From innovative vertical gardening systems to hanging pots and easy-access planters, these 12 small-space gardening solutions make homegrown produce possible no matter how tiny your outdoor space may be.
Easy Access Salad Box
Image Credits: Sunset
Do you feel like you might be more likely to garden if it weren’t for all the bending down that’s usually required? Raised beds on table legs or platforms could be the solution, like this ‘Small Space Salad Box’ by Sunset. A redwood planter box and some 1×4’s – along with some tools and glue – are all that you need to create an attractive waist-high garden that barely takes up any floor space at all.
Small but Expandable Step Garden
Image Credits: Webecoist
How do you squeeze every possible square inch of usable growing space out of a tiny balcony or deck? When space is an issue but you want to grow much more than just a pot full of essentials, stacked raised beds can do a lot with a small footprint. These raised beds by The Urban Garden stack in various configurations and help you ensure that all of your plants have equal access to the sunlight.
Image Credits: Juneauempire
This now-infamous gutter garden is a staple whenever space-saving gardening is mentioned on the web, and with good reason: it’s utterly brilliant. Bugs, wild animals and poor soil are no problem as this system of three gutters keeps plants off the ground and in the sun. Careful, controlled watering ensures that the house siding and the ground along the foundation don’t get too wet. Make it greener with salvaged gutters.
Vertical Gardening with Salvaged Materials
Image Credits: BHG
The gutter system works great – but what if you want something a little more personalized? Get creative and used salvaged materials to make vertical raised growing boxes. This small-space garden in Tacoma, Washington was made using scrounged, mismatched wood and has a charming homemade feel.
WeeTree Wall of Plants
Image Credits: Lushe
Here’s an idea that can accomplish several goals at once: hiding an ugly wall, shading a building and growing food. Even if you have a postage stamp-sized yard, you can grow row after row of herbs, veggies and ornamentals in a system like this one, created by WeeTree landscape designers of Chicago, which places horizontal planters in between fence posts for a stunning vertical garden effect.
One-Pot Vegetable Garden
Image Credits: Sunset
The smallest and simplest of urban gardens is simply a single pot, packed with as many herbs and veggies as possible. Get yourself a galvanized water trough, drill some drainage holes, fill it with soil and then plant complementary groups of plants together. Sunset planted tomatoes, basil, chives and jalapenos for fresh salsa, pasta sauce and bloody mary mix all summer long.
Woolly Pocket Planter Bags
Image Credits: Woollypocket
Vertical gardening directly on a wall is great – but best left to the pros, right? Not necessarily – especially with options like the Woolly Pocket planter bags. These breathable recycled wool planter bags keep your wall dry while wicking moisture to the roots of the plants, creating an instantly lush wall of green that works with virtually any type of wall surface.
Sky Planter by Patrick Morris
Image Credits: Design Boom
Upside-down hanging planters don’t have to be tacky. The ‘Sky Planter’ by Patrick Morris enables you to grow plants virtually anywhere you want without sacrificing your design sense. The plant is held inside the ceramic pot and watered gradually with a hidden reservoir in the top.
Square Foot Gardening
Image Credits: Flickr
How much food can you grow in a square foot? More than you think. Square foot gardening consists of 4×4 or 3×3 above-ground boxes filled with high-quality soil and divided into square-foot sections that allow optimal spacing between plants but still fit an entire garden into the smallest of yards.
Shoe Organizer Garden
Image Credits: Instructables
Another option, similar to Woolly Pockets but even more cost-effective, is to rig up a DIY version with a canvas shoe organizer. Kept off the wall with strips of wood, this system works in a similar way but without the wicking properties, so it would need frequent watering.