By Nadia Ghazali
With the shrinking sizes of land properties and the mushrooming of high-rise urban dwellings across the country, it seems that the idea of tending to a garden is only a privilege for those living outside the city. However, with some clever inventions and imagination, it is possible to have a thriving, edible garden within the confinements of your city apartment. These 5 ideas are great to consider if you are looking at setting-up a garden with limited space:
Idea 1: Utilise the Wall
If you have an empty wall, make use of it. By doing so, you will save space AND maximise the space that you do have. The possibilities are endless – if you are handy with tools, install rows of gutters along your wall; if not you can always get planter bags (a cheaper alternative are shoe organisers that you hang behind doors). This method is great for flowering plants, herbs and leafy vegetables.
Idea 2: Square Foot Gardening
To use this method, we recommend that you use raised garden beds – it will let you extend planting season, reduce weeds, improve growing conditions and yield better harvests. Once you have the raised bed(s), fill it with high-quality soil and section it off into a 4x4 or 3x3 grid system. The idea behind square foot gardening is allowing the gardener to nurture a variety of plants in a small space.
Idea 3: Indoor Gardening
No outdoor space? And no usable indoor space either? You can opt to get shelf units fixed with artificial growing light. They are expensive, but if you are really keen on growing your own edibles, this would be one of the better options to grow food indoors. If you do not mind having plants on your wall, employing the first idea indoors is possible.
Idea 4: Step/Tiered Garden
Your building may not allow its residents to fix anything on exterior walls. Or, you may not have enough floor space. If this happens to you, it is time to marry ideas 1 and 2. Find a stair-like raised bed that you can push up against the wall. Just be careful when placing your plants – taller plants should be at the bottom so that it will not shade anything else from sunlight.
Idea 5: Windowsill Garden
Even if you live in a tight space, there is always a way to wiggle some plants and herbs in. Get a basic planter (herbs and/or vegetables that you cannot live without) for your kitchen windowsill. This way, you can always have something freshly-picked in your meal.
It can be a little overwhelming, especially if it is your first time gardening. Always ask your local gardening supply shop what would be best for you, your home and the plants you are considering to grow.