SMALL SPACE-GARDENING: CREATIVE WAYS TO GROW STUFF WHEN YOU'RE SHORT ON SQUARE FEET

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    Woolly Pockets
    I have grown everything from herbs to tropicals to native flowers in these soft-sided, breathable pockets made from recycled water bottles. Hang them on an outdoor wall, fence, gate, or patio. Very easy to plant and all hardware is included. The modular design means you can hang a few, or make an entire wall. Oh, the possibilities! This company also makes a hard-sided wall planter, but I haven't tried it. www.woollypocket.com
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    Food Map Containers
    Foodmap Containers were designed by architect Jon Wilson for the home gardener who doesn't have much space, but wants to produce a substantial amount of food. I use them and LOVE THEM. Why? They're created with recycled materials, available in three different sizes, and are on wheels, which makes them easy to move around. And, the design is 👌🏼. In this photo, I've got radishes, lettuce, & carrots planted, and have also grown peppers & tomatoes. To order, visit http://stores.foodmapdesign.com/
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    Flower Pouches
    I used these in my business, with both "mounding" flowers (impatiens, begonias, etc.) and herbs. I have also seen them planted with strawberries. They are inexpensive, recyclable, and readily available on sites like Amazon. The only downside is that the "in-between" stage is not very aesthetically pleasing. Once the plants fill in, however, they look great.
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    Container Gardens
    Yes! You CAN grow vegetables on your porch or patio--just make sure to provide them with LOTS of sun, consistent (but not too much!) moisture, and breathing room. Plant in any pot that has holes drilled for drainage & is at least 12" wide and 12" deep. Some plants, like cucumbers, will need need a bigger pot--more like 16-20" across. Choose "container mix" potting soil & choose varieties that consistently do well in containers: carrots, beets, lettuce, peppers, radishes, & "bush-type" cucumbers.
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    Patio Tomatoes
    Tomatoes have the same growing requirements as other container veggies, but YOU'RE GONNA NEED A BIGGER BOAT. Yup, larger plants need more room. And you can't skimp on the sun. Six to eight hours of FULL SUN, no exceptions. Regarding watering, tomatoes do not like inconsistent moisture. We're looking for damp, not wet. Water when the soil FEELS dry, and keep in mind that as your plant grows, it will use more water. When selecting you plant, look for "patio" or "bush" varieties that stay compact.
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    Hanging Shoe Organizer
    I love this idea and have seen it implemented successfully by some of my customers. Just remember to hang in an area that gets FULL SUN--and if your shoe organizer is made of nylon or plastic, poke holes for drainage. It's best for smaller plants. Here's a link for an in-depth tutorial http://m.instructables.com/id/VERTICAL-VEGETABLES-quotGrow-upquot-in-a-smal/?ALLSTEPS as well as a set of "quick-and-dirty" instructions: http://homeguides.sfgate.com/grow-plants-shoe-organizer-38043.html
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    Living Lettuce Bowls
    So easy! Grab a large pot with good drainage, fill with potting soil, and find a ☀️sunny spot on your porch, patio, or even an interior windowsill. Scatter seeds (look for words like "salad bowl," "leafy greens" or "mesclun mix") on top of the soil and LIGHTLY cover with dirt. Keep soil moist with a spray bottle until seeds germinate & you can see two little leaves on each plant. Then, water when the soil feels dry, and in 2-4 weeks, begin harvesting! Tear--don't pull--leaves as you need them.
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    Gro-Vert Planters from Bright Green
    I love this product, which is a single polymer unit with individual planting compartments, or cells. Plant each cell with herbs, flowers, or succulents, allow time for them to "root in" (develop strong roots and attach to the soil), and then hang on any sound, vertical surface using the provided mounting bracket. Water at the top, via a chamber that lets moisture spread evenly across the fabric mat lining each cell. Whether you hang one or ten, they make a great impact. www.brightgreenusa.com
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    Pallet Garden
    Pallet gardens are everywhere, and with good reason. Obviously, "going vertical" is a big trend in gardening, but this is about more than aesthetics. Pallet gardens are super-easy to make (no advanced carpentry chops required), they look great, & you save one more discarded pallet from going into a landfill! 🌎 ♻️ One of my favorite projects, I like them for flowers, herbs, and strawberries. If I can make this, so can you! Here's a great tutorial: http://modernfarmer.com/2015/09/pallet-garden/
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    Planting in Rain Gutters
    This project is inexpensive, space-saving, and is perfect if you like an industrial or "upcycled" look. Keep in mind that "gutter gardens" do not hold very much soil, so you'll need to choose plants that don't require a lot of root space. You'll also want to avoid things that spread or "take over." Smaller herbs, lettuce, spinach, and even strawberries can be grown in rain gutters. These are good basic directions: http://www.lowes.com/creative-ideas/lawn-and-garden/fence-gutter-garden/project
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    🚫 Herbs in Mason Jars 🚫
    This and projects like it pop up frequently on Pinterest and HGTV, so I'm including this "suggestion" so that I can suggest you NOT do it! While this is a lovely design, your plants will be very hard to maintain. They need water, yes, but most plant deaths occur from TOO much water--and without drainage holes, you are providing the perfect breeding ground for fungus, root rot, and bacteria to ruin both your plant AND your project.
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    Using Repurposed Materials
    In short, the most useful trick to gardening in a small space just might be thinking outside the box, as long as you remember to drill holes for drainage. And, if you're planting edibles, be sure to line the container with a hard plastic liner to keep unwanted compounds or chemicals in your container from leaching into the soil. With some materials, this won't be an issue. This guide should help: http://www.rodalesorganiclife.com/garden/are-your-plant-containers-leaching-toxins-your-food
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    Keeping A Green Tree In Your ❤️
    This Chinese proverb hangs in my now-empty greenhouse in wintry Ohio. I wrote it on a whim, over an old chalkboard price list--it was the height of spring, and my entire life was bursting at the seams with green. Years went by, but even though it was an afterthought, I never erased it. If you are like me, and your soul craves the kind of growth you can see, if you want to dig in the dirt but can't, for now, just remember: there is a garden inside you, that you can take with you wherever you go.
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    You could also just plant your bed with moss.
    😊