10 Inspiring Gardens for Growing Food in Small Spaces

Are you starting a garden this spring? For the last several years, the only gardens we've been planting have been in containers. But growing food in containers shouldn't be a drawback; urban gardening in pots, containers, and windowboxes can yield quite a lot of food. Take a look at this gallery of ten different containers and good ideas for gardening in small spaces.

• 1 NYC Garden from Flickr member Tashian. Is there a more perfect shot of a city garden happily thriving in the sun while the world rushes by underneath?
• 2 How to grow veggies in pots at Sunset. A great introduction to growing vegetables in pots. Also see their article on the best crops for pots.
• 3 Cauliflower! by Flickr member LollyKnit. Container gardening doesn't just mean tiny peppers and cherry tomatoes. How about a whole cauliflower?
• 4 An urban garden box by Flickr member Yozza. What a great container garden design! There is a deep box for larger vegetables to dig their roots deep, then smaller boxes for greens, and a top box with a trellis for climbing beans and tomatoes.
• 5 Easy-grow micro greens at Sunset. Another good guide to growing easy baby greens, which are often ready to eat in as little as ten days.

• 6 Baby kale inside by Flickr member briannaorg. This is an impressive little experiment. Brianna threw a few kale seeds into a bare 1" of dirt and less than a month later had enough baby kale for a salad. And this was indoors...in February! Never underestimate kale. You can see more about her indoor gardening projects at her blog.
• 7 Beautifying a concrete corner from Flickr member treefell. Look what a few flowers and herbs can do to an otherwise drab urban concrete alley.
• 8 Self-watering containers by Flickr member Sugar Pond. Step-by-step instructions on making a self-watering container out of a few inexpensive objects. Watering creates a lot of extra work with containers, since they can't draw up water from the earth, and they often have to be protected from rain that could flood them. Self-watering containers help them get water more naturally and with less work.
• 9 Scarlet runner beans growing UP by Flickr member Strata Chalup. When you have a small space, go up instead, and you'll be amazed at how much you can grow. If you have a sunny patio or deck, put up a trellis against one wall, or create an inexpensive version with nylon cord strung taut between screws or hooks in the floor and pergola.
• 10 Romaines on a deck by Flickr member liza31337. Leaf lettuces grow very quickly and in little space. If you succession plant, sowing seeds every week in a few different planters, you'll create a supply of greens that will be ready in a steady stream all summer. Greens like these are also good for sheltered decks or patios that don't get much sun, since lettuce doesn't like a lot of heat and will grow better during the summer in cool shade.

Do you have any plans for a container garden this summer?

Related: Kitchen Gallery: Living Plants in the Kitchen

Originally published April 29, 2008.

(Images: from Flickr member Tashian, licensed under Creative Commons; Thomas J. Story for Sunset; ; Flickr member Yozza licensed for use under Creative Commons; licensed for use under Creative Commons; Linda Lamb Peters for Sunset; Flickr member briannaorg licensed for use under Creative Commons; Flickr member licensed for use under Creative Commons; Flickr member Sugar Pond licensed for use under Creative Commons; Flickr member Strata Chalup licensed for use under Creative Commons; Flickr member liza31337 licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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Faith is the executive editor of The Kitchn and the author of three cookbooks. They include Bakeless Sweets (Spring 2013) as well as The Kitchn's first cookbook, which will be published in Fall 2014. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Mike.