Monday, July 25, 2016

Small space gardening – Ideas to grow plants in apartments, patio and small areas

If you are living in an apartment or have a small yard and yearn to garden and grow your own produce, you may get frustrated that you can’t do it. But fret not, don’t let limited outdoor space or a tiny backyard bog you down and prevent you from trying out your green thumb.

Small Space Gardening
Small Space Gardening


Container gardening and knowing what to grow is the answer to growing it all when you are crunched and limited in space. Hopefully, these tips will motivate you in setting up your very own garden that you have always wanted.

For setting up an herb garden, all you would need is a sunny window sill area or porch that receives some sun. Many herb plants thrive well in small containers with minimal sunlight. For example, you can grow plants like mint, cilantro, parsley, etc. they only need a few hours of sunlight to grow and thrive.

Cilantro growing in aluminum tray
Cilantro growing in aluminum tray

Cilantro growing in small container
Cilantro growing in small container

Set up your vertical garden in a vertical shelving unit. Not only does it save space it also helps keep unwanted pests and critters away from your plants. The shelving unit can be easily bought at any utility store in your area like Amazon, Home Depot or Lowes or you can find some good ones at yard or garage sales. You can grow a variety of plants in individual small to medium containers in each tier of the unit.  Most of the containers pictured here are around 12 inches by 8 inches and 6 inches deep. You can buy these at your local garden store or at a dollar store, Walmart or Ikea. Another advantage of container gardening is that you can experiment and move the containers or shelving unit around if you feel one plant variety requires more sunlight than the other. Here are some great plants that you can grow in containers and which are very productive.

Onion harvest from shelving unit

Onion harvest from shelving unit
Onion harvest from shelving unit

  • Bush Beans (Red Burgundy or Yellow Wax varieties) – These bush type plants don’t grow as large as the vining pole beans variety and are just as productive for the small space it occupies. This bean variety needs full sun, around 8 hours to thrive so make sure you place the container in an area which receives lot of sunlight.
Bush Beans in small containers
Bush Beans in small containers

  • Cilantro – You can either start cilantro seeds indoors in your greenhouse, transplant them into a container or directly sow the seeds in the container.  You can also grow these easily in aluminum trays, fill them up with sand, compost or any other planting medium. Once the seeds germinate, thin them if required and make sure you water them regularly. When they are ready for harvest, just chop their tops off by pinching at the stem, you don’t need to yank the entire plant from the root. That way the stems will regrow and you can keep re harvesting for a continuous supply of this wonderful herb. The plant will produce leaves for around 2 months. So plant in succession every month or so for a continuous harvest.
Cilantro growing in container
Cilantro growing in small space

  • Radish (Burpee White, Crimson Giant, Early Scarlet Globe varieties – Radishes are easy to grow in containers. The plants usually mature and are ready for harvest in 30-40 days. You can keep planting them in succession for a good yield. You can harvest around 6-7 radishes in the container size pictured below.
White Radish harvest from container
White Radish harvest from container
  • Turnips – Easy to grow in small containers and require less maintenance. You can sow the seeds directly in the container and thin them when they germinate. Keep them watered and you can harvest your first yield in 3-4 weeks, you can easily harvest 6 turnips (roots) from a container sized 12 inches by 6 inches wide and 6 inches deep. The turnip greens are also edible and resemble mustard greens in flavor.

Turnip harvest
Turnip harvest

In this video you will find all these tips neatly presented so you can watch and follow.



Hope you found these tips useful. “The tiniest garden is often the loveliest” – Vita Sackville West.

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