Gardening in Small Spaces - Outdoors & Inside

It's that time of year again when our home turns from a relatively tidy house into something which resembles a greenhouse! We love gardening & planting but have no greenhouse or propagator, so any windowsill space is used to accommodate our growing collection of seedlings.

Since Minnie was a baby she has been involved in the process of planting, growing & eating the veggies & fruit we've grown. As a baby she was with me as I planted outside, later she enjoyed the pureed homegrown fruit, & for the past two years she has planted & cared for a variety of plants in the garden.

We're really fortunate to have a large area for Minnie to play in & explore, this includes a 'gardening' area where she can dig, plant, & experiment. In the past we tried to grow vegetables in the ground, but didn't had much luck due to some very hungry wildlife, so last year we created a raised planting area & fenced off Minnie's garden to deter the munching bunnies. In return we collected a humongous crop of salad, vegetables & fruit!

We've been sorting our gardening area again today, & it got me thinking that these ideas could easily be adapted to create a small 'grow your own' area where space is limited, on patios, along the side of a house, on a balcony, or stairway.

Our basic layout consists of tables along the back of the house. They're not all the same height, length or width, they're just a collection of old tables that will withstand the weather. Anything could be used as a base to sit plants on, an upturned plastic container, storage box, old chair, old wheelbarrow, basically whatever you have lying around.

We use a selection of planters (as you can see) & my favourites have to be Minnie's old wellie boots which we grew mini tomatoes in last year! (If using wellies, or any other container just add a few holes in the bottom for drainage.)

Milk cartons make great planters
Minnie's old wellies

Reusable shopping bags are great for growing potatoes & onions as they offer a wide deep space for the plants to grow.

Something else I love to use for planting & growing are milk containers. We've upcycled several to create planters, scoops & watering cans!

For our plant markers we use broken wooden clothes pegs. They're great for adding a little literacy & mark making to your gardening!

Here are some of our goodies from last year...

Selection of salad, herbs & peppers

One of our collections of homegrown loveliness which Minnie helped prepare for dinner

Hanging baskets offer a great place to grow tumbling tomatoes & strawberries

Sunflowers are perfect for children to grow & can easily be grown in a flowerpot. 

Children obviously benefit greatly from having a large area to garden in, but even in a small space with just a few containers they can experience some of the many benefits of gardening.

If you have no available outdoor space, then indoor gardening offers a whole host of goodies that can be grown on your windowsill, or in containers hung from the ceiling!  All you need is a little day light & selection of indoor seeds.

Herbs, salad, micro-salad, micro-veg, & a vast selection of fruit & veg can all be grown inside.

Check out the clip below for a mini guide to growing micro-veg indoors from Alys Fowler's 'The Edible Garden'

Mini green fingers can be encouraged with just a few simple, recycled, & low cost items. Who knows how many little budding gardeners there are out there...

You might also like our 'Why it's Great to Get Gardening'