Despite our best intentions, most of us just don’t have the space to grow the types of gardens we would like to have. But if you let your imagination run wild, even the smallest yard or patio can provide you with an abundance of home-grown flowers and vegetables.
We’ve all heard the phrase “less is more” before, and in this case it is. Learning how to plant in a small space is key to urban gardening. Add some greenery to the smallest of porches or balconies by following these simple steps.
Grow a living wall
Build up if you can’t build wide. Living Walls are vertical gardens in which plants are anchored in a wall structure, creating a lush wall of foliage. They are not only aesthetically beautiful, but also free up a lot of space.
To build a living wall, you can build a simple frame out of wood and then hang a shoe rack or some plant hangers in it. Plant your favorite veggies and watch them take over and cover the frame. In addition to the air-purifying properties, soundproofing is another advantage of living walls. These systems work with virtually any plant and their vertical design prevents root rot and overwatering.
Plant balcony boxes
If your home does not have an outdoor area, you can still plant a balcony box. Not only does it offer beauty, but it also offers you the opportunity to change up your outdoor decoration with different plants every year.
These space-saving planters add color to your home, both indoors and outdoors. Petunias, begonias, and daisies are just a few of the beautiful plants that can thrive year-round. Don’t forget to drill holes in the bottom of the flower boxes to allow for drainage.
Grow an herb garden
Another great urban gardening option for a balcony or kitchen with limited space is an herb garden. Your herbs can serve as both a food source and a tasty green note. Herbs like thyme, rosemary, basil, and sage are all excellent choices. If you get six to eight hours of direct sunlight, you can grow whatever herbs you like best.
Parsley, mint, and dill are easy to grow and do well in the shade. It’s possible to transplant them into clay or ceramic containers, or better yet, convert metal mason jars, broken mugs, or cookie jars into kitchen planters.
Create raised beds for the garden
Raised beds and gardening on square meters can increase your yield up to tenfold on the same area. As an added benefit, raised beds avoid water runoff and soil compaction, reducing the risk of snails and other pests.
Another benefit of using garden boxes is that you can focus your efforts on a smaller area, which means you can use less water and fertilizer. A trellis can be attached to the sturdy frame of a raised bed, potentially doubling the bed’s growing capacity. In a tiny garden, a well-designed raised bed can serve as a focal point.
Grow plants in pots and on shelves
Get creative and explore the world of pot cultivation. They can be placed on window sills, patios, fences, sidewalks and streets, porches and balconies, and even on roofs.
If you’re lucky enough to have plenty of natural light in your apartment or house, consider placing shelves, hanging baskets, or floor pots in the sunniest spots. There is no limit to what you can plant and how it can enhance the interior design of your home.
Floating shelves are inexpensive, stylish, and can provide space to display a variety of potted plants. The height of the plants will draw the eye upwards and give the impression of a larger space.
Organize a shared roof garden
If you live in an apartment, why not team up with your neighbors and create a shared roof garden? It provides a green space for the building, improves air quality, and even allows food to be grown. Many municipalities are now introducing legislation requiring all new buildings to have a green roof.
In summary, a green garden does not take up much space and you can grow anything you want in an urban garden, including vegetables, fruits, flowers and herbs. With less effort than you might think, you can design your urban garden the way you want it, turning a small piece of concrete into a lush green oasis.
This article was originally published in Radiant Life magazine.