Want to start a garden but you have limited space to work with? If so, this small space gardening post is for you!
Our Gardening Story
Our gardening story started out as a sitcom. When Matt and I first moved into our farmhouse fixer-upper a little over four years ago, we had dreams of having a big garden. We had almost an acre of garden space to work with. In my head, our garden was going to be perfectly maintained, with neat little rows and everything growing without blemishes. However, we quickly discovered we got in way over our heads. As busy people with full-time jobs, we rarely had the time we needed to devote to a massive garden. For one, it quickly got out of hand with more weeds than plants. But we also overspent on supplies and seeds. As with so many other things in life, it turns out it’s best to walk before you run!
We’ve been gardening for a few years now, and we’ve really learned a lot about what to do and what NOT to do. One of the most important lessons we learned was to start small. So, if you’ve been dreaming of gardening but feel like you can’t due to your own lack of space, don’t be discouraged. Here are all of our tips to get you started with gardening without a lot of money, time, or space.
Why Small Space Gardening Makes Sense
There are many reasons to start a garden in a small space.
- Small garden spaces need less maintenance, and are therefore more manageable.
- You won’t need to dig up your yard.
- They’re easy on your wallet and your time constraints.
- You can actually grow more than you think, and you can scale up in the future.
- It’s easy to try your hand at a new hobby without commitment.
What You’ll Need
One of the best things about small space gardening is an opportunity to try growing just one or a few veggies or fruits without spending a lot of money on tools and supplies. As you gain experience, you can always expand what you grow. Here’s a list of the essentials to have when you’re just starting out:
A Packet of Seeds – With just a few dollars, you can buy a packet of enough seeds to grow quite a few plants. But honestly, you can even plant seeds from a vegetable you’re planning to chop up for dinner. For example, green peppers are pretty easy to grow, and just one green pepper is full of seeds!
Gloves and a Trowel – Digging in the dirt is, well, dirty! Not only do gloves keep your hands and nails clean, but you don’t always know what else is in that dirt. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on gloves. Many are under $20. These are my favorite, but they also happen to be waterproof, which I consider a big plus. With a small garden or just a few pots, you don’t need a lot of tools. Just a trowel will work for you.
Garden Soil – Not to be confused with the potting soil you may use for flowers, garden soil is available in bags of various sizes. I like mixing mine with compost, which you can also purchase in small bags. Spring is a great time to start gardening. Many local garden centers and big-box stores will have garden soil available at a good price.
Containers – You can grow herbs, peppers, and even smaller tomato plants with just a few containers like flowerpots. Before you spend a mint on terra cotta or glazed pots, I recommend scouring thrift stores and garage sales first. I bought two brand new pots for my daughter last summer at a garage sale for just four dollars!
As far as fertilizers go, I recommend coffee grounds, compost coffee, and worm castings. They’re all inexpensive, very effective, and most of all, safe!
My Favorite Way to Garden in a Small Space
If you have a few more dollars to spend, I couldn’t recommend this vertical planter from Greenstalk more!
Here are the features I love about it:
- It’s great for strawberries, carrots, herbs, peppers, and lettuces.
- It’s at a pricepoint that makes it a great gift.
- Growing veggies in a vertical garden is a great way to introduce young kids to the magic of growing plants from seeds.
- Since the tiers stack, you can grow a lot in just a bit of space. Therefore, it’s perfect for apartment dwellers and anyone else who has a small patio.
- Watering is super easy. You put water in the top section and it flows down to all of the tiers, so it’s very efficient.
- It’s made here in the USA of durable, food-safe plastic.
They always have special sales going on and you can get an extra $10 off of one by clicking here!
Although raised beds can be expensive to purchase, you can build one yourself at a fraction of the cost if you’re handy.
Why I Love Gardening
Gardening is a great way to unplug from our tech-filled world. There’s something so relaxing and enjoyable about watching a tiny seed grow into a plant that produces really good, really fresh food in your own backyard.
So if you only have a patch of space, don’t worry. I love noticing backyard gardens in my small town. Try growing just one plant, like your favorite veggie in a container or two, and go from there. Once you see results, it’s easy to get hooked. I have a feeling you may just fall in love with gardening too!
Other Gardening Posts I Think You’d Like
Have you fallen in love with gardening or are you hesitant to get started? I’d love to hear more about your gardening story too!