I always hear people talking about they’d “love to have a garden, but just don’t have the space.” Well, did you know that you can have a garden no matter where you live? You’ve just got to get a little creative! When I used to hear people use the term “urban gardening,” I would visualize elaborate rooftop gardens. Yes, rooftop gardens are a form of urban gardening, however there are so many more space-saving techniques that will provide you with plenty of fresh, organic fruits and veggies and take up VERY little space.
Urban Gardening Techniques
Tower gardening is probably one of the newer urban gardening techniques out there right now. Tower gardening gives you the opportunity to grow many veggies in one small vertical area. Purchasing tower gardens can be a little tricky, because some of them are extremely pricey and you can find more inexpensive alternatives or even make a DIY version yourself easily.
Just because you don’t have the space for a large garden, doesn’t mean you can’t grow your plants in pots! Container gardening is perfect for someone who lives in an apartment that has little or no outdoor space. Need some container garden inspiration? This article will give you some great ideas.
There is one downside if you don’t have a balcony or some sort of outdoor space to keep your pots, and that’s that some plants either don’t grow well indoors, or are unable to pollinate and make fruit without having insects to help them. That doesn’t leave you without plenty of options though! I’m working on a post about the best vegetable and herb choices when growing an indoor garden so check back soon!
Hydroponics and Aquaponics
This method of urban gardening is for the people that enjoy the more technical side of gardening. Now, when you think of hydroponics, you are probably picturing rows of hundreds of plants growing out of white tubes or something like that… but the truth is, hydroponics can be as large or as small of an operation as you would like it to be!
We grew lettuce and spinach in our dining room during the winter with this method, and it was fabulous!
Square Foot Gardening
Square foot gardening does take up some space, so it would be ideal for someone who has a small yard or room for raised beds. Square foot gardening is just as it sounds- it is a garden divided into a grid of one foot squares, which allows you to grow more a variety of plants, and save space at the same time. The video below tells you all about square foot gardening so you can get a better idea of the costs and benefits involved in this type of gardening.
Add Edibles to Your Landscaping and Window Boxes
This is an idea that I just love. There are so many edible plants that can be easily incorporated into your landscaping if you don’t have space for a garden. Some of the plants that immediately come to mind are kale, chives, sunflowers, lavender, rosemary, and many other herbs, carrots, and just about anything else. You’ve just got to get a little creative!
Window boxes are another place that are perfect to plant edibles. Sweet potatoes are a vine that are commonly used in window boxes just because of how beautiful they look. You could easily install a window box at your kitchen window for a lovely herb garden right within reach as well!
Raised beds can be as large or as small as you would like them to be. When my husband and I had just moved in together into our first apartment, we made a small 3×4 raised bed out of 1x4s and grew herbs, jalapenos and green peppers. It added a homey feeling to an apartment that wasn’t exactly homey! Now, please don’t think you have to go out and by the expensive pre-made raised beds from the hardware store. Raised beds are easy to make, and we’ve even made some amazing raised beds out of cement blocks at our current home. If you’ve got the space, raised beds make for a great-looking, organized, little urban garden.
The benefits of growing your own food are limitless, and you will never look at produce from the grocery store the same way again. There’s nothing like sitting down for dinner with your family and eating something that you’ve grown yourself, and it’s even better when you have children to teach those lessons to as well. So if your small space is getting you down and talking you out of having even the smallest little garden, don’t let it! There are more than enough options when it comes to urban gardening. Obviously it’s a passion of our family’s, so if you’ve got questions about it, I’ll be happy to answer them the best that I can.