Organic gardening uses methods that don’t involve man-made chemicals like fertilisers and pesticides, making your gardening as eco-friendly as possible. This type of gardening offers healthy, chemical-free produce and a sustainable area of greenery that you can call your own. You may feel limited by the scale of your outdoor space, but this article will provide hints and tips for organic gardening in small spaces.
What kind of small spaces could this apply to?
There are a number of small spaces that you could call a garden. For example:
- Small gardens
- Windowsills and other indoor spaces
Organic container gardening
Gardening in small spaces can be brought to life with the use of containers. Often, this is the only option in smaller spaces like balconies and windowsills. You can make great use of space by growing your plants in pots – this also makes them easier to move around.
Watering is an important factor in any gardening, especially organic. There are container-specific points to consider with your watering. Firstly, make sure your pots have good drainage. This will help to keep your plants healthy and reduce the need for any extra care for the root system. You can also make your own unique soil mix to help retain moisture for your plants. Saving water is an eco-friendly staple, and having a good soil mix can help you achieve this goal.
To continue with the theme of watering, there are other tips and techniques for watering in small, organic gardens. Here are some ways to water efficiently in small spaces:
- Drip irrigation systems to minimise water waste and evenly distribute moisture in the soil. It can be used in almost any type of garden layout, even if you have a small outdoor space with container plants.
- Soil management, including mulching to retain water and checking moisture levels to make sure you’re not overwatering.
- Use soil amendments that will hold onto moisture, like compost which adds organic matter.
Plant and seed selection
It’s important to put thought into what you’re growing, especially when you’re gardening in small spaces. There are some factors that you could consider when you want to garden organically in small spaces. For example:
- Choose smaller varieties of plants. These are often labelled with ‘dwarf‘ or ‘patio‘.
- Grow naturally pest- or disease-resistant varieties to minimise the need for chemical pesticides and herbicides.
- Opting for organic seeds and plants cultivated with no synthetic chemicals.
Composting is a common practice in organic gardening because it’s a great way to reduce waste and add nutrients to your soil without chemicals. If you don’t have the space for a huge compost heap, you could use a worm bin or bokashi composting.
Bokashi composting uses a bucket with an air-tight lid and a tap at the bottom to drain the liquid that is produced. This liquid also makes a great fertiliser, especially for houseplants. This method is different to regular composting in that you want as little exposure to oxygen as possible, so it helps to compact the materials down. Compacted materials in a neat bucket make for an ideal composting method for smaller spaces.
If you’re just starting out, click here for the basics of composting.
Companion planting can be your saving grace in organic gardening in small spaces. Strategic companion planting can deter pests, meaning you can grow more plants in a smaller area without worrying as much about pest management, which can dramatically reduce your need for pesticides. Click here for a more in-depth guide to companion planting.
Organic pest management
Avoiding pesticide use is especially important in small spaces, where the chemicals could easily end up outside of the intended spray area. This could lead to unwanted exterminations, including pollinators like bees and butterflies. There are other ways to control pests without the use of chemicals. For example, in smaller spaces, it’s easier to physically remove or wash off pests from your plants. You can also introduce natural predators into your garden, but be careful when using these in small spaces – it would be ironic if they became the pests!
Organic gardening in small spaces is incredibly fulfilling. Seeing your little outdoor space bursting with life is an incredible feeling. Use these tips to start your very own small, organic gardening. Click here to read more about eco-friendly gardening.