Let’s add something green and calming today with how we can start gardening in small spaces because let’s face it, not everyone has an outdoor space. Some New York homes don’t even have window sills which, for others, is a hindrance to start introducing plants in their homes.
Let’s start first with the biggest step that you can do to introduce plants in your home and that’s having a green roof. Recently, the New York City Council passed a suite that can help reduce greenhouse gases in the city and that’s supporting green roofs.
A green or a living roof has various layers in order to support the plants in the area. It has to have a waterproof membrane, root barrier, drainage, and soil to ensure that plants have access to everything they need in order to thrive.
There are buildings in New York, such as the apartment building 525W52 that has a living roof. It has plants, tables, and grilling stations. It’s a great way to start or end your week and watch the sunrise or sunset on the rooftop.
Choose Dwarf and Miniature Varieties
Not everyone living in NYC has a shared garden rooftop, and that’s okay. You don’t have to pressure yourself to add shrubs and other medium-sized plants just to add greens in your life.
One of our favorite recommendations is from Brooke Edmunds, a horticulturist in Oregon State University Extension Service to focus on the growing draft and miniature varieties of plants and herbs.
Planning these vegetables needs a little bit of creativity and we have the time, so really there’s no excuse. Here’s how you can start:
- Containers – find any container that you can recycle which can also include metal drums, gallon cans, and even bushel baskets.
- Drainage – just like in any other garden, drainage is important and you can add this to your garden system by drilling drain holes in containers.You can also elevate the pots and place them on tops of brings. If you’re placing a pot near your window, you can place it on top of a saucer.
- Plants – small spaces can only house small plants. If you’re looking to add a garden of food then you can get Thumbelina carrots, cherry tomatoes, dwarf cauliflower, baby artichokes and eggplants, dwarf lettuce, and baby green onions.
- Follow instructions – always follow the instructions in the seed package. Plant it, gently water the soil, and make sure not to wash the seeds out.
Container Gardening Options
Yes, we said that you can use gallons for your plants, but of course, we’re also here to give you some options to spice up your small garden at home.
Vertical Displace on Wall
This is a simple fix on small spaces. To do this, fix spots on a wall bracket or drill them, then plant on the pots. You can even use small tins as pots!
If you have a little space outside your window, then these are the best options. It’s also a great option if you want to plant a lot of herbs in just one container. Also, there are a lot of window boxes, but we recommend that you choose the size that fits your space.
You can also use small pots, such as those within the 6 – 8 inches pots and planters as these are compact sizes. What we love about pots is you can also use it as part of your home decor. You can paint the pots and add a pop of color in your greens.
As we’ve said a while ago, you can choose to plant dwarf vegetables just to maximize your space and here are some of our favorites:
These are best for container planting because you can easily grow them in small or medium-size containers or planters. You can also plant it in a hanging basket and place it near your kitchen so you can directly harvest it.
You can grow the dwarf variety in small pots for higher yield. To complete your list, also get some dwarf cabbages and broccoli which are also easy to grow in containers.
The baby artichokes are smaller because they don’t have the chokes. The dwarf variety can be eaten whole, just peel the first layer of the leaves.
The varieties for dwarf eggplants include little finger eggplant, Casper eggplant, or mauve eggplant. These produce small eggplant fruits which are still as tasty as the regular ones.
Baby Green Onions
These are easy to grow around and they thrive in dry spaces. You can also have the option to grow your green onions on the water!
Another urban garden favorite, especially if you have a small backyard. These are available in markets and you can choose to grow either a little gem, iceberg, or salad bowl variety.
So, are you ready to grow your food? Share your tips with us now!