Gardening in Small Spaces – Outdoors & Inside

Estimated read time 3 min read

It’s that time of year again when our home turns from a relatively tidy house into something which resembles a greenhouse! We love gardening & planting but have no greenhouse or propagator, so any windowsill space is used to accommodate our growing collection of seedlings.

Since Minnie was a baby she has been involved in the process of planting, growing & eating the veggies & fruit we’ve grown. As a baby she was with me as I planted outside, later she enjoyed the pureed homegrown fruit, & for the past two years she has planted & cared for a variety of plants in the garden.

We’re really fortunate to have a large area for Minnie to play in & explore, this includes a ‘gardening’ area where she can dig, plant, & experiment. In the past we tried to grow vegetables in the ground, but didn’t had much luck due to some very hungry wildlife, so last year we created a raised planting area & fenced off Minnie’s garden to deter the munching bunnies. In return we collected a humongous crop of salad, vegetables & fruit!

We’ve been sorting our gardening area again today, & it got me thinking that these ideas could easily be adapted to create a small ‘grow your own’ area where space is limited, on patios, along the side of a house, on a balcony, or stairway.
Our basic layout consists of tables along the back of the house. They’re not all the same height, length or width, they’re just a collection of old tables that will withstand the weather. Anything could be used as a base to sit plants on, an upturned plastic container, storage box, old chair, old wheelbarrow, basically whatever you have lying around.

We use a selection of planters (as you can see) & my favourites have to be Minnie’s old wellie boots which we grew mini tomatoes in last year! (If using wellies, or any other container just add a few holes in the bottom for drainage.)

Milk cartons make great planters
Minnie’s old wellies

Reusable shopping bags are great for growing potatoes & onions as they offer a wide deep space for the plants to grow.

Something else I love to use for planting & growing are milk containers. We’ve upcycled several to create planters, scoops & watering cans!

For our plant markers we use broken wooden clothes pegs. They’re great for adding a little literacy & mark making to your gardening!

Here are some of our goodies from last year…

Selection of salad, herbs & peppers

One of our collections of homegrown loveliness which Minnie helped prepare for dinner

Hanging baskets offer a great place to grow tumbling tomatoes & strawberries

Sunflowers are perfect for children to grow & can easily be grown in a flowerpot. 

Children obviously benefit greatly from having a large area to garden in, but even in a small space with just a few containers they can experience some of the many benefits of gardening.
If you have no available outdoor space, then indoor gardening offers a whole host of goodies that can be grown on your windowsill, or in containers hung from the ceiling!  All you need is a little day light & selection of indoor seeds.
Herbs, salad, micro-salad, micro-veg, & a vast selection of fruit & veg can all be grown inside.
Check out the clip below for a mini guide to growing micro-veg indoors from Alys Fowler’s ‘The Edible Garden’

Mini green fingers can be encouraged with just a few simple, recycled, & low cost items. Who knows how many little budding gardeners there are out there…
You might also like our ‘Why it’s Great to Get Gardening’or our ‘Top Tips for Gardening with Young Children’

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