeners of all levels can practice square foot gardening. It’s especially beneficial for people with small yards. The raised beds are great because they require no digging so even if you rent your home, this could be a possibility. Just check with your landlord first.
You can even use attachments for vertical growing of tomatoes, peas, and cucumbers like in this image below.
To learn more about square foot gardening, visit: All About Square Foot Gardening
To read the new version of the classic book, visit: All New Square Foot Gardening II
Garden towers are a great option for people with a small yard and for those who’d like to do their gardening standing. It’s only 4 square feet wide, but grows a ton of food, up to 50 garden plants. It also has a built-in worm composting unit which creates organic fertilizer. Another eco-friendly bonus is it captures the spare water to be used for re-watering.
To learn more about the Garden Tower Project, visit this link.
Small Space Gardening: Patio, Deck, or Balcony Gardening
If you don’t have a yard, but have a little outdoor space, try the following methods.
Related: How To Start An Indoor Herb Garden
Outdoor Container Gardening
It’s possible to grow a lot of fruit and vegetables on your back deck or balcony. All you need is some containers. The containers don’t even have to be fancy or expensive either; they just need to be able to hold some soil and allow for drainage.
Some of the benefits of container gardening are:
- The containers are closer to your home so you can keep a better look out for critters like squirrels and rabbits. The closeness to your home is also great for just quickly grabbing some herbs or other produce while cooking.
- Different plants need different type of soil, so keeping them in separate containers allows you to use the right soil for each plant.
- It’s great for people who rent their home because there’s no digging.
- Less opportunity for weeds to grow.
- Less chance for the plants to get diseases.
For some container gardening tips, visit: 11 Tips for Growing a Vegetable Garden on a Deck
Vertical gardening with pallets is a great space saver if you don’t have a lot of ground space outdoors. These pallets can be hung up on an exterior wall or leaned against a wall. Because they’re a little rough looking and are repurposed, they have a nice rustic look on top of being eco-friendly.
Another cool thing about pallet gardening is you can get the pallets for free. You just need to do a little hunting. Give a call to your local newspaper, equipment and furniture stores to see if they have any to give away.
For some steps on how to start a pallet garden, visit: Learn to Make a Pallet Garden In 7 Easy Steps
Small Space Gardening: Exterior Wall & Fence Gardening
If you have the ability to attach things to your home’s exterior walls or fencing, “gutter gardening” could be a space saving gardening option. Because it uses vertical space and repurposed materials, gutter gardening is very similar to pallet gardening.
Lettuce and other types of greens are popular plants for gutter gardens.
Sometimes the gutters are tilted in alternative directions creating a zig zag effect. This allows for water to trickle down to the next level.
To learn more about gutter gardening, visit this link: How to Build a Gutter Garden
Small Space Gardening: Indoor Gardening
Indoor Container Gardening
Indoor gardening is great even if you have very little space. With indoor container gardening, you can use a wide assortment of sizes down to the smallest container jars. The inside of your home isn’t subject to wind or rain or the other elements, so you can use more delicate containers.
If you’re a beginner, you could start with small herb garden which you can put on a windowsill in your kitchen for easy access or even hang on a wall. All you need is a little light and a little space.
It’s also possible to grow fruits and vegetables indoors and some seasoned gardeners will do this during the winter months.
Some healthy and tasty edible plants you can grow indoors include: avocados, tomatoes, mushrooms, oranges, carrots, micro-greens, etc. To learn more about growing your own food indoors, please visit: The 16 Best Healthy, Edible Plants to Grow Indoors
Aquaponics is a system where you combine raising fish and growing plants without soil. The fish waste becomes the organic source the plants grow on. From there, the root debris will fall into the tank and the fish can eat that. One can practice aquaponics indoors or out, but in the example in the image above, you can see how a tiny house owner incorporated this technique with the orange tubes on the left side and fish tank below.
This is a great example of how you can grow your own food in a very tiny space. The home owner whose home is a mere 300 square feet, uses his walls for his vegetable garden. To get a quick video tour of this set up visit HGTV.
To learn more about aquaponics, visit: What is Aquaponics.
Window gardening is essentially indoor container gardening that makes better use of the space and light that windows provide. It just requires some pipes for hanging the plants and some lightweight pots. In reality, there are a ton of ways to make a window garden including using shelves instead of a pipes It’s up to you. Either way, it can turn any basic window into a a lush and edible garden.
To learn how to create a simple window garden, visit: Window-Mounted Hanging Herb Garden
Sprouting’s an option for people to grow vegetables in a very small space because all you really need is a jar. You won’t be able to grow all the food you could eat, but you’ll have a healthy snack and food you can add to sandwiches and salads. You can grow a wide variety of sprouts including alfalfa sprouts, lentil sprouts, bean sprouts, sprouted wheat, etc.
Want to learn more about growing a tiny sprouts garden, visit: sprouting growing food in small spaces
Let us know what your experience has been growing your own food in your small home. Have you used any of these small space gardening techniques? Post your comments below.
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