Do not let limited space discourage you from having a garden. You can adapt a small patio for an herb, vegetable or flower garden. Enjoy picking fresh salad greens, making dressing with fresh herbs and even grow tomatoes or potatoes in your small garden. All you need is a small patio space, sun, soil and water to grow garden plants in containers.
A hanging or upside down garden container sits above the ground on a stand or hangs from the patio ceiling. Plants grow down through a hole in the bottom of the container while plant roots are protected by plastic covering that contains soil. One example, the upside down tomato garden, has 4 square feet of growing space. Through holes cut in the bottom of the container, you can grow four tomatoes downward with their roots in the container top. The soil in the top of the container also accommodates short plants such as herbs or lettuce in addition to the tomatoes. The best tomatoes for a hanging garden are small- to- medium-sized. Your hanging garden will dry out more quickly than garden soil and may need to be watered daily.
A cold frame garden container resembles a small greenhouse constructed with a wooden frame and a glass top that can be opened. The wood frame angles from about 2½ feet in back to 1½ feet in front and should be place so the angled glass top faces the sun. Most cold frames use an old window or storm door for the glass top. You need a support to hold the glass open for ventilation on sunny days. On cold nights, close the window to retain heat. Fill the cold frame container with soil mix 6 to 8 inches deep. In a cold frame garden, a small patio garden can produce leafy salad greens, herbs, carrots, onions and small flowers.
Half barrels add a growing space for patio garden plants that have deep roots. Large barrels have 10 to 12 inches of soil in a container that is almost 2 feet in diameter. In one large half barrel, you can grow a tomato plant surrounded by flowers or small herbs. With layered growing techniques, half barrels can also grow potatoes. The same half-barrel space can be planted with several types flowers that have complementary bloom colors or bloom at different times. Adding several barrels of different sizes creates a garden area with space for multiple plants. Paint your half barrel to match the patio furniture or decorate it with decals or colorful paint. Before planting, be sure the barrel’s drain hole is open so that plant soil does not become waterlogged.