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Be a Countertop Gardener!

Updated on August 15, 2014

Fresh Greens Without A Garden

Even if you don't think you can have a garden, chances are you are just a counter-top gardener in denial. Really! If you can just spare a little counter space in your kitchen, you can grow a few simple vegetables no matter what time of the year it is and no matter what climate you live in.

If you have a sunny spot, it can make things easier, but there are a few options that come with their own lights. If you just have the same amount of counter top space free as you would need for a toaster, you are good to go!

Being able to grow just a small amount of fresh greens can bring huge benefits to your diet in terms of fresh vitamins and minerals. Some of these methods are really old ways that people were able to do that, and some of them are modern variations on the same techniques. For people who live in apartments or those who live in northern latitudes or just places which have very cold winters, these are all fun ways of gardening with what's available!

Sprouted Greens

an easy way to get started

Another really easy way to add fresh greens to your diet and still only take up a small amount of countertop space is by sprouting seeds and grains. All the nutrients and energy to grow a whole plant is packed into a seed, and just by getting those seeds to start sprouting, all that good stuff is made available in the tiny shoot that is produced.

You can do sprouting with just a basic Mason jar and a small piece of screening so that you can drain water out of the jar while allowing in air. But if you really want to make sprouts a steady part of what you eat, and you find yourself busy with work and other activities, you might like having an automatic sprouter that remembers to water and drain your sprouts for you.

Countertop Growing Systems

getting a little more garden diversity and complexity

There are several counter top growing systems on the market now that will let you grow herbs and small greens crops in very little space. Some of them come with supplement lights and some don't, so be sure to check the space you'd like to use and pick accordingly.

If you have a good window with south or western exposure, you might not need extra lights. If you have a very roomy kitchen, you might be able to grow greens with your own arrangement of pots or small boxes, but for most city gardeners, you don't have that much room.

Good options for growing include baby mixed greens and just about any non-head lettuce, chives, basil, cherry tomatoes, some types of peas and beans or peppers.

Aero Garden System

If you really want to save on space and have an all-in-one growing system for herbs, greens or vegetables, then you might like something like this. You can grow a mix of lettuces for fresh salads, various herbs for cooking or try something like fresh tomatoes.

New Blackbox

Try Window Farming

ready to farm in your house or apartment?

Taking many ideas from hydroponic gardening and expanding greatly from just a simple window box is the idea behind "window farms." By recycling materials (which makes it low-cost) you can take a single picture window and turn it into a productive growing space.

A small fish tank pump circulates water to the top of the arrangement and excess drips down to the containers below, allowing you to grow three or four layers of potted plants. Lettuce, herbs, tomatoes, cucumbers, bean and more can all be grown using this type of system. This would be a great option for those in apartments as the entire system hangs and can be easily put up and taken down again. You don't use hardly any floor space and you can make the most of any sunny windows. Instead of an ugly view you could use that window to grow fresh foods anytime of the year!

See How Window Farming Works - got a big sunny window?

Are You Doing Any Countertop Gardening?

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