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Growing Food Without A Garden – 3 Great Ways To Grow In Small Spaces!

Yes, you really can grow your own fresh food – even if you happen to live in a small space!

Contrary to what many believe, you don’t need a huge backyard or a big garden to grow fresh vegetables. In fact, you hardly need any space at all.

growing food in small spaces
Our experimental 5 Gallon Bucket Planter Box Garden at the farm. Each planter box measures just 32″ square, but can grow 4 large plants. Container growing is just one of many ways to grow with limited space.

Whether your growing space is a small patio or a tiny backyard, there are simple ways to grow your own food. And believe it or not, quite a bit of fresh food at that!

Here is a look at 3 great ways to grow fresh vegetables or greens – no matter where you live. We also included links for more in-depth information for each method as well.

3 Great Ways To Grow In Small Spaces

#1 Growing In Containers

Perhaps the easiest growing method of all for small spaces are with containers. Whether it is in large flower pots, decorative baskets, or simple 5 gallon buckets, containers let you grow vegetables on patios, decks – or anywhere!

patio tomatoes
With a single container, you can grow an entire summer’s worth of salad tomatoes.

To grow vegetables in containers, it all starts with selecting the right plants and the correct size container. Add in good soil, good drainage and good support – and you’re in business! (See : Growing Vegetables In Containers)

One of our most exciting experiments at the farm this year is growing a small “garden” in our new 5 gallon bucket planter boxes. Our hope is to show just how much produce can be grown without a “real” garden space.

2 x 4 planter boxes
One of our boxes growing 3 large tomato plants and a tomatillo plant. We can’t wait to see the results of the harvest.

The inexpensive boxes can be made with basic 2 x 4’s, and can grow up to four large plants each for a big harvest. And at 32″ wide and deep – they can fit on decks and patios with ease. (DIY Bucket Box Planter Plans)

No matter what container you choose, growing vegetables in pots is a perfect way to grow a little of what you love, and have it nearby!

#2 Simple Raised Beds

Simple raised beds are another great way to grow for those limited on space. But what makes them even better is they don’t have to fancy or expensive to look and work great!

growing food in containers
A simple raised bed can be built with just 4 boards. And it opens up a world of growing possibilities!

With just a few 2 x 6 common boards, you can create an attractive raised bed growing space that works. Raised beds not only fit in small spaces, they also have serious advantages over traditional gardening. Like fewer weeds and easy maintenance.

We use (2) 6″ high x 18″ wide x 8′ long raised beds to grow nearly all of our salad crops every year. But they could just as easily grow tomatoes, peppers and more. See : How To Create Simple, Inexpensive Raised Beds

#3 Growing In Straw Bales

Want to create an instant garden to grow in a small space? Then a straw bale or two just might be the answer for you.

growing cucumbers in straw
Our cucumber and zucchini plants in their straw bales in late July at the farm

Straw bales can be used to create a vegetable garden anywhere. Even better, they can be built on top of nearly any surface you can imagine. Simply carve out planting holes in the top of the bale, add in a bit of dirt, and plant away!

We have been using straw bales for years to grow cucumbers and zucchini – and a lot of them. A single bale planted with just three cucumber plants usually brings a harvest 2 or more bushels every year! (See : Growing Cucumbers In Straw Bales)

One of our straw bale cucumbers ready for harvest.

Straw bales are the perfect medium for holding plants. Not only do they insulate the soil around plants, and conserve moisture, they also provide a “raised bed” that is easy to maintain.

Best of all, they can be used to plant nearly any vegetable you want.

Here is to growing your food in small spaces, and enjoying fresh vegetables no matter where you live! Happy Gardening – Jim & Mary Competti

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