When we moved into our home over 3 years ago I loved everything-except the size of our backyard. It is tiny. More like a courtyard really and I felt concerned that we would not have the opportunity to garden with our kids like we wanted to-so I imagined that we’d move at some point. Due to circumstance we have happily stayed in the tiny house with the tiny backyard and plan to do so for some time. I realised about 18 months ago that pining for a bigger outdoor space wasn’t helpful and I decided to make the best with the small space that we have.
I have been surprised at just how easy making the small space work for a growing, home educating family with three active young girls has been-once I got the right attitude that is.
Here are five tips to inspire you to have a great garden with kids in a tiny space
-If you are going to grow food-choose food that they like! We grow a lot of food in our small space and, after having bumper crops on chilli and pumpkins that no one likes, I try and devote big spaces to those veggies and fruit that will be most appreciated. Don’t waste prime real estate!
-grow interesting food! Heirloom carrots of all colours, crazy shaped zucchini and beans that grow all over everything have been big hits. The fighting over who gets the purple carrot, not so much.
-have a “sunflower race”. Plant seeds of mammoth sunflowers in spring and see who’s grows the fastest and the largest. A single massive sunflower takes up surprisingly little room and can be raised in a pot to start. Younger kids might need help with remembering to water but the older kids can get pretty motherly with a budding seed that grows into something spectacular. We have three seeds on the go right now!
-plant some flowers that grow like weeds so the kids can pick them without fear of picking a flower that might be on it’s way to being food, or a prized lily. Plant them in a pot or in an easy to reach place and keep directing the kids back to that spot so they will leave the important plants alone but they are still able to get their hands on some greenery.
-think outside the box and don’t be afraid to try something out. Grow things up walls and in barrels, train veggies to spill over a wall or climb up a trellis, see if kids will be excited by massive pumpkins or beautiful flowers. Sometimes you won’t know if something is going to work for the garden, the kids and the adults unless you give it a go!
What are your tips for gardening with kids in small spaces?