Do you love planting and digging in the soil but don’t have a yard for a bit of greenery? Don’t let it put you off; the latest small space gardening trend is just what you need.
In this article, we’ll show you how to create a DIY scratch patch that requires minimal space. You’ll be gardening on your windowsill, patio, or balcony in no time at all.
Why small space gardening?
Living in urban areas often results in limited space for plants, and the “micro-garden’ trend has become popular for this very reason. Many city slickers have created alternative options like vertical green walls or balcony vegetable patches.
Apart from space constraints, another benefit of mini planters is how easy these are to maintain. They’re suitable for people of all ages and capabilities, so younger kids or the elderly can enjoy ‘working’ in their own garden.
The cost is also not exorbitant, and you’ll enjoy the pleasure of gardening at a minimal cost. You can get creative on a budget that matches the size of your plot.
Where to start?
You can create a little garden using any small container like a teacup, a lightbulb, or even a colander. We love the idea of a pretty decorative mint tin and list the essentials to get you started here.
- A solid container
- Quality potting or cactus soil
- Seeds, seedlings, or sprouts
Just remember that if you’re creating a tiny garden, you’ll have to consider drainage and may need to add a few holes.
If you can’t drill into the holder, some gravel or a few small rocks will do the trick. You just need to put in a barrier between the bottom and the soil level so that moisture can drain away from the roots.
Great plants for small gardens
1. Succulents and cacti
When deciding what to add to your small garden, the experts at Sublime Succulents recommend that you opt for a sturdy indoor variety. It’s also best to go for those that can handle restricted spaces, like succulents.
Another benefit of cacti is their shallow root structures and the minimal attention they require. These hardy plants can flourish indoors without much pampering, making them ideal for keeping in small domestic containers.
2. Herbs and vegetables
A functional option is herbs, or microgreens, particularly if you plan to keep your tin in your kitchen. It’s fun to watch them grow and practical as you can add some proper homegrown nutrition and goodness to your cooking.
If you like sauces, salsas, and an occasional Bloody Mary, you might want to consider a tomato and spice planter. You can cultivate jalapenos, chives, cilantro, and basil to provide the ingredients you need.
Do you love salad? You can plant lettuce, parsley, and chives, plus ingredients to make the dressing. Sorrel, tarragon, basil, rosemary, and thyme grow well in small spaces.
If you like herbal teas, you may want to consider growing your own organic supply. Peppermint, bergamot, thyme, lemon balm, chamomile, and lemon verbena are popular options. You can use the leaves and flowers straight off the plant during the summer and dry what remains in the fall.
If you’re starting with seeds, be mindful not to add too many. While the idea is to watch them flourish in a confined space, they’ll still need room to sprout and bloom.
You can make upside-down hanging planters out of reused plastic soda bottles. Tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, lettuce, peppers, eggplant, and kale can all grow out of the underside of these containers.
Wire cages also work well for hanging plants. You can fill them with sphagnum moss and weave seedlings through the bars.
If you grow lettuce, you can repeatedly cut off just the amount you need. The plant will keep regenerating itself for a few months.
Vertical gardening possibilities
Wooden pallets can lean against a sunny wall and serve as planting space. Trellises are another option. You can purchase one or make your own out of items you may have at home:
- Old ladders
- Bamboo poles and zip ties
- Old box springs or futon frames
- Lengths of twine
Pole beans, cherry tomatoes, and climbing peas do well on trellises. You can also select flowers such as morning glories or nasturtiums.
Some creative individuals attach gutters to the sides of their house to grow plants in. Window boxes can sit on railings of balconies or patios.
Caring for your miniature garden
As we’ve mentioned before, these tiny gardens are generally low maintenance. The most important aspects are the soil quality and a decent amount of light. Be careful not to overwater.
One of the most common reasons for a tiny garden not to flourish is too much moisture. The limited space makes them prone to rotting roots if there’s not adequate drainage.
Living in a small space doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a garden. You can create your mini version in a container as little as a mint tin. It’s easy to maintain, suitable for young and old, and doesn’t cost a fortune.
Be mindful in selecting quality soil that can drain well, and add the right type of plants to fit your holder and base. Place it in a spot with adequate light, and be careful not to overwater. Your skills will soon reward you with some delicate blooming greenery.
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