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Organic Gardening

Get dirty, have fun and grow more food with great gardening tips from real-life gardeners.

Six Ideas for Small-Space Gardening

Coconut Shell 

When I was living in New York City, I was able to do the ultimate in small-space gardening. All I had was a 2-by-3-foot fire escape and had to get really creative with the space (or lack thereof) and how I could most efficiently utilize it.

Since that time, I’ve started to use and come up with other ideas for what people can do with limited space. Space should not be an excuse for not growing your own food.

Here are six of my favorite ideas for those of you with small spaces and still want to get your garden on.

Self-watering containers. These are one of the first things that I built and they have evolved, but I used them on my fire escape and continue to use them on my balcony in Los Angeles. They are easy to make, cost practically nothing and are effective. 

Hanging soda bottle planters. Even if you don’t drink soda, the bottles are nearly everywhere. You can get a hold of them with ease. On my fire escape, I was able to line the hand rails with about 10 of these and grow herbs in them. 

Cinder blocks. You can turn the cinder blocks on their side, fill with some soil and plant some shallow rooted herbs and veggies in them. You can also get really creative with your cinder blocks and make an entire cinder block planter wall

Coconut shells. Coconut water is all the rage these days and people are buying up coconuts left and right. The shells are just being tossed in the trash (or hopefully compost). Clean out the inside of the coconut, drill some holes in the bottom, fill with soil and use the shell to plant some herbs or veggies.

Shipping pallet herb garden. You can find shipping pallets at construction sites, farmers markets or your local grocery store. All you have to do is nail on some soda bottles and you have yourself an herb garden.

Rainforest Drops. These are vertical gardening, houseplants and container gardening all rolled up into a ball and reinvented. You can either create your own or buy one. 

What are some other small-space gardening ideas?