If you’ve been following me, you know I’m a big advocate of growing your own produce. It’s rewarding, fun, and surprisingly easy. Depending on how you do it, it can be a frugal endeavor, too.
Last year, I shared with you some thoughts on gardening for small spaces. I would like to revisit some of those thoughts and share some new ones.
#1: Go Vertical. Did you know that many vining varieties can be trained to climb up a trellis? Peas, beans, cucumbers, and even some melons and squash can be grown this way. In my garden, I’m planning on growing heirloom lemon cucumbers and sugar sprint peas this way.
#2: Gather your Containers. You might be surprised to learn that some produce can be grown quite well on your deck or porch in a container! I was perusing a seed catalog and found that lettuce, leeks, cucumbers, and even baby sized beets were pictured on a page good to grow in containers. Some plants, particularly cherry tomatoes and strawberries, grow well in hanging containers.
#3: Gather your buckets. Drill some holes in the bottom of 3- or 5-gallon buckets, fill with potting soil, and plant away! Buckets are suitable for growing many root vegetables, including potatoes. Let them grow and once they’re ready to harvest, you can dump into a wheelbarrow and gather the potatoes you need. Here’s a YouTube video on how to do this.
#4: Grow food in bags. An even more frugal idea still may be to grow your vegetables directly in bags! Some items like potatoes and lettuce may work well this way. Here’s a post from Rodale.com on how to do this.
#5: Find a Sunny Window. Many herbs can be grown inside – no garden required! See this post at Organic Gardening for more information.
#6: Make edibles part of your Landscape. No room for a separate garden? Consider if you really need all that grass, or if you can’t plant herbs in with the flowers. I’m personally planning on growing quinoa this year and will likely grow out somewhere out in my yard (not my container garden). We’re also going to be growing kiwi over an arbor. We actually removed about a third of the sod in our backyard to make room for our raised bed garden last year. Personally? I wouldn’t hesitate to rip up more!
#7: Find a Community Garden. Another alternative? Find a community garden near you!
Keeping it Frugal
I think the way to garden most frugally is to make use of what you already have and share, where possible. Consider swapping vegetable seeds or starters with like-minded gardening friends. Check with your Starbucks for coffee grinds for your garden. Pick up some containers or gardening supplies at Rite Aid with UP Rewards you’ve earned. Attend free gardening classes for your area (here’s one taking place at the Sammamish Library on container gardening - thanks, Sounds Fun Mom!). If you’re not sure gardening is for you, start small. With a little bit of creativity, gardening can be done for less.
Here are a few beautifully done blogs I found that would be excellent further reading on this topic:
Your Small Kitchen Garden. Blogger Daniel grows food year round from his small yard space in Pennsylvania.
Urban Organic Gardener. Blogger Mike shows that you can grow your own food even if it’s on the fire escape of a Brooklyn apartment or an LA balcony! Notice how he uses 5-gallon buckets to keep things frugal. (Love this.)
The 6X8 Garden. Gardening in a 6 X 8 balcony space? It can be done!
Life on the Balcony. This blog is one that you could got lost in, it’s that good! It is full of videos, DIY tips, and beautiful photos. I also love that the blogger who runs it is named Fern.
Urban Gardens. In addition to container and small space gardening, blogger Robin shares eco-friendly products and sustainable gardening practices. I was particularly drawn to the design and layout of her blog. It made me want to wander.
Do you have any ideas for gardening in small spaces? Follow any other fabulous gardening blogs you’d like to share? How do you keep it frugal?