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4 gardening tips for small spaces

Maintaining and growing a garden doesn't have to be exhausting; you can still enjoy a beautiful garden in pots and planters using these garden ideas for small spaces.

Whether you have downsized your home and yard, or just don't want to deal with the responsibility and chore of maintaining a large garden this year, you can still enjoy your love for gardening in a small space like a patio, deck or balcony.

1. Pick your space and plants. Whether you choose a balcony or a patio, or even your front porch, check out how much room you actually have to plant. Also, investigate the amount of natural rainfall that the area receives (If your chosen space is under a roof, don't worry. You'll just need to account for extra waterings.) and how much sunlight hits the space. If your balcony gets a lot of afternoon sun, you should purchase plants that like full sun.

2. Be realistic about your abilities and space. For example, if you have difficulty gardening down low, build or purchase raised beds for your planting needs. This way, you can plant and maintain your garden while sitting comfortably on a chair. While there are plenty of ways to creatively plant in containers, the space you have is the space you have. Pick your favorite vegetables or flowers and realize that you just won't be able to plant rows and rows of them. But, your space will still be beautiful and reflect your personality and style.

3. Look for containers. You can plant in almost any container, so don't limit yourself to the garden section of your hardware store. While window boxes and planters are beautiful, you might also find a hint of whimsy in planting in metal coffee containers, old shoes or even tea cups. Just be sure to drill a hole, or use a hammer and nail to make holes, at the bottom of the planting vessel. You can paint your containers complimenting colors so that they seem cohesive.

4. Use your space wisely. You might be short on space, but that doesn't mean you can't use the space you do have to make the biggest impression. Layer your containers and use different levels. You can have containers at ground level, hanging baskets up high, and smaller planters on tables throughout your patio. Mix in your green vegetables with colorful flowers so that the garden has pops of color and is visually appealing.

Finally, you might want to consult with a professional landscaper, especially if it's your first year in the new space or if you're looking to try something different. Your landscaper can provide you with ideas on how to maximize your space, as well as how and what to plant that will decrease your work load so that you can enjoy your new garden and not spend all of your time maintaining it.

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