Growing Food in Small Spaces

Posted on Thursday, 12 May 2022 under Stories

There are many ways to grow food in small spaces without an outdoor garden. Growing food is not reserved for gardeners on rural acreages or spacious front yards. There are ways to grow food in and outside of your home, in small spaces, all year round. With a sunny window, a little bit of room to grow, water and soil, and some love and attention, you can have fresh food every day – yes, every day!

Windowsills, countertops, hanging window planters, and apartment patios are all perfect spaces to start a container garden. Closets can make an ideal home for several nutritious plants if you have access to grow lights. The most significant perk of growing in your house is the controlled environment. You can grow many food items all year long, keeping an eye on windowsill plants during days with extreme temperatures.

Recycled food containers are often the perfect vessel for holding enough soil to start your plants. Repurpose items in your home such as yogurt containers and salad boxes and fill them with nutrient-dense greens. If you want a more aesthetically-pleasing indoor garden, find yourself an artsy pot! Make sure that your pot has drainage holes at the bottom. If you are repurposing a food container, poke holes in the bottom of it to make drainage holes. Whatever the vessel, fill it with a potting mix from your local garden store to get started.

Now that you are ready to plant your seeds, decide what you would like to grow. Greens, soft herbs, and sprouts are a good place to start with indoor container gardening. Sprouts are a great way to add greens and nutrition to your meal and they have a short planting to harvest window, making them a very quick food to grow. Mustards, sunflower, pea, and radish shoots are tasty additions to salads, toast, sandwiches, and garnishes on any dish. You can just harvest the amount you need and leave the rest to grow.

Herbs are another easy item to grow and can thrive in your container for months. Parsley, basil, mint, cilantro, and tarragon are all great options for indoor container growing. Clip off what you need and let your herbs continue to grow for your next meal.

Greens, soft herbs, and sprouts grow well in containers along a windowsill. If you have a bright space, countertops might also be an option for your plants. Window planters that hang on the outside of your window can be utilized but keep an eye on birds and pests that will now have access to your delicious plants.

Grow as little or as much as you desire. You could line every windowsill, outside and in with food, turning your home into a productive indoor farm. By rotating when you plant, you could be harvesting food every day!

If you have access to a small patio, you have even more options for growing food at home. In larger containers outside, you can grow root vegetables, fruiting vegetables and plants that need a bit more space.

Regardless of the size of the space you live in, there are ways to grow some of your own food. Growing it ourselves is the best way to connect with the food that sustains and nourishes us. Participating in the growing process provides a deep connection to food and the hard work and dedication it takes to grow something from seed to harvest. Understanding the process can allow you to connect better with your local food growers. Growing food in your small space will give you a better appreciation for the farmers who work incredibly hard to grow acres of food for their communities. Being able to harvest food from your windowsill or balcony also reduces your food miles. It is important for us all to be finding ways to reduce our environmental impact and growing our own food is a small step in that direction.

The biggest benefit of all? Fresh food at your fingertips!

Additional Resources

Get Started with Microgreens

Grow a Herb Garden on Your Windowsill

9 Best Vegetables to Grow Ispanndoors

8 Vegetables you can Grow in Pots on a Balcony

Best Vegetables to Grow Indoors Under Lights

7 Clever Ways to Reuse Containers to Grow Plants