Have you been dreaming of a garden but you’re stuck when it comes to space? If you have even a windowsill available, you can grow something. Today, we’ll be looking at a variety of tight space and small-area gardening ideas. Let’s get started.

Container GardeningIf You Don’t Have Enough Space To Grow A Garden, Do This

The world of container gardening is immense, but your container garden doesn’t have to be. A simple Rubbermaid tote, as one would store clothes or holiday decorations in, can work to provide you with a few vegetables or some herbs and flowers.

If you decide to go with this, I advise getting a 40-gallon or larger container. This is usually smaller than most balconies for those living in apartments, and easily held up by them, too; even when sopping wet after a rainstorm. You’ll need to drill holes in the bottom of the plastic. I usually drill holes in the sides, too, to offer even more drainage to sensitive plants. After all, these will quickly steam the roots of your plants during blistering hot weather if not allowed to properly drain.

My only caution with these is that you do need to be certain to get food-grade totes. There are thousands of them out there with different branding and different recycling levels on them. Look up your country’s national symbol (as of this writing, 5 denotes food-grade plastic in the USA, but that can always change) and get to it!

Single Pots

Even a single pot is better than nothing.

Herbs can be grown in pots as small as 4″ around. Perennial plants will eventually get rootbound in such small containers, but that’s why you use annuals in such growing conditions.

If you have the room, a few 10-gallon pots or growing bags can produce beautiful salads and root vegetables to help supplement your grocery bill and give you something pretty to look at. My personal suggestion? When I’m low on space, I like to look up. I can trellis absolutely anything that spreads, from flower and fruit vines to mint, to so much else.

Not only can I work with trellises, which look very cute when done right, but I can place hanging baskets on those trellises, giving me even more possibilities. The tightest garden I’ve ever had was a 5-gallon pot with a trellis built on two sides of it. Those sides did not receive sunlight. In that area, I managed to plant beans, cucumbers, strawberries, and marigolds. It looked incredible, too.

Community GardensIf You Don't Have Enough Space To Grow A Garden, Do This

If you have absolutely no room, nothing at all, check into local community gardens. There are millions of them around the country and most charge a very, very small fee to give you a solid 4 ft by 4 ft plot, if not larger. While this won’t feed your family, you can certainly grow and harvest seeds to help offset costs.

That said, if you can’t find community gardens and you intend to live in the area for a long period of time, you may be able to convince the town or city to start one. Every community garden has to start somewhere, and maybe that somewhere is with you. Community gardens can take a ton of different forms, from abandoned plots of land being turned into gorgeous and fruitful areas, or even city sky rises in enormous national cities hiding secret community gardens atop them, either for the people that live there or for the people in the surrounding area.

Please remember that if you do go to the community garden root to read the signs on everyone’s individual plots. Some people may be perfectly happy to share, while others may be concentrating on certain crosses of plants or experimentations that mean you can’t take from their gardens. Also note that some of these community gardens allow small livestock (anything from rabbits to dairy goats, sometimes!) so you may even be able to get fertilizer on the cheap, if not entirely for free.

Indoor GardeningIf You Don't Have Enough Space To Grow A Garden, Do This

Not interested in a community garden? While I’m not one to suggest gimmicks very often, there is a simply alarming amount of gimmick indoor gardening systems. Do they work? Sure. Do they work well and make you feel like you want to keep gardening?

Friend, that entirely depends on you.

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of the hydroponic systems. I feel like they get musty and stagnant too quickly for me to enjoy them. However, my water source is very, very minerally and if yours is not, you may have a better run with these popular planting systems than I do.

Related: Read This Before Starting An Indoor Garden

You may also consider bonsai or working with dwarf plants. I have a dwarf lemon tree that is the pride of my garden. It’s 19 years old and the tiniest little guy you’ve ever seen. He isn’t quite worked in a bonsai method, but he’s that small and he still produces a few flowers every year. Better yet, he seems relieved and happy to not have to grow to be some huge fruit tree that’s the size of most of his species. While he doesn’t produce fruit (I don’t hand pollinate him, as I would need to do to get fruits, and they would be extremely small), he has the possibility of doing so and his foliage produces a sweet, sharp smell that fills the house while he’s blooming.

Plus, he’s just downright nice to look at.

So what about you? What method would work best for your situation? Or is there one we didn’t cover that’s won your heart? Small-space gardening is challenging, but it’s also an excellent way to dip your toes into growing without having to invest thousands of dollars on amendments and so much else. It’s also a great way to get kids interested in where their food comes from and how to grow it for themselves!

If you have suggestions or questions, please leave them in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you. And remember, Happy Gardening; no matter how large or small it is!

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