Skip to content

Micro Gardening is the Latest Trend to Try if You Have Limited Space at Home

Here is how to make the most of the small corners of your home, like your kitchen, balcony, and tiny courtyard

Bookmark article to read later

By House & Garden South Africa | September 21, 2023 | Gardens

Micro Gardening is the latest accessible trend for homes without massive garden space. This innovative approach allows everyone, regardless of space limitations, to nurture their inner gardener and cultivate a garden in any available nook or cranny. Whether you have a tiny balcony, a windowsill, a rooftop, or just a corner of your living room, micro gardening empowers individuals to foster greenery in unexpected places.

Kitchen Gardens

Traditionally, a kitchen garden refers to an area in the garden set aside for growing food crops such as vegetables, fruits, and herbs. However, if you don’t have an outside garden, let alone one big enough for a dedicated food-growing space, you can make a garden in your kitchen. Kitchens are well suited to indoor gardening as they are usually designed to receive lots of natural light throughout the day and watering from the kitchen sink is easy and convenient.

Kitchens tend to get a lot of light by design. Indoor kitchen gardens can be planted in a single container placed in a windowsill. Image via unsplash

Popular growing options are leafy vegetables (which can be grown from scraps and waste), herbs and microgreens. Microgreens are young vegetable seedlings that can be harvested soon after sprouting and used as an extra fresh touch in salads and sandwiches. Indoor kitchen gardens can be planted in a single container placed in a windowsill, or in multiple containers placed around the kitchen wherever you have space.

Vegetable, herb, and microgreen seeds can be purchased from garden centres and supermarkets and various easy-grow options exist. Your garden centre can advise on the most suitable containers for your space as well as a flowering indoor plant to add to your food crop collection.

Here’s a top tip: Harvesting vegetables, herb sprigs or microgreens by hand can cause damaging rips and tears or pull up the roots of the plant. Use a specialised cutting tool when harvesting to ensure precise and clean cuts with minimal impact on your plant growth.

Balcony Gardens

You can create a lush outdoor oasis right on your doorstep with a well-planned balcony garden. You can start small and add pot by pot throughout the season as your confidence grows and you learn what works in your particular balcony space.

Before selecting the plants you want to cultivate on your garden, it is crucial to measure the sunlight your balcony receives. This will inform your plant choices. Image via unsplash

Before starting, find out if your building has any rules and regulations regarding balcony gardens. There may be restrictions on hanging planters from railings and walls or guidelines for watering systems to ensure you don’t cause problems for the neighbours next to or below you. It’s also important to check in with the building manager about the weight your balcony can safely carry. Large ceramic containers filled with soil may be too heavy for your balcony so you may have to choose smaller containers made from lighter materials.

After checking the rules and regulations, you should take note of the wind, sun and shade your balcony receives. Set aside a day when you are at home and pay careful attention to the following:

Where does the sunlight fall on your balcony?

How many hours of sunlight does your balcony receive?

What time of day does it receive sunlight?

How hot is it on the balcony?

Visit your garden centre armed with this information to ensure that you get the best recommendations for plants suited to these conditions.

Here’s a top tip: Maximising space is crucial in a balcony garden. Planting vertically is one way of doing this. You can find light-weight planters at nurseries that can be assembled in different configurations along a wall or in a corner space.

Townhouse Gardens

Some people feel that townhouse gardens are too small to enjoy, while those who believe they don’t have green fingers find the size already too daunting. If you live in a townhouse complex with a courtyard-type garden or small backyard garden that you have been avoiding, this is the year to get outside and claim that space.

Precision irrigation is best to prevent your courtyard or outdoor area from being unnecessarily soaked. Image via Unsplash

Layout of a small garden space is often the biggest obstacle to getting started, especially if you want to balance your planting space with outdoor entertainment and leisure space. Thankfully, the internet abounds with clever ideas suited to different lifestyles, aesthetic preferences, and maintenance requirements. An important factor to consider in your planning is irrigation. Dragging splashing hosepipes across a small area isn’t ideal and the wrong type of sprinkler may trap you inside. Precision irrigation is best to prevent your outdoor area from being unnecessarily soaked.

Here’s a top tip: Choose an irrigation system that can be permanently installed and delivers water directly where it is needed. Also, water-smart irrigation options can be easily connected to your outdoor tap and extended all around your garden space. The system can be automated and can run whilst you sit outside and soak up the sun.