No Yard? No Problem With These DIY Gardening Projects!


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A vegetable patch may seem impossible for many urban dwellers that are tight on space. For garden enthusiasts willing to think outside the box, there are many opportunities available that don’t require a back forty, but merely a few feet of space here or there. Follow these DIY gardening ideas to put your green thumb to work — even in a small apartment.

Start a container garden

These mini gardens are a great way to utilize decks, rooftops, patios, or even the space beyond your windows. If you rent, they are also mobile and easy to move to your next place. Get creative and explore repurposing materials, such as a broken wheelbarrow or bucket. If your containers are located in places that are largely shaded, cultivate shade-loving plants, or move the containers to catch mid-day rays.

Join a community garden project

Does your neighborhood have plots available for a collective garden? Many cities now have such arrangements, with parcels of publicly-owned land. It’s a great opportunity to grow fresh fruits or veggies and create relationships with neighbors.

Window garden

Window garden. Image courtesy of Rebecca Sims.

Grow a windowsill herb garden

Many herbs will grow indoors, especially if you have a sunny window that faces east, south, or west. If your space is too shaded for herbs to grow, install an energy efficient light to promote growth.

Sprout your own beans and seeds

This is a great tip to try in the dead of winter when all your food is being trucked in from far off lands. Imagine munching on fresh mung, alfalfa, and even lentil, pea, and garbanzo sprouts. These nutrient-packed foods are easy to germinate and use very little space. This video gives you all the information you need to get started.

Two lettuce plants

Image courtesy of Andrew Perkins.

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Start a hydroponics garden

This growing system uses a liquid solution instead of soil to grown plants, either indoors or outdoors. Plants can grow quicker in this medium, resulting in higher yields. A simple homemade system can be assembled using an air pump and a storage tote, with plastic cups inserted into holes in the lid of the tote. Pre-made kits are also available, sometimes including a grow light.

Feature image courtesy of Mosman Council

Sarah Lozanova

Sarah Lozanova

Sarah Lozanova is a renewable energy and sustainability journalist and communications professional with an MBA in sustainable management. She is a regular contributor to environmental and energy publications and websites, including Mother Earth Living, Earth911, Home Power, Triple Pundit, CleanTechnica, The Ecologist, GreenBiz, Renewable Energy World and Windpower Engineering. Lozanova also works with several corporate clients as a public relations writer to gain visibility for renewable energy and sustainability achievements.
Sarah Lozanova