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5 Ideas For Gardening In Small Spaces

5 Ideas For Gardening In Small Spaces

Do you want your own garden, but don’t have a big space for one? Do you feel it’s not possible to do?

You’re in luck, because a large number of fruits and vegetables may be grown in small spaces, indoors or out. With the increasing availability of containers, lighting and growing mediums, even a space with low natural light can produce a crop.

By implementing one or all five of the following methods, you too can have fresher, healthier fruits and vegetables.

1) The Patio Garden

You don’t necessarily need to have an actual patio, but if your available outdoor space is limited, this is ideal. To separate your lawn space from your garden space, add a long narrow planter. A planter 24” wide by 96” long by 24-36” deep will accommodate a variety of fruits and vegetables. To increase your growing space, add a trellis for climbing plants such as cucumbers, peas or runner beans.

You don’t necessarily need to have an actual patio, but if your available outdoor space is limited, this is ideal. To separate your lawn space from your garden space, add a long narrow planter. A planter 24” wide by 96” long by 24-36” deep will accommodate a variety of fruits and vegetables. To increase your growing space, add a trellis for climbing plants such as cucumbers, peas or runner beans.

By planting in close proximity, you will make the most of your space. You could plant your vegetables in rows in this type of setting, but using the square foot method works better in a garden box. To see how many of each plant will fit in one square foot, refer to your seed package.

Plant your taller crops so they will not shade the shorter crops as they mature. If you are new to gardening, your seed package is an invaluable resource. It will give you sowing depth and seed spacing as well as height and width (approximate measurements) of the mature plant.

2) The Balcony Garden

If you live in an apartment, your balcony can become your garden space. Five-gallon buckets make great planters for potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers and more. They are easy to move around and can be replanted as the vegetables mature and are harvested. To utilize your space the most, square buckets are ideal. Round buckets are more readily available, and some crops may be planted in smaller ones.

No matter your choice of container for your garden, ensure the roots are protected from extreme heat. A shade cloth or fabric row cover will work to keep the roots cooler. Remember, they do not have the same protection as a plant that’s on the ground or even in a garden bed has.

3) The Small Backyard Garden

Raised beds are ideal for a small back yard. They can be positioned to define the play space from the adult space or to make the most of the small area. Raised beds which are 48” wide by 96” long by 24-36” deep will not only provide you with produce all summer long, their waist-high height will make weeding and watering easier.

Generally, a raised bed doesn’t need much weeding, as the square foot method is used. When vegetables are planted close to one another, the weeds don’t have a good space to take hold. And when they are shaded those that do grow will be spindlier, and much easier to pull out.

Trellises once again expand your growing space. Cucumbers will climb your trellis, while plants such as strawberries, turnips, tomatoes and so forth grow in the same square foot space. This not only allows for more produce, but it also shades the roots of the climbing plants.

4) Take it Indoors

Perhaps you live in a condo, and don’t have access to any outdoor or balcony space? Or perhaps your windows face away from the sun? With the variety of grow lights available, you can now grow a pot of herbs on your kitchen counter. Wouldn’t it be great to have your favorite herbs fresh for the picking, no matter what time of year it is?

Growing indoors is also a healthy alternative for those who live in northern climates and have a short growing season. Imagine the possibilities when that season can be extended into the coldest part of winter. Having fresh lettuce, radishes and other greens in the dead of winter provides a healthier diet. Plus, the lighting can have other benefits as well, such as brightening otherwise dreary days.

Utilizing hanging baskets is the ideal planter for strawberries, which will produce all winter long. Note: Ensure you purchase an everbearing variety, as June-bearing will not produce year-round.

5) Sprouts Garden

The use of grow lights, shelving, and trays is ideal for a sprouts garden. There isn’t a need for soil when growing sprouts, which means less mess. Plus, you will get to enjoy the harvest much quicker. Bean sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, wheat grass and more can be grown in your kitchen or dining room, and added to salads, smoothies or eaten as a snack. Many sprouts are ready within a few days.

When setting up your sprout system, be sure to use sterilized containers. Also carefully monitor for unwanted growth, as the warm, humid environment is a breeding ground for mold. This is not meant to deter you from growing sprouts, but rather to make you aware of the possibility. Sprouts are beneficial and are packed with nutrients. Plus, by growing your own you know they are fresh.

No matter your available space, growing your own crops is the healthiest choice. Not only are you eating fresh, pesticide-free food, but the actual gardening process is healthy as well. It gets you outdoors and off the sofa. For those who have the indoor gardens, they too need maintenance.

Depending on your climate, you may choose to incorporate indoor gardening even though you have an outdoor garden. No matter how you look at it, fresh produce is best. Container and small space gardening are becoming more popular, and a trip to your local library or bookstore will provide you with more specific information.

Often the best way to see if a method works is to try it. Not every method will work the same for everyone. Some will flourish while others fail miserably, but you will not know unless you try. Good luck, happy gardening and healthy eating.

Hey, just in case you missed it: Get to know a leading resource for gardening!

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Five Cool Ideas That You Can Apply To Gardening In Small Spaces

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