Tips and tricks for gardening in small spaces | Life and Arts

Spring is officially here and with the warmer weather and sunnier days comes the planting and growing season. However, small dorm rooms and cramped apartments can make it difficult for those looking to stock their kitchen with home-grown vegetables or decorate their home with potted plants. Luckily, there are ways to bring some greenery into your home with limited space and here are tips to do so.

Pick the right plants

Not all plants and sprouts are going to work inside. Some garden favorites like zucchini and broccoli need a good deal of space to grow and would quickly start taking up too much room. If all you have is a windowsill, The Spruce, a home design magazine, says that herbs will be your most successful plants as they won’t become overly bushy and can easily be pruned. Some of the best herbs to grow indoors include chives, parsley and basil, setting you up for some easy greenery and fresh ingredients to use in the kitchen.

If you have enough space for a handful of containers, The Spruce recommends planting tomatoes, peppers and salad greens. Although most peppers and salad greens are safe to plant inside and won’t grow too large, if going for tomatoes, it is advised to choose a variety that won’t become too large. Genetically-developed mini tomatoes have hit the market and would be a solid fit for a tiny apartment, although there are non-GMO varieties that will stay on the smaller side.

Consider hanging baskets

In addition to picking the right plant, picking the right container can help save space and make for a bountiful harvest. If you don’t have a large enough windowsill or space on the floor, hanging baskets make the perfect option for a confined apartment or dorm room.

Hanging baskets work especially well for plants that don’t require much water, such as cacti or succulents. If using hanging baskets inside for plants that require regular water, it is important to purchase a basket with an attachable drainage tray in order to keep the water from soaking your furniture. If you’re looking to grow fruit or vegetables in a hanging basket, Fine Gardening, a gardening publication, says that most plants that work in pots for the ground will work in suspended baskets. If you’re looking for a plant that does especially well in baskets, strawberries are the perfect option, and many nurseries sell strawberry sprouts already in hanging baskets.

Make sure your plants have ample light

Even if your apartment or home has a large window, there is a chance that your plants won’t receive adequate light. One way to make sure that your plants are receiving the necessary sunlight to grow is to make use of mirrors. Garden Guides recommends strategically placing mirrors in order to divert the sunlight from elsewhere in the room towards your plant, replicating the 360 ​​degrees of sunlight they would receive outside. If finding the perfect spot for the mirrors proves difficult, placing your plants on reflective film will allow you to achieve the same effect.

Finally, if your apartment doesn’t have a significant amount of sun, artificial lights are cheap and easy alternatives that can help your plants grow as if they were outside. In addition to adding more light, grow lamps also allow you to place your plants beyond the windowsill, adding some greenery to even the darkest room in your home.


In addition to sunlight, your plants are bound to die without sufficient water. Of course, indoor plants won’t be receiving any rainwater, so it’s important to be more intentional with your plants’ hydration. Milkcreek Gardens, a nursery and gardening blog, stresses the importance of not having a watering schedule. In order to best gauge when your plant needs to be watered, it is best to regularly check the soil and water when it is dry as opposed to having a specific watering day. However, if you’re prone to forgetting to water your plants, watering globes allow some leniency, sensing when the soil is dry and releasing water to the soil slowly and steadily.