Just because you live in a small space doesn’t mean you have to forego a flourishing and productive garden! With a little creative planning, you can have a vibrant garden that doesn’t crowd your lifestyle. Here are 5 ideas for maximizing your gardening space when your space is limited:

1. Think Tall and Skinny

Tomatoes, bamboo, onions, lemongrass, beans, and other vine plants are ideal for small spaces, since the bulk of their growth goes up. Plant in skinny containers on the floor or table top, and guide vines or stalks to more available real estate above.  Or try planting small varieties of citrus trees that use smaller pots, have slender trunks, and take up most of their girth with their bushy leaves and fruit up top. Sunny, sweet blooming citrus trees are a sure-fire way to brighten up any space, large or small!

2. Think Small and Compact

Most herbs are perfect for small spaces because they generally grow in smaller, compact bunches, and are trimmed regularly when used in cooking. Basil, thyme, and other small herbs, strawberries, micro greens, as well as bush and dwarf varieties of vegetables like beans and cucumbers are perfect for a countertop planter in a sunny kitchen. Succulents are also a lovely idea for limited space, since they grow slowly, take up little room, and are fairly low maintenance.

3. Be Creative with Space

Think outside of the flower pot on the floor or herb box on the kitchen counter. Take a look at your living space and see if there are any ways to creatively maximize what’s available.  Try stacking pots, hanging recycled plastic bottles, canning jars, re-purposed shoe organizers or bags, filling small dresser drawers or wooden pallets with plants, or hanging them on the wall like this succulent wreath. Or you can try to combine two types of plants in one pot, like tall, skinny tomato plants in the same pot as low, bushy basil. Both can grow together without encroaching on each other’s space, and since they are companion plants, will aid in the flavor and growth potential of one another.

4. Go Up

You may not have much available space on your floor or walls, but you can easily hang plants from the ceiling in pots, or try making some beautiful string gardensMany plants do well in hanging containers, though they may need a bit more frequent watering. Grow plants on top of bookshelves and armoires as long as they get enough sunlight.  Also, there are special planters on the market, such a the Polanter or terra cotta strawberry pots (not just for strawberries), that are specially designed to grow plants vertically. If you are crafty, you can try making tower containers at home out of PVC pipe or a small flower pot, wire fencing, and landscape fabric. And if you’ve got some handy construction skills, why not create a vertical salad garden out of your wall?

5. Hang Out

Don’t forget to account for the space you may have access to outside of your home. Build or attach planters to windowsills, and balcony railings to have fresh green growing things right outside. If you have any exterior walls, try affixing old rain gutters and filling them with shallow-rooting plants. Check indoors for any staircase railings that might be ideal for planting boxes.

So don’t despair if you’ve a hankering to plant, but lack the space. A little creative planning is all that stands in the way of a lush garden in your home!

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