How to Have a Vegetable Garden When You Don’t Have a Yard

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Not everyone lives someplace with a big backyard or acreage. So, if you have the itch to grow your own garden-fresh vegetables, what can you do if you’re an apartment dweller?

Here are some tips to help you produce food, no matter where you live.

Balcony/Patio gardening

If you have a balcony or small patio, load it up with veggies. These vegetables grow well in containers:

  • Tomatoes
  • Bell peppers
  • Radishes
  • Greens
  • Bush beans
  • Peas
  • Zucchini

Note that you will need the proper support for plants that get tall or climb.

Growing food indoors

Maybe you don’t have any outdoor space. There are several things you can grow indoors to cut your food bill.

  • Fresh herbs
  • Microgreens
  • Spinach
  • Sprouts
  • Green onions
  • Mushrooms (look for those sprouting logs)
  • Ginger

If you really want to get into growing food indoors, you can invest in (or build) a hydroponics set-up, but those can be pricey.

Another way anyone can add fresh greens to supplement the grocery budget is to start sprouting. This website has the best information for beginners to join the wonderful world of sprouting.

Look for a community garden

Many cities now are turning abandoned lots into gardens for the community. You are assigned a little plot and can grow whatever you want in it. If times are really tight in your area, you may find that your garden patch is not safe from hungry people. It’s a great idea if your food remains there for you. Some community gardens even have swap meets so gardeners can trade their surplus veggies for someone else’s surplus veggies. Bonus: It’s a great way to meet other people who have a self-reliant mindset.

Go to the roof

If your building has a rooftop, you may be able to persuade the other residents to turn it into a container garden space. Remember that rooftop gardens are very sunny and usually don’t have any shade, so choose your plants accordingly.   Be sure that there is a way to access water on the roof or you’ll be lugging buckets up the stairs. No matter how good your intentions are, there will come a point in which you just stop watering your plants and they’ll die.

It requires dedication.

Gardening without a yard isn’t easy. It will require discipline and dedication. But if you really want to jump on board the backyard veggie train, you’ll find a way!

How to Have a Vegetable Garden When You Don\'t Have a Yard
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Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is an author and blogger. She's the single mom of two daughters and credits extreme frugality and a good sense of humor for her debt-free lifestyle. She is the author of numerous books, the editor of, and is the founder of a small digital publishing company in the emergency preparedness niche.

2 thoughts on “How to Have a Vegetable Garden When You Don’t Have a Yard”

  1. Plastic buckets can make decent planting beds and can be cheap or even free. Even if you have to buy them, they are lots cheaper than buying pots. Drill holes in the bottom for drainage and place over a drip tray – you could use old sheet pans or oil-change drip pans for that. If you ask nicely at fast food restaurants, you can still sometimes get free buckets that used to contain things like mayonnaise. Those are also good for pickling or making sauerkraut since they are food grade. If you want to get fancy you could even use a plastic-safe spray paint on the outside. (Now I’m hungry for sauerkraut.)

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