Small Space Gardening with Kids This Spring

There’s a reason why many people find gardening therapeutic.

Time outdoors, interaction with nature, and the satisfaction of watching something grow are just a few of the benefits.

And even those without a “green thumb” can find joy this time of year. Through seeing flowers pop up each spring, or spotting that first green leaf on a tree after a long winter.

Whether or not you have a traditional garden space in your yard, there are many options to get you started with gardening. Here are ways to incorporate a garden to fit your space.

3 Small Space Garden Ideas

1. Container Gardens

If you have a deck, porch, or patio, a container garden is a good option. Practically any container can work for planting. Just be sure it’s large enough for the plant you select, and that there’s a way to create drainage holes in the bottom of the container.

And while traditional flowerpots are an obvious option, you can get creative by recycling household items (such as buckets or storage boxes).

Make sure to research how much space the plant will take up, and how much sunlight it requires.

Even just one tomato plant on your deck grown in a recycled bucket can be a great start!

2. Raised Beds

Raised beds come in all shapes and sizes.

Last summer I ordered a very basic corrugated metal raised bed on Amazon, but you can also explore options for building your own out of wood or purchasing a pre-assembled bed.

I used the square foot garden method for my raised bed, where each square foot of space is used for a different plant. However, there are many resources online for planning square foot gardens; just Google the vegetable or plant you’re wanting to grow. Then you can find information on how many seeds or seedlings to plant per square foot. This is a great way to make the most out of a small space!

3. Go Vertical

Search Pinterest for “vertical gardens” and you’ll find endless possibilities for making the most of vertical space to grow plants. You can use anything from the side of your house, to a fence, to a homemade vertical planter to create a garden that won’t cut into your yard space!

Indoor Options

If you don’t have a space outdoors to start a garden, you can get started with an indoor herb garden on a windowsill, or even start with potted plants inside.

And one advantage to having plants indoors is that you can enjoy herbs year-round, not only in the summer!

Get the Kids Involved

Children of all ages can benefit from the joy of participating in gardening. Here are some ideas for helping kids get excited about gardening.

Seed Starting

With the short growing season we have in Fargo, not all vegetables can be planted directly by seed outdoors. So, one way to get a head start is by seed starting, or by planting seeds indoors before transplanting the seedlings into your garden in the Spring.

You can start seeds indoors as early as March for a summer harvest! Your kids can plant the seeds in small, individual containers and keep them moist and warm. Keep seedlings near a heat lamp or set them on a heating pad to help keep the plants warm. Be sure to spritz the seedlings frequently with water and keep the containers covered with a sheet of plastic wrap to keep the environment moist.

Kids will enjoy seeing the growth of the seedlings each day, and can take responsibility for caring for them until they are ready to plant outdoors.


Even very young children will enjoy the process of planting outdoors. Allowing your kids to do most of the planting of the garden, although messy, will be sure to give them a sense of ownership and accomplishment.


Give kids the responsibility of keeping the garden watered and weeded. Although they may need some guidance depending on age and experience, this is a great way for kids to develop a sense of responsibility, and enjoy the feeling of accomplishment when they see the fruits of their labor!


And it’s a great feeling when you can finally pick that first tomato of the summer, or when you finally start to see green beans popping up on the vine. Allow the kids to take part in harvesting the vegetables; they may be more likely to enjoy eating them too!

Whether you have plans for a large garden bed this summer or a pot on your porch, I hope you and your family will enjoy the process of gardening together!

And for some flower gardening inspiration, check out our post Explore with Kids: The Children’s Garden in Fargo.

Have you had a garden in past years, and if so, what did you plant? Let us know in the comments below!
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Hannah Osland
Hannah is a proud mom to Walter (2022), and is married to her loving husband Jordan. Originally from the Twin Cities, Hannah relocated to Fargo in 2018 and currently resides in Moorhead. Hannah has had the privilege of being a foster mom to two wonderful children. As a hospice RN, she is passionate about promoting comfort, meaning, and joy across all stages of life. Her happy place is sitting next to any body of water with a hot cup of coffee and a great book.


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