8 Ingenious Products and Hacks for the Aspiring Urban Gardener

Country mouse with a green thumb stuck in the city? No problem. | Photo courtesy of Woolly Pockets

If you enjoy living in a thriving urban center but also want to exercise your green thumb, there are easy solutions. With space-saving designs, innovative gardening products and some DIY ingenuity, you, city dweller, can grow your own vegetables and herbs in your apartment or even on the smallest patch of outdoor space. Here are some ways you can turn a small corner of your suave city pad into a miniature farmers market:

1. Grow Bean Sprouts in a Jar

Anyone can grow nutrient-rich bean sprouts with just a jar, quality seeds and water. While growing from a jar is great for small indoor spaces, it’s also a good solution for outdoor gardeners who have found this type of crop difficult to grow.


2. Start a Dirt-Free Countertop Garden

If you’re a beginning home gardener, Aerogarden indoor dirt-free planters regulate light, moisture and nutrition. The planters are perfect for those with with zero gardening know-how, and they’re small, so you can show off a productive mini-garden right on your countertop. Herbs, peppers and cherry tomatoes await you!

Image courtesy of Aerogarden

3. Grow Down, Not Up

Not everyone has a patio or even sunlit floorspace for potted plants. But everyone has ceilings. Boskke Skyplanters are upside-down planters that conserve space and water, thanks to a unique design that feeds your plants’ roots without losing water to drainage or evaporation. According to the manufacturer, these planters are especially well-suited for growing strawberries.

Image courtesy of Boskke

4. Plant a Living Wall

You can grow a garden wherever there’s wall space, inside or out. Group together several wall-mounted planters to grow an assortment of herbs and greens for a gorgeous (and edible) living wall. This self-watering model from Woolly Pockets is designed to conserve water and keep your walls and floors dry and unharmed.

Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 2.29.30 PMWhoolly Pockets‘ Living Wall Planter.

5. Make Your Garden Mobile

You can make a portable garden in minutes by attaching casters to the bottom of your containers. This will not only let you shift plants around based on their sunlight needs, but it will also give you the flexibility to move the plants out of the way if you need space for grilling or seating. Adapt galvanized metal trashcans or buckets into planters for a modern industrial look, or upcycle some wine crates for a rustic design. A rooftop, terrace or any outdoor space can host a thriving mini garden if you use square-foot gardening techniques.

 original-Brian-Patrick-Flynn-mobile-container-garden-beauty_s3x4_lgPhoto courtesy of HGTV. 

6. Create More Space With Rail Planters

Steckling Cubes, stylish planters that come in multiple colors, fit like saddles over railings. Imagine a patio railing support your entire urban farm! If these European-designed pots are too rich for your wallet, similar, less expensive pots are easily found online. If you’re handy with a hammer and drill, you can build your own rail planter for a combination of style and affordability.

85a72cf3ad251e83b9d6770b37ba0ce7_5Rephorn Steckling Cubes. 

7. Stack for Lushness

To give your urban garden a lush look, think vertical. Stackable planters allow you to squeeze more greenery into a small space. Combine herbs for a complete culinary garden in one tower. Strawberries do particularly well in these kind of close quarter groupings.


8. Build Your Own Hydroponic Kitchen Island

If you really know your way around a toolbox, go completely DIY and turn a plain, old kitchen table or island into a hydroponic vegetable garden. Attach grow lights to the underside of the table, and then build a planting bed below to create an exposed garden right in the middle of your kitchen. If an exposed garden is too tempting for your pets, build a concealed garden cabinet instead. If building it is more intimidating than paying a high price tag, you can buy an Urban Cultivator model pre-made.

Image courtesy of Urban Cultivator.