Do you want to garden, but only have a small yard or only a patio or balcony? Here are tips for container gardening in small spaces.
Creating an edible or flower garden using containers can bring a lot of beautiful and beneficial flowers to a small space. Container gardening for small spaces can be achieved with a little creativity and knowledge of the growing habits of your plants, giving them excellent nutrient-rich potting soil, and watering them properly so that they don’t dry out nor sit in a soggy mess of a pot.
Container Gardening in Small Spaces
Small spaces can include gardening on a balcony or windowsill, a rooftop in the city, or the side of a tract home in the suburbs, or maybe you have a small patio and can only garden in containers.
Choosing Plants for a Container Garden
Imagine the outdoor space you have to work with – how many hours of sunlight does it get and how windy is that area? With this information, you can steer clear of plants that need 8 full hours if your space only receives 4. Avoid the frustration of your plants not thriving by giving them everything they need to grow in a small space. Here are tips for Vegetable Container Gardening.
Types of Containers to Use in Your Garden
Things to keep in mind are how heavy your pots and containers are. If you are gardening on a balcony or rooftop, you need to stay with materials such as hard plastics and Styrofoam as they are lighter.
Use large 25-gallon pots for either dwarf trees or to have as a statement piece in your garden with tall flowers and some that trail down the front dramatically. A 5-gallon container is the perfect size to grow vegetables like tomatoes or cucumbers. Herbs grow best in a 12” saucer pot and you can even grow root vegetables like carrots and radishes in a deep 10-15” pot with flowers grown on top.
Creating a Themed Container Garden
For some of us, the container garden is a means to an end – growing vegetables in a limited space. For others, the container is an extension of their home decor.
Do you want your containers to tell a story all unto themselves or do you want the plants to be the showstoppers? There are a vast amount of beautiful containers from plastics to terra cotta to galvanized metal – you are only limited by your imagination.
When choosing the plants for your themed container garden decide if you like them to all be in shades that blend with your outdoor decor. Some of the most beautiful container gardens in small spaces are those that stick with one color scheme, called monochromatic.
How to Arrange Plants in a Container Garden
When using container gardens in a small space you want to create the illusion that the area is larger than it really is. You can use plant stands to get some height in your space and then group other pots at the base. Hanging baskets also work great in tight areas.
When deciding how to arrange the plants in the pots, there is a good rule of thumb to use. Either place your tallest plants in the center of the container if it is going to be viewed from all sides or towards the back if it will be a one-sided display. Then place smaller trailing plants around the tall focal plant.
Have fun trying different plants in your container garden. If a plant is not working in an area, go ahead and move it around. That is the great thing about container gardening – they are moveable! Container gardening is a very rewarding and relaxing hobby!
More Container Gardening Tips:
More Gardening Tips
- How to Start Square Foot Gardening
- How to Make a Straw Bale Garden
- How to Start a Plot Garden
- Companion Plant Gardening
- Tips for Attracting Bees to your Garden
- How to Make Fast and Easy Compost Pile Using Hay Bales
This post was originally published March 25, 2014. It was updated on April 5, 2018. Kristi Trimmer writes at DragonflyRunning.com.