We live in a time where learning some skills to be more self-sufficient would be beneficial. COVID-19 has limited us a lot, big companies are spraying unnecessary chemicals on our food, healthy food is expensive and more. Therefore, right now is a perfect time for gardening and growing your own food. Most, think they need a lot of space but that is not true. In this article, I will be giving you a list of the best small space garden products to make the most out of your space, be it a patio, small backyard, or no outdoor space at all. Now, is a perfect time to pick up this life skill and/or hobby.
The best small space garden products will allow flexibility, save space, and/or be highly productive. When I speak of flexibility, I mean that you options in how it could be configured. As it relates to saving space, I am referring to how the product can maximize the use of an area. Finally, in terms of productivity, I am speaking about how much food you can produce with a product. In this list, you will plenty to choose from to get growing. Once, I explain a type of product, I will provide you with some options to chose from to get your small space garden flourishing.
Grow bags provide flexibility and save space primarily. They provide flexibility to the extent that you use them just about anywhere. Many come with handles allowing you to pick them up and move them as needed. Your plants may need more or less sun, maybe you want to save them from harsh weather and put them in a safer location; your yard does not have good soil or none at all; either way, you can move it where needed. The only time you may not be able to do this is when you start going up in sizes in which more soil is usually put in the bag making it heavier and harder to move.
In terms of saving space, some grow bags have pockets on the side of them, giving you more space to grow in the same area. Having that feature helps with possibly being more productive. Another benefit of grow bags is, they allow the roots to breathe due to the fabric they are made of to help prevent root rot and alleviate over watering issues.
The only downsides to grow bags are, they need more watering than a traditional pot or planter since the fabric porous, durability, and environmental concern because not all bags are made equal. The watering issue can be resolved by placing a soaked biodegradable diaper or sponge in the soil to wick up and reserve the water for the plant. Personally, I never had any problems with durability the 5 plus years I had mine. In terms of environmental concerns, just buy fabric made of non-toxic material.
Garden towers are wonderful for small space gardens because they go vertical. Just like when it comes to building cities or houses when you can longer go out, build up. Usually, these garden towers have multiple pockets all around where you can transplant your seedlings into. By having this option, you get to grow more in the same square footage. Imagine having several of these on your patio or in the backyard to pick food off. Some of these garden towers have a built-in compost area to put food scraps into breakdown slowing overtime to feed your plants, which is great for not wasting food. Another feature some have is the ability to water your plants with a water irrigation system built-in. If not, you can always add one yourself by getting a little creative.
Wall Tower or Planter
Another variation of a garden tower is a wall tower or planter. These are put up against a wall. You grow in pockets of the fabric or planters that hang or attach to the wall. You would get the same benefits of grow bag wherein you can alleviate overwatering and prevent root rot if done in fabric. Treat the containers just a planter you would on your patio or the floor. Wall towers and planters work really great for herbs and spices. Placing it right outside your door would be a great place to put it for a kitchen herb and spice garden to cook with fresh ingredients.
Garden trellis is one of the cheaper small garden products to acquire, partly because you can make them yourself out of anything that can support your crops. I personally use bamboo sticks to build my trellis. Trellis gives you another option to go vertical. They work great for your climbing or vine crops or those that develop long stems such as tomatoes, okra, cucumbers, and so forth. Simply place the trellis in a planter or beside a planter, then tie your crop to it or let it climb the trellis itself but guide it.
Depending on what type of set you decide to go with, that will determine how much space it will take up. In terms of production, an aquaponics system can be extremely productive if done correctly. In summary, you would be growing your crops in soilless media with help of fish in a closed-looped system. You would feed the fish, the fish will poop, that poop water will be pumped up into the grow bed in which the plants feed off it and clean the water, then finally return water back into the fish holding tank through a siphon. No need to keep watering your crops with this system. Depending on where you place this setup, will determine whether you need a grow light. If you have it outdoors, there is no need for one. Having an aquaponics system where multiple grow beds are stack will only increase your harvest. Also, depending on the type of fish you decide to use, you may also use them as a food source.
Hydroponics is similar to aquaponics but without the fish. With this option, you would put liquid fertilizer in the water to be pumped through the system to feed your crops. It is another soil gardening option. One would transplant crops into net cups with clay pebbles or whatever media a kit comes with and place it into once the cup slots. This is another option you could build yourself but there are kits available that are easy to setup. Some companies have really outdone themselves. They have made the hydroponic setups blend right in with the interior design of homes.
Aeroponics or fogponics is similar to hydroponics but with this method plants feed through a mist of small droplets. The plant would be sitting in a netted pot with some type of media such a clay pebbles or plug. This is a technique Disney uses to produce some of their food. Just, like hydroponics, it relies on a liquid fertilizer for nutrients to feed the plants. This option can be a DIY project as well if you like. I have seen people use 5 gallons bucket or storage totes and a fog mister to build this system. Again, there are companies out there that do all of the work for you.
Raised planters make a great small garden product because it off the ground and give you space underneath to store your gardening supplies or even plant some shade-loving crops underneath. A DIY option you could try would be to just purchase a small fold away table and place a shallow storage container on top of the table hanging slightly off the table with a drainage hole on uncovered to catch excess water. That excess water can be reused to water your crops.
Greenhouses can really be handy when you do not have a lot of space and want to extend your growing season. You can start seedlings and grow crops inside of them year-round depending on what you are trying to grow, your climate, and/or how you manipulate the temperature inside it. I had a small 4 tier greenhouse in which I grew shallow root crops inside aluminum baking pans with a black-colored water-filled jug to collect heat during the day and radiate heat when the temperate dropped. No matter if where you live, be it an apartment with a balcony, patio, or small yard; there are numerous sizes to choose from to meet your needs.
Indoor Grow Tent
This is an option when you have no growing space at all outdoors or if you rather grow indoors. A grow tent is a viable option. It may be a bit of an investment initially depending on the type of setup you choose but you will be able to grow just about anything that can fit in it. They come in several sizes and numerous accessories that may or may not come with them such as grow lights, filter, fan, and other parts. Despite how it can seem a little complex, once setup you will be fine. Indoor grow tents allow you to not deal with elements, make retrieving your crops more convenient since it is indoors with you already, and allow you to customize the climate for your crops.
Compost Worm Tower
Yes, a compost worm tower my friend which falls under vermicomposting, a process by which worms are used to convert organic materials into a humus-like material. I know it may sound disgusting but worms are essential to how plants grow almost everywhere. Having them inside your soil will only make your garden even better. Worms will eat dead organic matter and poop rich nutrient-dense castings right back out into the soil for plants to feed off. Also, when traveling through the soil, their little tunnels created help to aerate the soil giving plants more oxygen.
By having a compost worm tower and some worms on hand, you can create your own worm casting or worm casting liquid aka “worm tea” to put in your soil-based garden to further enrich your soil. You can also place some of the worms in your garden as well since they will multiply naturally. The rate they will multiply depend on the species, red wigglers are commonly used for composting. Having a compost worm tower gives you worm casting, worm tea, worms, and a composter to eliminate organic waste. As a result, you would not have to buy some products because the composting worm tower does so much. Do not worry, there are worm composters made to help eliminate any smells and the worms will not get out. So they can be kept indoors or outdoors.
As you can see, there are several ways for you to grow a garden in a small space with all these amazing products. The majority of these products can be used in conjunction with one another. Let your imagination run wild. Now, of course, there are other products you may need such as seeds, grow lights, soil, or other growing media if it does not come in a kit or with the product. In this article, I just wanted to touch on the general products that many beginners would not think of when thinking of traditional gardening.
With all the advancements made to grow your own food, there is no reason not to be able to at least supplement what you buy from the grocery store. Start with the easiest vegetables to grow such as lettuce, radishes, kale, carrots, or cucumbers. We must learn to start doing for ourselves. It is a valuable life skill that has proven the test of times. Besides gardening is a great hobby to have. Hopefully, after seeing this list of the best small space gardening products, you are able to start growing your own garden filled with food to feed you and your family.
Before you leave out, be sure to visit my healthy lifestyle shop where you can find more gardening products and my resource page to further aid you in your health and wellness journey. Good health starts at home, build an environment conducive to it.
Be Healthy, Be Balanced, Be You