A Mini-Guide to Micro-Gardening
Fresher is better – that’s a mantra that always rings true for fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Now, while you can get pretty darn fresh produce at a grocery store, food from a home garden is even fresher and produces less pollution (no trucks hauling them, fewer chemicals, etc.)
But what if you don’t have much space to work with? What if you haven’t done much gardening before? What’s a good option for you?
Turns out you don’t need a ton of space to grow a healthy amount of food. Even an 11 square foot garden could produce, according to the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization, “as much as 200 tomatoes a year, 36 heads of lettuce every 60 days, 10 cabbages every 90 days, and 100 onions every 120 days.”
So micro-gardens can be very productive and they’re very adaptable to both the amount of space and time you have. So whether you’re wanting a nice basket of vegetables or just a few fresh herbs, micro-gardening is a great option.
How Do I Get Started?
How you get your green-thumb going depends on what you want and the space you’re working with. Let’s look at a few different options.
Vegetable Gardening in Containers
Looking to grow a handful of vegetables – nothing too big but enough to get some tomatoes, leafy greens, and cucumbers? Then check out this awesome guide from Better Homes and Gardens. It goes over every step or the process of creating container gardens; it even includes a list of suggested veggies.
The great thing about container gardens is that they can easily grow (or shrink) depending on how much space you have. All you need are more (or less) containers!
Indoor Herb Gardens
Just have a windowsill to work with or just looking for a way to give your dishes extra flavor? A simple indoor herb garden is perfect for you.
This guide from Bonnie Plants breaks down how you can get started with your herbs. They go over the basics (where to place them, how to account for drier indoor air, etc.), mistakes to avoid, and which plants work best indoors.
Raised Garden Beds
If you’ve got a bit more space, making a raised garden bed is a great option.
Raised beds – which you can make or buy – give you a good amount of room to work with, can be made to fit in yards of any size, and offer several benefits to gardeners (better soil control, drainage, and potentially higher yields). Check out this article for an excellent and insightful guide on using planters.
As you can see, micro-gardening is a great way for an avid gardener without much space (or a curious gardener that’s just getting started) to grow their own food, stay green, and have a great time.
Thanks to the following people for the great information: Eliza Barclay at NPR, the team at Better Homes and Gardens, the team at Bonnie Plants, E. Vinje of Planet Natural, the team at Lowes, and Mini Box Farm. Be sure to check them all out!