Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Small Space Gardening

During the winter time, especially with Spring on the horizon but not actually here yet, even pictures of plants make me happy.  This is a great time of year to start looking around and getting ideas about the upcoming growing season.
(photo credit keeping it real @

For many folks, space is an issue, either because there just isn't much of it, or it may not be around long enough (i.e. you're anticipating a move before you get to harvest those delicious veggies), and there are a few approaches that might help.  Here I'll discuss my top 3, in no particular order:

*Container Gardnening

*Vertical Gardening

*Community Gardening

They're all pretty much just what they sound like, but since it is my nature to talk a lot, why stop now?

Container gardening 

demonstrates that you can actually grow a lot in very little space (most "normal" gardens are not very space efficient, and I guess if you have a lot of room to spare, this may not matter, but why wouldn't you want to take an easier, more efficient route in life if there is no down side?)  Just about all herbs are very well-suited to containers- they don't need deep soil or lots of room to spread out.  Even a small balcony can house a very robust container garden.  And when your plants are in containers, you can just load 'em up and take 'em with you if need be, or move them to other spots in the yard, or give them away.

You probably already have good containers on hand- old Rubbermaid tubs (even small ones just 6" deep) might work out great.  You could also hit a thrift store and spend less than $10 for some funky containers that strike your fancy.  Traditional flowerpots are fine if that's your thing, but once you start thinking about it, it is pretty easy to come up with solutions that look good and work great.  Depending on the particulars, you may need to drill a few small holes in the bottom for drainage.

This post is inspiring me, in fact, to set a new goal for my own gardens this year: grow lots of stuff in other stuff.  By which I mean that I'd like to go ahead and plant seedlings in as many things as I can that seem suitable.  Obviously time, space, and sanity will have to limit the endeavor, but how's this for a motto: if there is a container of some sort laying around, I hereby vow to plant something in it!

For a really funny and practical take on this, here's a great blog I post I stumbled upon:

Stay tuned for a post later this week on vertical gardening.  It was my big epiphany last year, and my 8' tall tomato plants were a thing of beauty.  Talk about getting a lot of produce from a small footprint!

Chris Gleason

1 comment:

  1. This is brilliant. I thought a small back yard was going to hold me back but not after seeing this!