6 Vegetable Garden Alternatives For The Space-Challenged

Would you like to have your own vegetable garden, but space is an issue? No problem! Here are some alternatives to having your own vegetable garden right at home so you can enjoy growing your own crops.


1. Container pots and planters

If you live in an apartment with a sunny balcony, use pots and planters to plant your crops in. This will also work in home gardens if space is limited, or if your backyard is cemented or paved, and you cannot plant directly in the ground. You may also use plastic crates, pails and small plastic tubs.

2. Square foot gardening on small raised beds

This method also works great for cemented backyards. Square foot gardening is the practice of planting a crop in one square foot of planting area. While it may be applicable to planting in the ground, it also works well with raised beds. A 36 x 36 inch raised bed will give you 9 cells of equal size where you can plant a different crop, maximizing the available space and enabling you to plant more crops in a small area. The good thing about it is that it’s very customizable. You can go as small as 1 square foot. See our guide on how to build a simple raised bed.

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3. Plastic soda bottle towers

This method uses used PET bottles as plant containers. The bottles are stacked on top of one another, making good use of vertical space when the horizontal space is very limited. An otherwise unused wall or fence outside would be the perfect place to set this up, but a sunny window or balcony will do. This method works well for herbs and leafy greens.

4. Hanging gutters

Here’s another alternative that uses vertical space. Plant leafy greens and other crops that do not require deep planting in old roof gutters. Attach them on a wall using brackets or string them together, rope ladder style, with some heavy duty rope or chains and hang them.

5. Plastic barrels

A plastic barrel with holes all over is another alternative for planting multiple crops in a small area. There are some kits that are available for purchasing, or you may D-I-Y it if you wish. The holes on the side serve as pockets where you can plant crops. The top is wide open and can also accommodate plants.

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6. Pallets

Another good way of making use of vertical space is to use wood pallets as planters. Line the inside with old sacks or heavy duty plastic sheeting and stand against a wall.