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Grow Big in Limited Space: Small Space Gardening Secrets

small space gardening

What if you desire to grow your own vegetables and herbs and you do not know how that would be possible with limited time and space? Would Small Space Gardening be viable?


Not only is this gardening a great solution for people with limited space, but it also has many advantages over traditional gardening. You can have a greater variety of plants, you won’t have to do much if any, weeding, and you’ll have fewer pests.

If you decide to try it, you first need to ask yourself what you’re going to grow. Beginners should always start with very easy plants. It will boost your confidence and give you valuable practice before moving on to more difficult plants.

Small Space Gardening Plants

I will give you a list of some easy-to-grow small-space garden vegetables and herbs so you may enjoy the homegrown freshness of your own garden and cut out the expensive grocery store trips for 3 teaspoons of chives.

You know that drill: buy a small container of the herb, use 3 teaspoons worth, then throw the rest away after they dry out in the fridge after a week or two.


Arugula isn’t a well-known plant, but its sweet and spicy flowers and peppery leaves have made it a favorite among many gardeners. Best of all, arugula is easy to grow in a bucket, requiring no more space than the average herb plant.


Any brassica can be grown in pots, but kale is the easiest since it doesn’t have to form anything besides nice fresh leaves. Kale can be grown throughout the year but tastes best after a touch of frost.

Chinese Greens

Bok choi or sui choi are two fun cold-weather greens, perfect for an early spring start or a late fall and winter garden. These two greens are awesome in stir fry and are easy to grow. These greens will bolt once the weather warms up, but the flower heads still taste good and can add a powerful spice punch to salads.


Chard is a leafy green from the same family as beets. It grows similarly to lettuce but has a slightly longer growing season. It is cold, and hardy, and can bolt if your summer is too hot. It is also a good double-season crop for spring and fall. If you decide to grow beets, you could skip the chard since beet greens are nearly identical to chard.


Lettuce is a prime choice for container gardening, with plenty of varieties. Lettuce works well in shallow containers, and if you want, you can inter-plant it with slower-growing veggies. Lettuce is great for early spring and late fall harvesting.

You can plant lettuce while there is still the danger of frost and plant again in the fall after it cools. You can even bring your lettuce pots indoors to extend the growing season into early winter.


Peppers come in many shapes, sizes, and flavors, giving you many choices. As a shallow-rooted plant, peppers typically do quite well when grown in containers.

Ultimately, the variety of pepper that you choose depends on how much heat you are looking for. Whichever variety you go with, you shouldn’t have any issues growing a healthy pepper plant in a 5-gallon bucket.

Herbs For Small Space Gardening

herbs in small spaces

Before I get into the ‘little more difficult’ to grow vegetables, let me tell you a little about growing herbs. There is nothing easier to grow than herbs. From basil to sage, if you enjoy cooking, fresh herbs are a must and should be homegrown.

An average size container can easily contain 3 to 5 plants of various herbs. There are no special requirements besides water, sunlight, and occasional fertilizer.

When you need those 3 teaspoons of fresh thyme, that’s all you need to cut off. The rest of the plant will be there weeks later when you need more for another recipe.

Larger Vegetables For Containers

larger vegetables for containers


Let us get into some ‘meatier’ type vegetables for your small space gardening.

Beets are similar to chard but need deeper soil and more watering. Beets are an awesome root vegetable for containers. Choose smaller beet or heritage varieties for the most fun in your container garden. If you’d rather not eat beets because of their overpowering red effects, you could try yellow or albino beets.


Broccoli feeds more heavily than many plants, meaning it needs more space to grow than you might realize. However, a five-gallon bucket offers plenty of space for growing a single broccoli plant. The two broccoli varieties that do the best when grown in containers are DeCicco and green Comet broccoli.


Easy to grow, and in a container, they are very easy to space out or even transplant to ensure they grow well. Adding a little sand to the potting mix would be wise so the carrots have an easier time growing.

Choose smaller varieties that do not grow a super long taproot, and try to match the variety to the depth of your container. Heritage varieties are often sweeter and smaller than standard varieties. Try Dragon for a fun purple and brilliant orange carrot.


Onions are simple to grow and add to many recipes and salads. The only real difficulty you may encounter with growing onions in a bucket is having enough space to grow a worthwhile amount of onions.

With enough buckets, though, it’s fairly easy to grow a good amount of onions. Try out one of the candy hybrid varieties if you want a sweeter, more flavorful onion to grow.


Quick to grow and a perfect spring crop to round out your green salads. Choose small short-season radishes so that they come to maturity before the heat hits.

French Breakfast and Easter Egg are two brilliantly colored small radish varieties that are awesome to grow if you have kids.


For container gardening, choose bush varieties. They have a shorter grow time than pole beans and are compact enough for any yard.

Most bush bean plants max outsize at a foot square and produce well throughout the season. If you have a porch railing and narrow containers at its foot, you could also try some pole bean varieties.


Most cucumbers are vining plants, so choose bush varieties for your container garden or practice vertical gardening and train them up the side of the house, porch, or deck.

Lemon Cucumber is an awesome little bush cucumber and works well if you have a short season.


Container planting is probably the go-to crop; tomatoes are ubiquitous in containers. Choose smaller plant varieties if your container garden space is limited.

Cherry tomatoes are stunning producers, and the tiny tomatoes are easy to dry if the plants over-produce. Cherry tomatoes usually fruit sooner than the larger tomato varieties.


These are awesome container plants, particularly if you get a strawberry tower or similar contraption to help maximize space. Grow everbearing for steady harvesting from July onward, or try a mixed planter of different varieties.

If you get a variety of runners, you can also catch the runners in small pots and perpetuate your supply of strawberry plants. A strawberry plant usually has a productive life of three or four years.

Is Small Space Gardening Difficult?

Not at all.

Granted, there is a learning curve. Write things down. Keep a record of what worked and what did not.

The results will be extremely satisfying.

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