While communities and countries are starting to talk about the gradual reopening of the economy, I think we all understand that it will be quite a while before things get back to “normal.” The normal we eventually get back to might never be the same as it was before all this. And with that in mind, more and more folks are looking to test out their green thumbs and start gardening in one form or another.
For those of you who want to grow at least some of your food but didn’t think it was possible because you have no space to build a garden – let me introduce you to the wonderful world of micro gardening.
Size Doesn’t Matter
As the “micro” in micro-gardening implies, we are talking about gardens that take up a small footprint. Do you have a balcony? A patio? A rooftop you can access and use? For those with absolutely no outdoor space, a windowsill that gets a lot of sunlight could also do the trick.
As for “the garden” itself, you can build a little something if you are at all handy. You can also use flower pots and planter boxes. Want to get creative? Do you have an old tire? How about a trash can? A wooden box lined with plastic will work as well.
Finding something to grow the plants in, and the space for it, shouldn’t be too hard. And if you need a little inspiration, there are people all over the internet showing off their neat micro gardens and all sorts of DIY designs and setups for pretty much any living situation.
What You Can Grow
The answer to this question will depend on how micro your micro-garden is and where it’s located (the general climate, amount of sun the garden gets per day, etc.). Meaning, if all you have is one small planter, you probably aren’t going to be growing broccoli – which is a plant that tends to take up a large amount of space.
How do Romeo baby carrots, basil, Red Robin tomatoes, and baby bok choy sound? All delicious options for your micro garden. To quote my favorite infomercial, “but wait, there’s more!”
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization put out some research earlier this decade saying that a productive micro garden of just 11 square feet can produce:
- 200 tomatoes a year
- 36 heads of lettuce every 60 days
- 10 cabbages every 90 days
- 100 onions every 120 days
That’s a massive amount of food for such a small space!
This concept isn’t just for people in small living quarters, either. Micro gardening is also a natural entry point into growing your food for those that may have space – but may not want to, or be able to – jump right into creating and maintaining a large garden.