Growing big vegetables in small spaces

Perhaps you live in an apartment, preferring a sleek city skyline over grassy acreage. Or, maybe you don’t have the time to tend to a backyard garden. You can still enjoy the rewards of growing fresh vegetables. Small-scale gardening can be very rewarding. And, you just might have room to spare for that garden gnome.

Where you grow your plants is a number one priority. Will you be using a patio or balcony? Maybe you want to decorate a fire escape or roof top. If you want to bring your plants indoors, you can use wall shelving or windowsill boxes. Get creative with your containers. Think shoe organizers, mason jars, palettes and more. The smaller the container, the less water it will retain, so your plants will require more watering. Herbs are always great for small containers.

Let there be light

Another important factor to consider is how much sunlight your apartment or home gets during the day. Some plants require low light, some require full sun throughout the day. If your room gets six hours of direct sunlight each day, you have full sun. Four to five hours is considered partial sun. If your room receives about two to four hours of sunlight, that’s considered partial shade and anything less than that is shade. Keep that in mind when you are choosing your plants.

Plants that don’t mind tight spaces

Herbs are a great choice because they are easy to grow and a little bit goes a long way in flavoring your meals. Basil, rosemary, sage, mint and chives are all great choices. Grow your own and avoid buying a batch of herbs from the grocery store which will likely go rancid before you’ve used it all.

Vegetables that grow well indoors include radishes, green onions, peppers, tomatoes, parsley, cilantro and garlic. Tomatoes are very hardy and easy to grow, but they require a lot of sunlight. Did you know that tomatoes can also be grown upside down? Lettuce takes up little space, and it reproduces quickly. Cucumbers and green beans are easy and cheap to grow. Marjoram, thyme and geranium can survive in the wintertime. Be sure to read the label on your seeds to learn in which conditions they grow best.

Companion planting

There are some things that just go together better, like milk and cookies. Did you know that there are plants that enjoy growing in the same pot? They actually benefit each other. Basil and tomatoes make a great team, as do radishes and spinach. You can even grow garlic and roses in the same pot! Gardening this way will save you a lot of space.

We want to know how your urban garden grows. What are your favorite container vegetables? Please share with us.