Small-Space Garden Ideas

It seems safe to say that by the end of winter, most of us are craving a little green. We start dreaming of lawns and tree leaves and flowers and gardens. One common challenge in the gardening realm comes down to sheer square footage. Frankly, some (many?) of us don’t have acres to commit to a large garden, which can perhaps discourage us from the thought of doing any garden at all. The good news is, however, that even in the smallest of spaces, growing a garden successfully is possible – deliciously so, if your intentions target vegetables and herbs. Here are five small-space garden ideas to get your green thumb going:


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This one is fairly obvious, of course, but it has to be included. Whether you have space for multiple small pots (like the tiers in this garden photo) or just a couple of large pots, this is a great method for growing an herb garden indoors. Imagine the deliciousness of fresh herbs year-round! Other vegetables (like tomatoes) thrive in pot gardens as well. Bonus: Pots are fairly mobile and can be moved indoors or outdoors according to weather.


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Whether covered in plexiglass or plastic sheeting, greenhouses are a fantastic way to maximize sunlight and subsequent garden-ready square footage. Many greenhouse styles and sizes are available on the market, or you can customize and build your own to fit your space perfectly. One bonus of the greenhouse option is that not only can the shelves inside quadruple the growing square footage of a minimal footprint, but also the growing season itself is extended if you live in a place where the winters are fairly long.{found on site}.

Box Garden.

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This is a fantastic small-space gardening solution for city-dwellers and/or people with very little outdoor space. Box gardens are particularly versatile, because they can range in size and still be productive gardens, whether 1 square foot or 100 square feet. You can easily build your own boxes from scratch or simply use found ones – these creative gardeners are using wooden wine crates with great success! A bonus of box gardens is that they can utilize a corner or edge of a patio or balcony.{found on remodelista}.

Window Garden.

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If you don’t have a yard to call your own but do have a window, you can still have a garden space! I find this strategy to be particularly ingenious and creative. Using found objects or inexpensive components like these Ikea pieces (including a spring-loaded curtain rod), you can create a wonderfully useful and pleasant indoor garden space across your window. The plants get plenty of natural light, and the touch of natural greenery goes perfectly with the view out the window.{found on jillm}.

Creative Multiple Levels.

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When square footage for a garden plot is limited, be creative with your vertical space. Take this DIY’d vertical rain gutter hanging garden, for instance. It takes up zero ground space but is a thriving, useful (and, with the flowers, beautiful) garden. If you’re interested in creating a similar garden for your small space, find the DIY instructions here.