Try a "Pick ‘n’ Pluck Salad Bar": Loose leaf cut-and-come-again lettuce varieties can be planted as seeds or seedlings in a container for a quick pick salad. Choose salad ingredients with different leaf textures and colors for a vibrant and healthy salad, says Anne Gibson, who has coined the phrase "The Micro Gardener." Alternate these around the container and when the lettuces have at least eight leaves, you can start harvesting as you rotate around the pot.
There are a variety of microgardening techniques to maximize your harvest, including utilizing space wisely with vertical garden solutions, and efficient water management and nutrient cycling, says Anne Gibson of TheMicroGardener.com. This vertical garden has lemon thyme, peppers, tomatoes and other plants.
Built-in planter boxes made of redwood give a young family easy access to vegetable and herbs in their backyard, surrounded by two- and three-story apartment buildings in San Francisco. The project by St John Landscapes won a 2015 award from the Association of Professional Landscape Designers.
Whens space is tight, you can use old items, such as a wheelbarrow to display and grow plants. Portable gardens are a creative solution for those who need to move plants into sun or shade during the day, says Anne Gibson of TheMicroGardener.com. Heavy planters can be moved easily.
A once-bare, tiny yard behind a row house in Brooklyn, N.Y., now features a canopy of plants, such as crepe myrtles and camellias. Landscape designer Michael Van Valkenburgh planted trees that naturally cool the garden terrace and house and created a bird habitat. The new paving is mica schist, which is arranged in a pattern that mimics logs flowing down a river. The garden was a 2015 ASLA award winner.
Micro gardening opens up food growing possibilities for city dwellers, renters and others. Roof gardens are a great way to grow in urban spaces, but Anne Gibson of TheMicroGardeners.com says it's important to consider drainage and local weather conditions. If exposed to winds or strong sun without protection, plants tend to dry out more quickly.
A contemporary patio of a coastal California home uses concrete pads surrounded by colored gravel and massed succulents, which can be a low maintenance microgarden option. Grounded Modern Landscape Architecture designed the award-winning space.
Winds tunneling through high rises and neighborhoods can be damaging and drying. Adjust watering as needed and provide supports for tall plants or decorative fencing/screening as a wind break, says Melinda Myers, an urban gardener.
Microgardens can be created on roofs, balconies, small patios, fire escapes and small landscaped areas, using edibles as decorative and ornamental features instead of strictly edible plants, says urban gardener Melinda Myers.
Both culinary and medicinal herbs look fabulous in upcycled containers, baskets and containers such as small boots. Group herbs with similar water and sun needs together, says Anne Gibson of TheMicroGardener.com. For example, drought-tolerant Mediterranean herbs like rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano, chives, green onions and marjoram are perfect bed partners. These attractive planters also make great edible gifts.
Microgardens can be as tiny as a few square inches in a container or several square feet in a garden bed, says Anne Gibson of themicrogardener.com. Here, a small raised garden bed is intensively planted with edibles.
Micro gardens can be started in even the tiniest of containers and spaces. You can make miniature greenhouses for seed raising and microgreens by upcycling plastic food-grade punnets and bottles, suggests Anne Gibson of themicrogardener.com.