The ground has thawed, and the snow is receding from the mountains. Flowers are finally blooming and the last threat of frost for the season (likely) is gone along the Wasatch Front. So what does that mean? It’s time to start planning and planting your garden.
But what if you don’t have space for gardening? If you love working in the dirt and growing your own food, there are ways to plant a garden even if you don’t have an outdoor space. Here’s how:
You don’t necessarily need a backyard to have a successful garden. Soil, air, water, and sunshine are the main things you need. The best part of container gardening is that you won’t have as many weeds with which to contend all summer.
Window boxes are an easy container garden solution—you don’t even need a patio. They’re close to the house so you’ll have easy access to water them. You just need to make sure the window boxes get enough sun—most veggies need at least six hours of direct sun per day.
Pots are another simple container solution. If you have a large patio space, you could go with a barrel. Or you can choose hanging planters, wooden boxes, clay or plastic pots, wood pallets, baskets, old bathtubs—the list goes on an on. You do need to make sure you use the right gardening soil (don’t dig up dirt) and have drainage holes in the bottom of the container.
Just like when you’re planting in your backyard, you need to ensure that your plants have enough space to grow in their containers. For example, carrots will grow well in a window box, but it needs to be at least 12 inches deep, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac. And a 1-gallon pot is sufficient for a cucumber plant. If you need advice on what to plant, when to plant and how to plant, The Old Farmer’s Almanac has some great tips.
Try an indoor garden
A quick Google search or Amazon query will show you all the options for gardening indoors. Sure, you probably can’t grow corn or giant pumpkins inside, but you can easily have a thriving salad or salsa garden on your kitchen counter. You can find small indoor gardening kits for around $20, or you can go a little bigger with an AeroGarden, or you can even get an indoor gardening kit that does double duty as a fish tank like the Back to Roots Water Garden, which is less than $100.
If you want to think bigger than a bowl of salad or pico de gallo, you can always buy grow lights and set up a table garden. Like in container gardening, you need to make sure to use the right kind of soil, water sufficiently, and add nutrients when the plants need them.
Find a community space
If indoor and container gardening aren’t your thing, but you want to grow your own produce, look for a community garden in your area. In Provo, we have four community gardens with space for rent. The cost is $25 for the whole growing season and includes the space and water as well as tools (rakes, shovels, trowels, gloves, and more) on the monthly Garden Work Days.
These gardens have communal beds with perennial plants like strawberries and mint, which are available for all garden renters to harvest. If you’re interested in one of these plots, we take reservations on a first-come, first-served basis. Please email Maria for an application and more information. The gardens in Provo are at
- 700 S. 300 West
- 1020 W. 100 South
- 811 N. 600 West
- 673 N. 100 West
You have options to grow your own food, whether you live in a rental house, shared apartment or you don’t have a large yard. Look into containers, indoor garden options or find a local community garden space.