Whether you have to adhere to a law that forbids you from growing anything other than grass in your yard or your outdoor area is just too small, there are plenty of reasons you might not be able to create the lush garden you've always dreamed of. Older gardeners may find that they can't bend down to cultivate their bedding plants as well they used to. Issues like these can deter some people from keeping a home garden altogether, but it's important to consider all of your available options before jumping to such extreme conclusions. If your space or health issues are preventing you from enjoying this incredible pastime, you've got to give tabletop gardening a try.
Your New Tabletop Garden
When assembling a tabletop garden, you must first either purchase an elevated planter box or make your own. If you’re not particularly handy or just looking for a quick set-up, you'll probably want to go with a ready-made model. Of course, store-bought products are usually much harder to customize, meaning you'll have to accept the planter's configurations as they are.
Luckily, building your own tabletop garden isn’t as difficult as you might think. If you don't feel like starting completely from scratch, try using an old gardening bench for a base. Just make sure that the bench is still pretty sturdy, or you'll run the risk of having your garden collapse on you down the road. Alternatively, you could consider shoring any wobbly sections up with pieces of lumber or metal. Mount some wooden boards around the edges of the bench to create a frame for your planter. You'll also want to drill an adequate number of drainage holes into the bottom of the box to give your future garden the best possible chance of thriving. From here, you can elect to add drawers, dividers, and other custom features to the bed, depending on your individual needs and preferences. You don't have to be a master carpenter to construct a tabletop garden, but you'll find it helpful to know how to handle basic power tools.
Choosing the Right Soil
Since an elevated planter box is basically a large container, you’ll want to be careful about the soil you choose to put in it. Regular garden soil is often too heavy for tabletop gardening. Instead, opt for a potting soil that contains perlite and other light amendments. Remember, your planter is also going to be supporting the weight of several plants and the water you give them on a regular basis. The last thing you want is to go outside one day and find your garden on the floor because the bottom of the box has given out.
Choosing the Right Plants
To avoid future problems, you'll want to fill your garden with plant varieties that are well-suited to growing in a container. Fortunately, you'll still have plenty of options to choose from, and you won't have to limit yourself to flowering plants, either. You can even cultivate some root vegetables, like carrots, in a good tabletop garden. If you decide to put whatever you want in your planter without first doing a little research, you run the risk of overcrowding your plants. Pick the right varieties, and you'll find it much easier to stake and harvest as they begin to grow and produce fruit.
Alternative Tabletop Gardens
It could be that you don't have enough room for a bench-sized planter box in your yard. Maybe you'd just prefer to keep your tabletop garden inside the house. Regardless of why you can't commit to a large container, you'll be happy to hear that there are some great alternatives to consider. If you're looking for a super quick set-up, put some material down over the surface of a sturdy indoor table. Make sure the table is in a place that receives an adequate amount of sunlight throughout the day. Otherwise, you'll need to hang a couple of grow lights over it.
Lay a collection of pots out along the table’s surface. Space them out evenly to avoid overcrowding your plants later on. Remember that insufficient growing room contributes to the spread of disease and mold. As always, you should be using pots with plenty of drainage holes in their undersides. If you're worried about your table getting wet, have no fear. That's why we had you put material over it before doing anything else! If you still feel like you want a little extra security, you can pick up a few inexpensive surface protector rings at local gardening center or DIY store.
You shouldn't give up on gardening just because your level of ability has changed or you don’t have the outside space for it. After all, there’s nothing like the taste of fresh produce and the smell of your favorite flowers. Once you've established your tabletop garden, you'll be able to experience the joy of cultivating plant life all summer long.