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Small Space Gardening Ideas

Updated on August 19, 2016

Gardening in a small space is challenging, but also very rewarding for people who enjoy consuming fresh vegetables. One thing to make is a simple tomato and lettuce salad, but I do not love paying the price every week. By growing lettuce and tomatoes in my own container garden, I will be able to enjoy tomatoes and salad leaves in a few weeks. Every day I water my plants, and add a little bit of organic potting soil to the containers when some has seeped out of the bottom. I would compost, but since I have a small backyard I really do not have room for doing that.

Growing up my family always had a compost pile, and I enjoyed taking little scraps out and turning the dirt over. It was a ritual that I truly miss, and as an adult it is hard to throw away scraps of vegetables knowing I could compost these. Honestly I would compost if I had a larger backyard to work with, but right now I only have this small deck area. I improvise by using leaves that fall from the tree above my deck as mulch for my tomato plants, and by buying organic potting soil from the dollar store. Who knew there would actually be a day when the dollar store sold something eco friendly like that? Actually, I really like this variety of potting soil called Organic Harvest, and it comes in small packages that are easy for a pedestrian or bicyclist to carry home. Even if you are not a pedestrian, most people gardening in small spaces really do not have room for large bags of potting oil. Thus gardening with material you can easily carry yourself will help to keep a project within the space limitations.

Small tomatoes beginning to form on the vine.
Small tomatoes beginning to form on the vine.

Watching the tomatoes grow on the vine in such a small space is truly amazing. These plants are providing more clean air for my backyard, and are quite pleasant to look at as well. When I plant things in containers do not expect my plants to look perfect, and in nature greenery certainly does not. If you want to spend hours gardening you can achieve the perfect plots and containers, but there is no need to fuss about the appearance of plants that are simply providing a bit of joy to your backyard, and food for your dinner table. In the short term I think it is more rewarding to focus on planting a few things you enjoy looking at and eating, and not to worry about your small deck area looking like a magazine photo shoot.

Sometimes it is fun to track the progress of your container garden by creating short video, like this one I posted on YouTube.

Cages Help Tomato Plants Grow In Containers

Tomatoes growing in the early morning sunlight.
Tomatoes growing in the early morning sunlight.
Closeup of the tomato growing on the plant.
Closeup of the tomato growing on the plant.
Small tomato growing on the vine.
Small tomato growing on the vine.
Picture of tomatoes growing on a container plant.
Picture of tomatoes growing on a container plant.
As the tomatoes continue to grow.
As the tomatoes continue to grow.
Another view of the growing tomato plant.
Another view of the growing tomato plant.
Lettuce beginning to sprout in an empty liquorish container.
Lettuce beginning to sprout in an empty liquorish container.
The chili peppers are beginning to grow bigger.
The chili peppers are beginning to grow bigger.
More sprouting lettuce leaves.
More sprouting lettuce leaves.
The early girl tomato is getting larger by the day.
The early girl tomato is getting larger by the day.
Yellow blossoms on the tomato plant will hopefully mature into tomatoes.
Yellow blossoms on the tomato plant will hopefully mature into tomatoes.
Watching the tomato grow on the plant.
Watching the tomato grow on the plant.
The tomato cage helps to stabilize the tomato plants in the container.
The tomato cage helps to stabilize the tomato plants in the container.
Different colors of plant containers can make a small space garden more lively.  The yellow container here is quite attractive paired with the green ones.  Yellow and green evoke visions of sunflowers.
Different colors of plant containers can make a small space garden more lively. The yellow container here is quite attractive paired with the green ones. Yellow and green evoke visions of sunflowers.
This empty round container is perfect for growing lettuce.  It is also a wonderful way to recycle an empty liquorice container.
This empty round container is perfect for growing lettuce. It is also a wonderful way to recycle an empty liquorice container.
Closeup of the cute little chili pepper plant.
Closeup of the cute little chili pepper plant.
Lettuce growing in the container.
Lettuce growing in the container.

Watching the tomatoes grow is a very rewarding experience, especially since you know you have nurtured these plants every day. If you do not have a lot of money to buy containers for your plants, most anything can be turned into a planter. Above is a picture of an empty plastic container that licorice came in, which I turned into a pot to grow some lettuce in.

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    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 2 years ago from US

      There is no more reasons not to plant :) It is therapeutic too.

    • katrinasui profile image

      katrinasui 6 years ago

      Once again a great hub with lovely pictures.

    • SweetiePie profile image
      Author

      SweetiePie 6 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Hi Hello, Hello,

      I appreciate your comments as always!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

      Your splendid article is certainly tempting to do container gardening.

    • SweetiePie profile image
      Author

      SweetiePie 6 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Hi LJ Jackson,

      No need for rephrasing required. I actually have been told some of my craft hubs are very well laid out. This is not a technical article, and as such, I formatted as I felt like. If I were writing something more detailed about how to precisely plant something, I might be a bit more precise and logical in how I put this together.

    • LJ Jackson profile image

      LJ Jackson 6 years ago from SW Michigan

      LOL It's important to like what you do, and stand up for it. I'll rephrase to say "I was unfamiliar with your unique approach".

    • SweetiePie profile image
      Author

      SweetiePie 6 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Whose comment to address first.

      LJ Jackson,

      Thanks for enjoying my photos, but the format of this hub is beautiful in my opinion. I do not go for the same formats as everyone else, and I laughed when I saw this comment. Looked at my hub and realized the format was fine. Had to stand up for my hub, and I always stand up for my work when someone makes a comment I do not agree with :). Besides, I write enough on Demand Studios, and this is where I am free enough to write how I like. Always stand up for the beautiful work of your hubs!

      Paradise,

      I hope you have a chance to start a small container garden in your home. I live in apartment as well, but have a small patio attached.

      Wooded,

      I really hope you get a chance to plant a few tomatoes. Thanks for sharing!

      Truckstop Sally,

      Yes, I think small container gardens are perfect for those of us with limited space.

    • Truckstop Sally profile image

      Truckstop Sally 6 years ago

      Great hub. I love plants of all kinds AND I have very very little space - so a perfect combination. Pepper plants are so beautiful and colorful.

    • profile image

      Wooded 6 years ago

      That settles it! I have been thinking about starting a few tomato plants for a while but you've taken me over the edge. I'm going to head over to the garden store in the morning. Can't wait to watch my own baby tomatoes growing! Thanks!

    • LJ Jackson profile image

      LJ Jackson 6 years ago from SW Michigan

      I've heard really good things about the high productivity of Earthbox containers for gardening. I've also built some "self-watering" containers, although the soil mix/moisture aspect can be tricky. Nice pictures. Format is a little hard to follow, though.

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

      I'm going to try a "container garden", except I have to try it inside. I live in an apartment building. I have a couple of houseplants already, and they seem to thrive and live forever with me. I think I'll add a tomatoe plant, a basil plant, some mint, a small banana tree, and possibly celanto to my houseplants and see what happens. Thanks for the hub!

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