You can easily start your own sustainable garden in small spaces such as your backyard, a balcony or a patio.
Even if you don’t have a lot of space, there are plenty of plants that will thrive in small boxes or pots.
One of the rules of thumb for small spaces is to choose plants that grow vertically. Growing a sustainable garden doesn’t cost a lot either. You can reuse items like pantyhose and drink cups to keep your plants thriving.
Tomatoes are one of the most versatile vegetables which can grow in a small space. They can be tossed in salads, mashed into a sauce or eaten straight off the vine.
Tomatoes also come in a variety of sizes.
You can grow small tomato cherries as hanging tomato plants or larger tomatoes vertically in a container. Cherry tomatoes grow extremely fast—which means you don’t need to wait for months to yield a good crop in your own backyard.
The only downside? It can be challenging to plant tomatoes.
Technically tomato is a fruit since it has seeds that grow from the ovary of the plant.
Lettuce is another veggie that grows fast.
You can yield a crop of lettuce in only 45 days.
Lettuce grows best in a container garden, but you can even grow it indoors. The best way to grow lettuce to ensure it’s ready by spring is to start your seeds indoors in February.
By the time the last frost has passed in March or April, you can go ahead and move your lettuce outdoors. Flashy Trout Back lettuce is great for early months.
Stick with a heartier romaine for summer months. In the autumn, Winter Density can withstand the early chill in the months of September and October.
Man cannot survive on herbs alone. Yet they are so tasty in everything from salads to eggs to casseroles.
Herbs are one of the easiest plants to grow, and you can grow them inside in the winter or outside from spring through autumn. You can maximize space by planting herbs with your edible flowers (see below).
The best way to select herbs for your garden is according to your own preferences and tastes. Basil is extremely hearty and very easy to grow.
Chives, parsley and cilantro are also great for small spaces.
4. Pole Beans
Many beans can easily take over your garden, so it’s best to keep them separate from your other plants.
Vertical plants take up the least amount of space, so pole beans are a great choice for small gardens. Trinofo Violeto pole beans have a dual purpose; they’re tasty in salads and side dishes, and they look beautiful in the garden.
Choose plants that have dual purposes in small gardens to maximize space. You can even can beans in the summer to enjoy throughout the winter.
Eggplant is one of the most popular veggies for a small garden. These beautiful vegetables are perfect for heartier meals.
You can use eggplants as a meat replacement in rice and pasta dishes.
Oriental eggplants have a slender shape and grow well in pots—which means you can grow them inside throughout the winter. Add them to hearty stews, or sauté them as a side dish, and be inspired with more eggplant recipes.
In the summer, you can easily transfer these beautiful vegetables to your outdoor garden.
Chard is another leafy green that is equally beautiful and nutritious. Plus, chard grows like a weed and is therefore well suited to small spaces.
Cut a few leaves from the mother plant, and more leaves will grow back.
This is one of the best veggies to grow in a small garden because this plant actually grows more fruitfully in tight spaces. Use chard in place of lettuce (just tenderize the leaves by squeezing them, and chop them into small pieces), or add to a stew or soup for a hearty meal.
Chard is easy to grow from a starter, so don’t opt for the seeds unless you’re familiar with proper spacing.
Radishes are one of the smallest veggies, but they are very hearty and super flavorful. Use radishes in salads or stews. You can also eat raw radishes with a little butter or oil.
You can grow radishes inside or outside.
Root vegetables are extremely easy to grow and are very hearty throughout all seasons. Grow inside of a one-gallon planter. Radishes grow very fast, so you can expect a harvest at least once a month.
Grow several pots simultaneously to ensure plenty of crunchy snacks throughout the year.
Grow lemons in a small planter in your home or in your backyard.
Plant lemon trees in your yard if you live in a warm climate. You can keep lemon trees in your home if you have plenty of light. Small trees that thrive inside include Meyers lemon trees.
You’ll need to keep your soil moist and your trees in direct sunlight for around eight hours a day.
9. Edible Flowers
Add a little pizzazze to your salads by growing edible flowers. These flowers pull their weight since they add tons of flavor to meals and beauty to your backyard and kitchen.
You can grow edible flowers in small spaces such as your kitchen, a hanging basket, a window box garden and in your backyard. Plant them early in the spring, and they will thrive throughout the summer.
Here's a delicious list of edible flowers.
Avocados (though technically a fruit) are one of the easiest edibles to grow.
You can plant avocados in your kitchen with a leftover seed from a store bought avocado. You can plant them in a small space in your vegetable garden if you live in a warmer climate. This green beauties grow to the size of a baseball, so they don’t take up a lot of room.
(Handy tip: The easiest way you can germinate an avocado pit is by throwing it in your vermicomposting.)
They taste delicious in salads and in homemade guacamole.
And they have plenty of healthy nutrients and tons of good fats.
Which one are you going to plant in small spaces?
Less is more when it comes to sustainable living, making it possible for you to garden in small spaces.
Stick with plants that yield your favorite flavors. Or choose veggies you’ve never tried before.
It’s fun to check out new recipes and find uses for veggies you’re not familiar with. Luckily, many plant seeds cost under a dollar, so you won’t break the bank if a particular veggie does not grow.