10 Great Ideas for Your First Urban Garden

10 Great Ideas For Your First Urban Garden

Whether you want a delicious herb garden, fresh veggies, or just pretty flowers, living in a cramped urban area can make it hard to live up to your green dreams.

However, you will find that you are worrying needlessly. There are plenty of urban garden ideas designed to flourish in small spaces as long as there is enough direct sunlight.

You should never let your lack of a backyard or a having a small apartment stop you from designing your very own green retreat. Here are some urban garden ideas that you can try.

1. Tabletop Gardens

Tabletop Gardens

Tabletop gardening is also known as ‘square-foot’ gardening. It is a unique and simple method for beginners who don’t have a lot of experience with planting.

You can get raised beds and plant the seeds into 1×1 square foot plots pretty easily. If you don’t have the experience, time, or space, this is the perfect solution for you.

The elevated table with the square foot garden is also a great solution for people in wheelchairs, the elderly, or pretty much any who finds it difficult to bend to tend to the plants. Here is how to make your own DIY square foot garden.

2. Self Watering Pots and Planters

Self Watering Pots

If you are one of those gardeners who forget to water their plants often, you can build easy self-watering pots and plants to help you out. They can grow with minimum effort and space.

The way these pots and planters work is that you only have to fill in the reservoir once in a while. They work through a capillary action that ensures that the plant can get the water through the roots by wicking.

The DIY self-water pots can also be made with recycled materials too.

3. Shoe Organizer

Shoe Organizer

If you have an old shoe organizer that you no longer use, you can convert that into a nice vertical garden. As long as you have a balcony railing that gets plenty of sunlight.

You will have room to grow fresh greens and herbs that you can use in the kitchen. It is really simple to make; you only have to hang a simple canvas organizer and fill it with gardening soil. You can then plant your favorite greens and herbs inside the pouches.

Here is how you can make the shoe organizer.

4. Mason Jar Garden

Mason Jar Garden

Fresh herbs can always be part of your kitchen routine, which is why growing them in your garden can be great.

This is one of the best urban garden ideas for people who love throwing some herbs in their food. Since most herbs are pretty easy to grow and mason jars can be a great option as long as you have proper drainage and light.

Mason jar gardens are an affordable option to add a little rustic style to the kitchen decor. But you can also use pickle jars, pasta jars, or any other glass container. Here is how you can make it at home.

5. One-Pot Vegetable Garden

One-Pot Vegetable Garden

The simplest of urban garden ideas is to simply use one large pot.

By getting a large pot, you can maximize its potential. If you are able to plan out the growing year, you will actually be able to harvest up to 10 crops in one year. All you need to do is to make sure that you plant compatible seeds.

You will need to get a large trough or tub, drill in drainage holes, fill the pot with soil, and plant seeds with complementary plants. Getting home-grown vegetables can be quite a lovely thing. Here is everything you need to know about planting a garden in one container.

6. Up-Cycled Plant Container

Up-Cycled Plant Container

Up-cycled containers can be a great hands-on experience for a lot of people. As a new gardener, you should remind yourself that you have a creative license to explore different container designers.

You will be able to transform your urban garden with regular household objects. You can use whatever fancies your imagination, including old rubber boots, used water bottles, baskets, mugs, jugs, or pretty much any other container.

This is a cost-effective and eco-friendly way to use trash to transform your urban garden.

7. Fill in the Balcony

Fill In The Balcony

If you love lounging on your balcony but don’t like how your privacy is impacted, you can use plants to cover your balcony. It can make it easier for you to hide behind the greenery by using the railing or wall.

The best way to do this is to use climbers like jasmine, honeysuckle, or ivy. You can even use beans, gourds, or passion flowers.

Cascading plants are also a great way to fill up the balcony and make it look greener without adding too many plants.

As far as urban garden ideas go, the cascading plants can give life to the balcony and create a great green space in your apartment. With enough height, they cover vertical distances really well. Hanging them over the railing can be simply gorgeous.

Here are some popular cascading plants that would be great for the balcony:

  • Convolvulus Sabatius is a spillover plant that is perfect for sunny areas on the balcony. It can cover the balcony rail quite densely. It has lilac-blue flowers in the summer and spring, which can look lovely.
  • Dichondra, also known as Silver Falls, has trailing stems with iridescent silver small leaves. They are hardy and tolerant of the sun as well as light shades.
  • Helichrysum Petiolare has long stems with felt leaves. The perennial plant can be silver-gray and lime green. They are great in the sun and light shade too.

8. Stair Micro Gardening

Stair Micro Gardening

Urban gardens are short on space since they are often constructed in small, cramped spaces. They are also short on time since they don’t have a large sunlight window.

This is why you can make an efficient vegetable garden through stair gardening. It takes up less space but provides you the opportunity to plant a lot of different plants. This ensures that the footprint of the garden is small but maximized.

You can create six-tiered planters that ensure easy plantation. They are relatively maintenance-free and don’t require a heavy wedding too. You can plant different kinds of plants on every tier and even mix it up to get more crops through the year. It’s a fun, small garden

9. Wheelbarrow Gardening

Wheelbarrow Gardening

A rustic looking wheelbarrow can be great for moving rocks, hauling plants, and transporting bricks, but it can also be used as a planter.

You can use it for an herb, flowers, succulents, or a basic planter for vegetables. If you want to get plants that don’t have deep roots like radishes, the wheelbarrow is quite popular.

You may need TLC before it turns into a planter in case it is rusted in places. You will also need a way for the water to drain, so the soil doesn’t get too wet. Some experts recommend using plastic liners to protect the metal from corrosion.

10. Garden Walls

Garden Walls

If you live in an apartment, the best urban garden ideas for you will involve vertical gardens. It is an innovative way to have a garden without using too much space.

You can install shelves into your balcony or garden wall to add some planters and pots. You can also get pallets and fill them up with soil. You can also attach pots to a trellis and fill it up with cute flowers.

The issue with vertical garden walls can be that the splash of water combined with the dirt can make the wall look dirty. You may need to install a drip irrigation channel combined with a catchment system. This can keep your floors and wall clean.

You can also create wall pockets since that can be a great way to make your garden look sophisticated and fun. You can combine different plants from thrillers to spillers. It can also make it easy to change where the plants are kept if you change your mind.


Urban garden ideas are here to inspire you to get your own small urban garden started. You can use all of these different ideas to innovate and create your own DIY urban gardens as well.

It can be quite fun to come back home to a green haven on your small balcony or porch. Gardening is a very relaxing and rewarding activity that can enhance your life. You can also check out our tips for staying cool.

About The Author

Gina Harper grew up dreaming about farms and growing her own food. She began an urban garden to feed herself and turned it into an incredible hobby. Gina is here to teach you everything from raised beds to container gardening, how to keep plants alive and well in a smoggy city, and the works. It’s time that we carve our own piece of green earth and reap what we sow—she’s here to help you with that.