Living in a tiny home doesn’t mean you have to give up your passion for gardening. Tiny house living and tiny house gardening both require creativity, flexibility, and planning. Many plants can grow in small spaces when creative and smart designs are used. Whether you want to grow vegetables or flowers, use these tips for tiny home gardening.
The tiny house movement is picking up steam, and creators make tiny homes in all shapes, sizes, and forms. It is becoming easier to live in a tiny home because of efficient space. Most people join this movement because of environmental concerns, financial worries, or the desire for more freedom.
Living in a tiny home costs significantly less than an average American home with 2,000 square feet. These adventurous souls are less likely to have a mortgage and find themselves saving more money. Living in a tiny house doesn’t mean you need to forego beloved activities like gardening. Some tiny house owners place their home on an acre of land, so you have plenty of space to garden. Even with a small plot, gardening can still be your favorite pastime.
The most important tip is to start small. You live in a tiny house, and you don’t want to try to recreate the garden of Eden outside in our summer. Pick a few vegetables you want to grow and just a few flowers. Otherwise, your reality may not live up to your expectations. You can always add later in the season, but maintaining a garden is hard, even for tiny homeowners.
Here are some suggestions on how to start small:
- Build one or two raised beds with easy vegetables, such as cucumbers, zucchini, lettuce, and green beans.
- Make a small flower bed in front of your home with flowers and easy herbs. Marigolds, petunias, zinnias, and impatiens are easy flowers to maintain.
- Place a pot with flowers on each side of your front door.
Use Vertical Space
Tiny homes may not have a lot of floor space, but you do have plenty of vertical space. You can attach a trellis to the exterior of your tiny home and add different pole vegetables, such as cucumbers, peas, and green beans. Certain flowers climb up fences as well!
Instead of a trellis, hang a pallet on the exterior of the home, acting as a shelf for flowers or an herb garden. Hang a row or two of rain gutters horizontally along the side of the tiny home. You can grow lettuce, greens, radishes, and an abundance of flowers and herbs in these shallow containers.
Certain plants grow better in vertical gardens than others. Try these plants if you decide to use the vertical space available.
- Blue Star Fern
- Rosary Vine
If you want to grow vegetables vertically, it is a great way to save space and still get a great harvest. These plants are easy to train to grow up a trellis and climb quickly.
- Pole Beans
- Winter Squash
Containers are perfect for tiny homes–shrubs even grow well in containers, letting you take your garden with you if you decide to move your home.
A lot of plants do well and are easily movable when planted in a container. If you have a small porch, place a few pots on the steps. Add shrubs in a container along the sides of the porch to add height and depth. Make sure to put a few smaller containers in front with brightly colored flowers to make a statement.
Growing a container garden is a good first step for beginners as well. Gardening feels intimidating at first, so a few pots of plants eases you in slowly. Pots also can be placed on a sunny windowsill or hung inside of your home. Tiny home living requires you to use all of your space creatively.
If you’ve never grown plants in a container, here are some simple tips to try:
- Make sure there are drainage holes in the bottom of the pot. Plants die if they sit in too much water.
- Before you pick a spot for your container, time how long that spot receives sun by checking throughout the day. You want six hours or more of direct sunlight.
- Add fertilizer to your potting soil. A slow-release fertilizer will last for several weeks.
Place several hooks around your tiny home, giving you an area to hang containers. Hooks are inexpensive and are placed right into the ground, but you might have hooks in the roof of your porch or be able to screw a few into the exterior of the home.
Growing plants in hanging pots are just like a container garden, but you are utilizing vertical space with containers. That is smart thinking. Place a few hanging pots inside and outside of your tiny home.
Start a Compost
Composting is eco-friendly and reduces the amount of waste you toss out each week. Gardeners can make a bin or purchase one from a gardening store. Compost adds vital nutrients to your plants. Mix the compost into your potting soil or use as a soil amendment for established garden beds.
You can add many things to a compost bin, such as:
- Fruits and veggies scraps
- Coffee grounds
- Tea bags
- Grass clippings
Make sure you don’t add any meat or dairy products. Also, cat and dog feces are a no, but you can add manure from rabbits or chickens.
Join the Right Community
The right tiny home community encourages gardening and sustainability! These are some of the top choices we love.
- Spur Freedom is a community located in Spur, Texas. It is one of the first towns in the United States to welcome tiny homes. Right now, job opportunities aren’t plentiful, so it is better for individuals who work remotely online. Space is worth it. You have access to the Texas prairie, which means great gardening opportunities.
- Sprouts Tiny Home opened another community in Salida, Colorado, offering 200 tiny homes ranging in size. Each home has access to a fitness center, shared amenities, and green space. There will be plenty of space for you to add landscaping or an edible garden.
- Green Bridge Farm, located near Savannah, Georgia, offers one-acre lots for tiny home dwellers. That is a lot of space for you to create a garden and enjoy outdoor living. All residents also have access to a four-acre community garden, where you can practice your skills.
Just because you live in a tiny home doesn’t mean you can’t garden. Remember that being creative and planning gives the best results. Whether you use a variety of containers or have a lot of space to create a garden, tiny home dwellers can have a garden and landscaping anywhere.
Need help creating landscaping for your tiny home or community? Visit our lawn care page for more information!
Feature image source: Treehugger