Ever longed for a garden of your own? Wished you could grow some veggies during the summer but think you just don't have space? Forget growing out — you need to grow up!
A great option for gardening in a small space is vertical gardening. It's all the rage for small-space dwellers, particularly apartment renters who want to try out their green thumb when the weather is warm.
When you think about a vertical garden, you're probably already dreading that initial investment with planters, tools and other assorted gizmos. Sure, you could spend a fortune on what you think you need, or you could get creative with planter choices and tools.
Finding unique and useful planters is easy if you just open your eyes. Here are a few examples:
Apartment dwellers come and go each month. If you're looking to get into container gardening, check out the garbage and recycling compound in your apartment complex, particularly near the end and beginning of the month.
With so many people moving in and out, you're sure to find a few useful items, such as garden equipment, planters and even a few things for your patio.
Another small garden idea is to look at the classifieds or Craigslist to see if anyone is getting rid of shelving or a sturdy chest of drawers – both can make an attractive planter when fitted with some landscaping material. Better yet, most of the time they're free as long as you're willing to collect them.
One of the hot new trends is to build your vertical garden out of old plastic bottles, or even wine bottles. With just a little soil and some sturdy rope or wire, you can easily garden in a small space.
Container gardening is rewarding because you're reusing items to start a small garden. For example, laundry baskets or shoe holders can now be used as a planter to grow your vertical garden, and your local home improvement store typically will have pallets that can be repurposed with just a little effort.
All you need are some pots, wooden rods and shower curtain rings and you'll have yourself an adorable and space-saving garden. Or, you can use steel mesh and hooks. You can find all the items for this at a local gardening store. Once you have everything, all you need to decide is where you want to hang it.
Not all garden plants were made to go vertical, but you'd be surprised how many can. From flowers to vegetables to herbs, there's a range of choices depending on what you want to achieve.
Do a little research before you start gardening in a small space. While you're limited in some scenarios, you can still have a fruitful crop just by getting a little more creative and learning how to do it right.
When it comes to veggies, try hardy plants, such as beans, peas, miniature cucumbers and tomatoes. You can also grow salad varieties. Think spinach, lettuce, chili peppers or scallions.
A vertical herb garden serves a dual purpose — you benefit from the greening of your walls, while your meals taste fresher. Think about adding some basil, chives, cilantro, dill or mint, just to name a few. Fresh herbs are a great way to impress dinner guests.
If you're looking to start gardening in a small space and adding a splash of color to your home, look for ferns like Boston, Staghorn or English ivy. Wax flowers, petunias and verbena also feel right at home growing vertically.
Dirt is dirt, right? Wrong. Buying the right kind of soil for what you want to do can help your plants grow, retain more moisture and even provide vital nutrients so you get the most bang for your buck with your plants.
Growing great plants in a vertical garden is more than just tossing some soil into your planter — you also need to get your initial set-up right. Start by adding a layer of gravel or rocks at the bottom of your planter to give your plants appropriate drainage, then lightly add the soil on top. It's also a good idea to let the soil rest for a few days prior to putting in your plants.
One way new gardeners tend to screw up is to forget to water their plants or water them at the wrong time. To give the maximum benefit for your plants, water them thoroughly on a daily basis, or at least every other day. This is particularly important when it's a hot summer, as plants can dry out fairly quickly.
Also, only water your plants in the evening or very early morning — water in the full sun can result in burns on your leaves and most of the water evaporates due to heat. Another tip is to arrange the plants with the ones needing the least amount of water at the top.
What are you growing this year? Think gardening in a small space is impossible? Not anymore with these great small gardening tips. Let us know what you think below!