If you’re living in an urban area, you might not have a garden as big you’d want to satisfy the avid gardener within you. There’s nothing to be put out about though, because with a bit of ingenuity, you can pursue your plant-growing ambitions quite nicely even on a narrow balcony or tiny backyard. The limited space can be utilized creatively and efficiently, making sure that every bit of sunshine you get is put to good use.
This ‘inside the box’ strategy is an efficient and long term approach to growing plants in a cozy area. Many varieties of vegetables grow beautifully in containers, given that the containers are huge enough to fit the plant and have holes for water drainage. Bush and compact species do well in these, as seed producers know the struggle of limited space and work on making their plants as space efficient as possible— so that you are provided with fresh vegetables, like tomatoes or herbs like basil, all year long.
Growing your plants vertically is another great way to utilize your space for gardening. You can achieve this by building shelves on the wall, through raised garden beds, or simply by installing a vertical planter with some seeds. Depending on the size of the plants you’re growing, you can fit multiple seedlings into the planter to make effective utilization of vertical space in your garden. If however, you have the sun targeting the planter at just one angle, you will need to rotate it every once in a while so that all plants enjoy the sunlight and are able to grow well.
If you do not have access to a planter, and prefer working in containers, then you can stack your plants at different levels; making sure that the smaller plants stay on top and the taller or larger containers stay at the bottom. Follow this hierarchy and you’ll be able to harvest much more.
Companion planting is an ideal and low-maintenance way to prevent pests from invading your plants. Plants that grow well together as pairs often have the ability to support each other’s growth; helping each other achieve maximum yield in due course. Taller plants are usually grown next to shorter ones to provide shade and protection from the harsh sunlight, especially if they are sun-sensitive. Similarly, flowers can be grown with your vegetables and/or fruits to attract beneficial insects that help in pollination.
Choosing the Right Plant
Growing everything in sustainably quantities in a small garden is infeasible, therefore you must choose plants that you need the most. These could include herbs for medicinal or culinary purposes, or fresh vegetables that aren’t readily available in the market. Furthermore, the right varieties of your plants should be grown. This means opting for dwarf plants rather than the average plant that may even require more space than what you have.
Dwarf trees for fruits, such as mandarin, are ideal as they do not compromise on the size of the fruit and may yield output that is comparably satisfactory to a full-sized orchard variety plant. Similarly, lemon trees can also be grown indoors for their fruit and fragrant aroma. Since space is your utmost priority here, growing mini plants in smaller pots or containers will be even better. If sunlight is not abundant, grow varieties that can compromise in light shade or artificial lighting (check out this g8 LED glow light review for instance).
When space is at a premium, you can plant different varieties that mature in different times, in a narrow space. Usually, plants that take up a lot of space need more time to fully grow, and whilst they’re at it, your other plants are ready to be plucked out and used; creating ample space for the larger plant to grow. This method of growing your plants will ensure a steady supply of your produce in your home throughout the growing season, one after the other.
Utilizing Areas with Sunlight
Do you have a small balcony that has already been filled up with plants but you’re still looking to grow some more? Place pots on your stairs if there’s sufficient sunlight for the proper growth of your plants!
Planting fluorescent herbs or flowers on each side of the stairs (leaving more than enough space to walk in between) is a quirky idea to take advantage of that rich sunlight that directly faces your stairs. Not only is this space efficient, it also beautifies your home so that you’re able to impress any guests that come over.
Ultimately, it all boils down to how good you are at managing limited resources and at thinking outside the box. It is always a good idea to start small and work your way up to the maximum that your gardening space allows.