Gardening Options When Space Is Limited

garden options

 

 

The dream for most of us is a huge, rolling garden that sprawls as far as the eye can see.  It’s  just waiting for us to fill it with projects, flowers, and vegetables.

The reality? Well, for most of us that’s not quite how it works out. With a huge garden comes a huge price on the house.  Having a large garden might be something we can work towards in the future.  Deciding where you want to garden, your knowledge of gardening, and the space you have to work in.

It might be a total restriction on outdoor space if you’re living in an apartment.  Or you might have a garden, but it’s too small for all of the innovations that you want to try. So what can you do? Give up the green thumb dream until you can move somewhere with the space you need?  Of course not.  Where there’s a desire to care for plants and grow things, there is always a way!  Check out my other gardening tips.

Option 1: Indoor Gardening

Gardening and the outdoors tend to be synonymous with one another; after all, plants need the sun to grow.  So, you’re not going to have much luck growing them in your living room unless you get lots of light.

Furthermore, you can grow indoors with the help of LumiGrowth.  It mimics the sun’s rays.  It will need to be set up, and it takes some adjustment, but the benefits are great. Not only do you not have to compromise on outdoor space, but you also have the option of growing what you want.  If you fancy growing strawberries just in time for Christmas, then with careful practice, that’s genuinely something you can do.

There’s plenty of resources to help get you started if the idea is appealing. You can find which plants work best when grown indoors and the various methods of caring for them with just a few clicks.

Option 2: Vertical Gardening

If you don’t have space in terms of length and width of your outdoor space, then make the most of the space you do have.  Most outdoor areas might have limitations on the size in one direction; however, vertical gardening has no limits. Except beyond what you can comfortably reach.

The best way to grow vertically is with stacked plants and/or stacked beds. Not only is this an effective method of outdoor gardening, but it’s also a great way to save on water – as watering the top layer will eventually trickle down to the layers below.

Option 3: Growing In Pots

For most seasoned gardeners, pots are the beginning of growth.  However, the eventual goal is to plant into beds, the ground or raised beds. But you can grow some vegetables successfully in pots.  For example: sweetcorn responds well to pot growing. Just ensure that as your plants grow you stake them.  Depending on what you are growing, if not stalked, the plant may spread.

Container Gardening Is the New Black

gardening, flower gardens, container gardens

 

First, container gardening can bring outdoor spaces to life.  Furthermore, they can bring life to decks, patios, front porches and borders.  I enjoy seeking out plants on clearance or plants on the brink of death and nursing them back to health.  The best way to save money is to start seedlings and plant them in containers in the spring.  Check out my other gardening tips too.

However, the best bargains can be found at Lowes, Home Depot and Wal-mart clearance stands.  Creeping Jenny, a Spike and French Marigolds fill the container below.  I companion plant marigolds with my tomatoes and peppers in my vegetable garden every year too.  I purchased a few extra pots of marigolds on clearance and decided to incorporate them into the containers on my deck.  Spikes are my most expensive plant during the summer.  Unfortunately, I have never seen them on sale or on clearance.

You should know, the Creeping Jenny is an invasive plant.  Planting it in containers is a great way to control it. When I planted the Creeping Jenny initially, I wasn’t expecting it to return year after year.  This is the third year that it has returned in this pot. The contrasting color of the Creeping Jenny, and it’s ability to hang over the pot’s edge makes the pot come to life.  You can see a few purple Petunias hanging over the edge on the right side.

 

container gardening, outdoor living spaces, gardening

 

I carried on the French Marigold and Spike theme on the other side of the deck.  Since I only planted the Creeping Jenny in the one pot, I planted a Sweet Potato Vine in this one.  Planting the Sweet Potato Vine on the side of the pot allows it to cascade down to the floor of the deck.  I’ll be planting this trailing vine again next year.  Sweet Potato vines can be pricey, so I’m going to try growing my own from an actual sweet potato next season.  Stay tuned for that post.

 

container gardening, gardening, outdoor living spaces

 

gardening, container gardening, outdoor spaces

 

Additionally, Moss Roses fill this pot along with a Spike, which give the plant some height.  This plant is easy to grow, and can take hot, sunny spaces.  This plant returns year after year and produces beautiful flowers in a variety of colors.  White, pink, yellow, and red flowers brighten this spot.

window boxes, container gardens, flower gardens

 

Finally, my window boxes that I use on my deck railing.  Petunias find a spot on my deck each year.  Purple, red and white are the usual colors.  Occasionally, I add in pink.  Additionally, I add Vinca to the boxes to create a trailing effect as well.  Normally, I plant 4 Vinca per pot.  This year I decided to add more Petunias instead.  Actually, I found the Petunias on clearance, and cut the cost of filling my window boxes in half without the additional 3 Vinca plants.

I love mixing various plants in containers and watching them come to life. Head out to your local flea market, yard sale or clearance isle and grab a few pots for next year.  When the weather breaks next spring, hit the clearance isle on your local garden center and start creating you garden containers.

 

 

10 Vegetables For Container Gardening

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Short on space but big on fresh vegetables in the summer. I understand, there’s nothing better than fresh veggies during the hot summer months. My people think that they must use land to create a kitchen garden. That is simply not true. Container garden has become popular. It’s a great way to grow fresh vegetables when you have limited space. I have listed 10 vegetables that I plant in my garden each year, but are also excellent choices for containers.  You containers can be regular flower pots, crates, 5 gallon buckets, or plastic tubs from the dollar store.  Check out my other backyard vegetable gardening posts too.

 

 

1.  Cherry Tomatoes – First, cherry tomatoes are a great choice for hanging baskets on patios or balconies.  Don’t you love the idea of reaching up and grabbing a few tomatoes for a salad or snack. My favorite cherry tomato is the Sweet 100. It’s hard for me to make it out of my garden with devouring my harvest.

 

 

2.  Eggplant – Great for growing in pots. A 4 foot garden stake can be used to support the plant. Black Beauty is an excellent plant for containers. The blooms alone are worth finding a spot in the garden for eggplant.

 

 

3.  Bell Peppers –  Second, green, red, yellow, white or orange peppers can be grown in pots.  Five gallon bucks make excellent pots for container gardening. You will need a 4 foot stake to hold the plant.

 

 

4.  Herbs – Small clay pots are excellent for growing herbs in windows or on a patio.  Basil, oregano, sage, mint or Rosemary can be grown as shown.

 

 

5.  Chili or Jalapeno peppers  – Depending on your pot size, you will need a 2-4 foot stake to support your plant.

 

 

 

6.  Salad Bowl – Next, I have 2 wash tubs that I use.  For example, I grow ButterCrunch, Black Seeded Simpson and Salad Bowl lettuce so that I have a good mix of salad greens. If you use metal containers, place bubble wrap at the bottom to keep the roots of the plants from burning. Lettuce likes cooler weather so if you use metal containers remember they hold heat. Place your container in a shady spot so the lettuce doesn’t bolt.

 

 

7.  Lettuce – If you’re lucky enough to have wine crates, they’ve excellent for growing lettuce and herbs too.

 

 

8.  Tomatoes  Five gallon buckets, rectangle, square or round pots can be used.  Depending on the variety you will need to stake or cage them. A 5 foot stake or cage should suffice, but be sure to stake or cage early. Look for varieties that can be grown easily in containers like Early Girl, Patio Princess or Tiny Tim to name a few.

 

 

9. Cucumbers  – You will need a trellis so they an climb. Nothing fancy, find 2 sticks in your yard and wrap twine around them as shown.

 

 

10. Radishes or Carrots – Last, grow a pot of rainbow carrots with your children or grandchildren. The rainbow carrots are yellow, orange, purple and red.  Great idea to introduce kids to gardening while having fun.

Finally, make sure your containers have adequate drainage.  For example, use a quality, organic potting mix. Don’t limit yourself to the 10 suggestions above.  You can also grow peas, beets, squash, and zucchini in containers too.  Now that you know space is no longer an issue, you can enjoy fresh vegetables too.

Note:  Container garden photos courtesy of my Pinterest.   Additionally, you may also like: How To Grow Bigger Tomatoes or How To Stake and Cage Tomatoes