The Sounds of Advice #35: Gardening With Minimal Space

How to create a garden with minimal space:

Aisling: If you have limited space but would like to grow some plants here are some ideas. 

1. Use windowboxes. If you have no outdoor space, windowboxes are great, especially since the plants will get plenty of sunlight.

2. If you have railings that can hold longer planters this is another way to utilize small space. 

3. Garden vertically if you have wall space outdoors that can be utilized such as a trellis or a multi pocket fabric wall planter.

Sandy: Egg cartons work great for starting everything not the paper ones though. Then they have small planter boxes you can get that you could transfer them too. Just have to pick plants that aren't huge! Other than that you can easily have your own little indoor garden and don't have to worry about frost if you live in a cold place.

Kate: Pintrest is a treasure trove of ideas, but sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming, especially when you don't know where to start. It is a great place to start or at least get an idea of what you'd like to accomplish. But below I'll give you some tips for figuring out how to make what you want to do work.

1. Size up your space: 
-Measure it physically. How much space do you really have?
-What is the climate and exposure in your space? Does it get a great deal of sun or shade?
-Look at the surroundings. Is there something you wish to cover up or conceal, such as a wall, fence, or utility box? Is there something you wish to preserve or incorporate, such as a nearby tree, a view, or other surrounding landscape?
-Check out the soil. If your small space has soil, is it clay or sand? Does it support other plants, even weeds?

2. Figure out where water will come from:
Do you have someplace to hook up a hose to water the plants? If so, consider a self-coiling hose with a nozzle that will turn off the water. Get a hose sized for your space. Otherwise, get a large watering can.

3. Choose a purpose for your garden:
-Is it purely decorative, or would you like to grow a few herbs or food plants?
-Decide where you will be when you look at this garden. Will you be out in it or will you mostly view it from indoors? One or two chairs and a small table can make a small garden an attractive retreat in which to sit and read.

4, Clear the clutter:
-If you are serious about making a garden here, try to find someplace else to store the mop. Many communities discourage the use of outdoor spaces as storage, anyway.
-If you must store items in this area, such as if this is the only place for your bicycle, at least minimize the size and number of items stored. Discard or remove any items that are not necessary and give yourself space to organize and access the rest.

5. Go up:
Generally, the horizontal space is what's limited. Build a vertical garden, try a taller container planting, or train a climber up a wall or fence. You could also use window boxes or other wall- or fence-mounted containers, or a table or open shelving for more containers.

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