If you love gardening but fear that you don’t really have the space, no worries. There are plenty of ways to utilize the space you do have, and make the most out of it! Whether you are gardening from a patio or a small patch of land, the following plants are ideal for small spaces.
Tomatoes are one of the easiest things to plant when space is an issue. Your standard pot tomato will work just fine on any patio garden, porch, balcony, or small yard. Hanging baskets also work great for planting tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes work great for planting in containers.
Strawberries are another space-efficient plant to grow. Especially since many of them can be store bought in a special container called a strawberry jar. These jars have holes throughout them, for the strawberries to come through and bloom. Strawberries in a strawberry jar are easy to fit in a tight space, easy to clean, and easy to pick. Strawberries can also be planted from hanging planters, or in a raised bed. Cinder or concrete blocks work great for this.
Cabbage is another fairly easy thing to plant when you don’t have much space to garden with. Try small-headed varieties like Dynamon, Gonzales, Savoy Express, Kilosa, or Arrowhead 11.
In general, most salad crops are space savers. Greens like lettuce, kale, swiss chard, and arugula are all easy to plant and can be tucked anywhere a space opens up. Hanging planters work great for salad mixes. Store bought salad mixes or greens work just fine, but so does starting from seeds.
Many onions are great small-space crops. Especially green onions (scallions), and cipollini types. Onions can be planted in planters, in the ground, a raised bed, pot, old teapot, crate, or laundry basket. Green onions work great in small flower pots or herb garden pots.
Cucumbers make another great crop to plant in small spaces. Compact bush varieties like the short-vined Bushy, Miniature White, Bush Baby, or Bush Pickle are all ideal for containers.
Broccoli rabe grows on small plants, and certain varieties are very compact. For regular broccoli, try growing a variety like De Cicco, which is compact to begin with, and produces small heads followed by a continuous harvest of side shoots.
Hot peppers and sweet peppers make great plants for a patio, deck, or balcony, as long as you know how to care for them properly. There are many different varieties of peppers to choose from, but I have found that jalapenos, anaheims, and banana peppers grow great in containers on a patio, as long as they are watered frequently and get lots of direct sunlight (6 hours or more daily). One of the hardest parts to planting peppers in a container vs. the ground is keeping them from tipping over on a windy day, or when the peppers become too heavy to support the plant. In this case, a garden stake or cage comes in handy. One thing to remember about peppers is that the more you harvest them, the more they will continue to bloom and produce more fruit.
Short-vined, sugar snap type peas are ideal for gardens with little space. Other varieties like Little Marvel are also ideal, because they are compact.
Beets are great for a garden with little space, because varieties like Little Ball, are quick early crops that can be harvested while small, and then pulled up to make room for something else.
One of the easiest things to grow in a small spice is an herb garden. Herbs can be planted in small planters, pots, hanging baskets, wooden boxes, window sill planters, inside upcycled materials, etc. Some of the easiest herbs to grow in a small space include basil, oregano, rosemary, cat grass, parsley, and cilantro.
Spices make another great addition to any indoor garden, or small gardening space. Ginger, saffron, vanilla, tumeric, garlic, and chiles are all great for an indoor garden, since their height and width can be easily controlled. They are also ideal for patio or porch plants.
Sunflowers make a lovely addition to any garden, big or small. They grow best in locations with full sun and prefer long, hot summers. If possible, they should be planted in a spot that is sheltered from strong winds. Along a fence or building will suffice. Smaller varieties like the Dwarf Sunflower are 3 feet or smaller and can produce an abundance of flowers in smaller spaces, making them the ideal choice, as they can be started off in a flower pot or other container.
Daffodils are ideal for a patio or window garden as they are small and dainty, and can be easily transplanted into several different containers. Whether you decide to plant them in a patch in the ground, in a flower pot, or in a wooden box, planter, or as a center piece on a table, they make a great addition to any garden. For a cute, artsy touch, why not try planting some daffodils in a mason jar or an old teapot or teacup to use as a center piece on patio furniture, or to spruce up a bare window sill?
While you might not necessarily think of a cactus as a flower, most varieties of cacti are flowering, and produce beautiful blooms. Cacti work great for an indoor garden, when planted in a ceramic or clay pot and placed on a porch or patio, or in a bay window or entry way.
Known for their vivid orange and yellow colors, marigolds can really brighten up a garden in a hurry. They grow quickly and easily, making them ideal for gardeners who are just starting out. They are also tough flowers that require minimal care, making them great for those individuals who love to garden but might not have that much free-time to do so. Marigolds can be placed in a window, where they will receive lots of sunlight. If properly taken care of, they will bloom year-round.