Alicia DeVore

When I lived in a tiny house in Los Angeles, I didn’t have much space to grow, and I didn’t have the experience to know what I needed in my small space to garden. I would have loved having a favorite gardener with more understanding and knowledge to pave the way so that I wouldn’t have wasted money from my first gardening buying attempts.

So, I have compiled a list of wonderful gardening tools to save you time and money so that you can spend your real time starting to grow a garden.

This guide provides essential tips and gift ideas for starting a small garden. Whether you want to help someone else begin their garden or if you’re looking to start your own in a small house or limited space, this guide will point you in the right direction. Check out this blog post for 30 affordable gardening gift guide ideas for small spaces.

30 small garden ideas

In this blog post you will find:

  • Defining small space gardening

  • Essential gardening tools

  • Useful gardening books

  • How to get a green thumb status

What is a Small Space Garden?

What is a Small Space Garden? It’s all about growing your favorite plants, herbs, veggies, or flowers in a limited space. This could be a tiny house and backyard, a balcony, a windowsill, or even a single container. You don’t need acres of land to have a flourishing garden.

If you don’t have a lot of space for starting a garden this is where a bit of creativity and smart planning, comes in. Small Space Gardening utilizes vertical spaces, hanging pots, and compact plant varieties to make the most of every inch. It’s all about understanding your space, light conditions, and choosing the right plants for the best gifts for gardeners.

raised bed made out of wood on cement

Choose Wisely: Choose plants that naturally stay small or easy to prune

When you’re working within a limited area, every inch counts by choosing naturally compact or dwarf varieties may help you to produce more food in a smaller area.

  • Consider plants that respond well to pruning. Pruning not only keeps plants within a desired size but also encourages bushier growth. Herbs like basil and mint, or fruiting plants like tomatoes, can be easily controlled with regular trimming.

  • Go Vertical: Use trellises, shelves, or hanging baskets to take advantage of vertical space.

    When horizontal space is at a premium, why not look upwards? Vertical gardening is your secret weapon in a small space garden. Trellises and climbing frames are great for plants like cucumbers, beans, or even certain varieties of squash and pumpkins that love to climb. Shelves can hold multiple pots, making a mini garden wall. Hanging baskets are perfect for trailing plants like strawberries or cherry tomatoes. And can help you from having animal critters or pest problems.

    Think Outside the Box

    Unleash your creativity when it comes to containers. Almost anything that can hold soil and has drainage can be a potential home for your plants. Old buckets, tires, or even a pair of boots can be transformed into unique planters. Window boxes are another great option, especially for herbs or flowers. They make use of the space you already have and add a touch of charm to your home. A successful small space garden is all about making the most of what you have. With a bit of planning and creative thinking, you can turn any space into a green oasis.

Every little patch of soil, dirt, or speck of sunlight in the world is an opportunity waiting to be explored. So, don’t let space constraints dampen your gardening dreams. For inspirational gardening quotes, check out this blog post.

flowers in pots

Where to Grow?

Gardens need a place to live and thrive. Here are four options for growing in small spaces that will give a garden a great space to grow.

Hanging Baskets

They allow you to effectively utilize vertical space, offering a whole new dimension for your garden to thrive and leaving more room on the ground for other green friends.

Imagine having your plants at eye level or just above as a gardener. Sounds convenient, right? That’s exactly what they offer. You can say goodbye to bending over or kneeling down because watering, pruning, and even harvesting your plants just got a whole lot easier.

And let’s not forget about the versatility hanging baskets bring to the table. Whether you’re a fan of vibrant flowers, trailing vines, handy herbs and seeds, or even certain veggies, hanging baskets provide a warm welcome to a wide array of plants.

Speaking of aesthetics, hanging baskets are the perfect way to add a layer of beauty to your garden. They create a dynamic visual interest by introducing different levels of height and depth. Plus, they’re an excellent method to infuse color and greenery into otherwise barren areas like patios or balconies.

Lastly, one of the standout features of hanging baskets is their portability. If you need to adjust sunlight exposure or whisk delicate plants indoors during harsh weather, it’s as simple as unhooking the basket and moving it.

wall with vertical planters

Window Boxes

These nifty plant holders allow the gardener to utilize underused areas just outside your windows, providing additional room for your favorite plants to grow and flourish even if you don’t have a yard. It’s like having an extra shelf in your garden.

One of their greatest advantages is their accessibility. With indoor plants being positioned at a convenient height, caring for them becomes so much easier. No more bending or kneeling on the ground. You can water, prune, and harvest your plants comfortably, all while enjoying the lovely view.

They’re not just functional; they’re also a wonderful way to beautify your home. From vibrant flowers to lush green herbs, the options are endless. Just picture this: looking out your window to see a burst of colors or catching the refreshing scent of fresh herbs wafting in on the breeze.

Last but not least, window boxes offer a unique advantage – portability. If your plants need more (or less) sun, you can simply move the box to a different window. This flexibility allows you to create the ideal growing conditions for each type of plant.

planters on a windowsill and below with containers

Self-Watering Pots

There are many benefits of self-watering containers for your small garden. To start off, these fantastic tools provide effortless hydration for your plants. They take away all the guesswork from watering, ensuring your green buddies get just the right amount they need, and when they need it. So, no more worries about overwatering or underwatering.

They’re an absolute time-saver and incredibly convenient even if you don’t have a yard, especially for those of you who are always on-the-go or simply want to relish your gardening without being tied down by watering schedules.

These containers or planters are versatile, durable and ideal for small spaces and easy for weeding. Be it a tiny balcony, a small patio, or indoor spaces, they fit in snugly and efficiently, maximizing the life in every inch of your available space.

Self-watering containers promote healthier and stronger plant growth. By providing consistent moisture, they help reduce stress in plants, fostering steady and robust growth.

vertical planters

Vertical Planter

This innovative solution is a real space-saver, perfect for making the most out of small spaces with a small yard. With a GreenStalk vertical planter, you can say goodbye to the backaches from bending down or kneeling on the ground. Each tier is easily accessible, making planting, watering, and harvesting your greens an absolute breeze.

The GreenStalk Vertical Planter you can plant a variety of plants. From herbs and flowers to strawberries and juicy tomatoes, you can grow them all in one single planter because there are 30-40 separate pockets to grow in the planters with 5 tiers of planting. Use this link to get $10 off of your first purchase.

With the GreenStalk’s patented watering system, each plant receives an equal amount of water, leading to healthier, happier plants. It’s a space-saving, easy-to-use, versatile, and effective solution for all your gardening needs.

Here is a course that will help you plant out a vertical planter in one weekend.

Here is another blog post all about Greenstalk Vertical Planters.

Essential Gardening Tools for Outdoor Gardens

pots with plants

Hand Trowel:

A hand trowel is an essential tool for transplanting bedding plants and herbs, planting containers, digging, and dealing with pesky weeds. It’s like a hand-sized spade that helps you dig with precision that helps with weeding.

Garden Fork:

This tool is a smaller version of a rake and is great for loosening soil, mixing in nutrients, and sifting out unwanted rocks or debris.

Pruning Shears:

Ideal for trimming and shaping your plants. They’re also great for cutting back overgrown bushes and removing dead branches. Make sure to find shears with a firm grip for best use.

Gardening gloves:

Protect gardener’s hands while working in the soil with a sturdy pair of garden gloves. They keep your hands clean and safe from thorns, bugs, and other potential irritants.

Watering Can:

A watering can with a long spout is a great gift and perfect for ensuring your plants get the hydration they need without drenching the leaves and potentially causing disease. Water plants each season to keep the growing happening.


Necessary for moving larger amounts of soil or making larger holes for planting.

Plant Markers:

Plant markers can be a perfect gift for those who like to make their garden organized and pretty.

Vegetable Garden Books

Gardening books for small spaces can give you ideas on how to grow in containers and grow vertically. Here are some of the top books that I have found in giving ideas to grow in small spaces. Here are some great books to share with children to get them interested in gardening.

Little Book of Small-Space Gardening

Tiny Space Gardening: Growing Vegetables, Fruits, and Herbs in Small Outdoor Spaces 

Small Space Garden Ideas

Small Space Vegetable Gardening

Green Thumb Status

With the right tools in the gift guides and a dash of love for plants, you can turn any small space into a verdant oasis of life.

Start Small, Grow Big

First things first, remember that every great garden starts with a single seed. Don’t worry about filling your space all at once. Instead, focus on nurturing each plant individually. Patience is key here, and with time, you’ll see your garden grow.

The Essential Toolkit

Every good gardener though, no matter the size of their garden, needs a solid set of tools. Remember to add plant markers to remember what you planted. As an urban gardener use favorite tools from outdoor gardens like bird feeders, watering cans, gardening gloves, and containers. Look above to know what to get your special gardener or yourself when gardening in small spaces.

Learn as You Grow

Every plant is unique, just like us, and they each have their own set of needs. Some love the sun and others prefer the shade. Some need lots of water, while others thrive in dryer conditions. The more you learn about your plants, the better you can care for them, and the greener your thumb becomes. Having the right tool for your garden can also make growing food easier.

Celebrate the Small Wins

Every new leaf, every flower that blooms, is a cause for celebration for gardeners. So, don’t forget to take a step back and admire the fruits of your labor. After all, gardening is as much about enjoying the journey as it is about the destination. Gardeners need to celebrate the small stuff too.


What are some veggies that grow well in small spaces for fall?

There are several vegetables that thrive in small spaces during the fall season. Lettuce is one of them; it’s a cool-weather crop that can be planted in containers and does well with limited space. Radishes also grow quickly and don’t need a lot of room.

Spinach is another leafy green that thrives in cooler temperatures and can be harvested multiple times. Beets are a root vegetable that can be grown in containers as long as they’re deep enough to accommodate the growing roots.

Lastly, green onions and garlic are excellent choices for small spaces because they grow vertically and require minimal space. All these veggies are perfect for container gardening or small garden plots and can provide fresh, homegrown produce throughout the fall season. Take your herbs from indoor plants to the back door as a gardener.

What are plants that grow in small spaces for spring?

When spring arrives and you’re working with a small outdoor space, there are several plants that can thrive beautifully.

For vegetable gardening, consider compact varieties like “Sweetheart of the Patio” tomatoes, BushSteak tomatoes, Sweet Golden Baby Belle peppers, Spacemaster cucumber, carrots, and Tom Thumb Dwarf peas which yield a good harvest without taking up much room.

If you’re more into ornamental plants, Red thyme and Woolley thyme offer beautiful foliage and flowers, while thyme, phlox, or sedum provide an attractive carpet of foliage. For bursts of color, yarrow is a great choice.

Among perennials, Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’, Euphorbia ‘Black Pearl, and Pulsatilla vulgaris are ideal for small spaces. These plants not only fit into small spaces but also add a vibrant touch to your garden as a perfect addition to pots.

What are things that you can grow in small spaces with success for summer?

During the summer months, several plants are perfectly suited for small spaces. For vegetables, consider dwarf or bush varieties such as the “Patio Choice” tomatoes, “Bush Slicer” cucumbers, and “Mascotte” beans which are bred specifically for container growth.

You can also plant fruits like strawberries and melons with a tomato cage as a vertical space.

Herbs like basil, chives, and rosemary also thrive in containers and can be used in a variety of dishes. If you’re interested in flowers, marigolds, and petunias are compact, colorful, and thrive under the summer sun. Succulents and cacti are also great options for small spaces as they require minimal care and can withstand hot temperatures.

Lastly, zinnias and sunflowers come in smaller dwarf varieties and can add a pop of color to any small space or vegetable garden. These plants will not only fit well in small spaces but also bring life and color to your garden throughout the summer season even for the avid gardener.

Quick Best Gifts for Small Space for Most Gardeners

Here are a few more gifts for gardeners:

Raised Beds- If you don’t have a garden space, using raised beds can be a great option.

Grow Kit-

Grow Lights– This tool is often overlooked.

Small Plants-

Bird Feeder

Basket of Seed Packets– Seeds are a great gift. Here are more Seed Collections to check out.

Small Compost- Easy assemble and durable. Use this tool to add your kitchen scraps to create compost to use in your garden.

Overall great tool kit to have for gardening that is easy to keep track of is this KIT.

For More Gift Giving Ideas for Gardeners:

30 Best Gifts for Gardeners

Books for Young Gardeners

Read Other Posts

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About the Author

Alicia has been teaching her whole life from elementary teacher to workshops for beginning gardeners.  Go HERE to read Alicia's story into gardening from plant killer to pro grower and garden coach.  If you want to send Alicia a quick message, then use her contact page HERE.

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