Making the Most of Your Patio


Whether you live on a sprawling country estate or in a tiny urban apartment, you probably have a patio, but gardening in that space may have not crossed your mind because of its limitations. Here are four ideas for how to do just that.

Whether you live on a 10-acre spread or in an urban apartment, chances are, you have a patio. Patios come in all shapes and sizes but are often underutilized because people don’t have any idea what to do with that unique area. So, for all of you with a few square feet of space and nothing going on, here are a few ways to make the most of it.

Trellis Tomatoes

Growing tomatoes in a container on your patio can be a fun and practical way to supply food for your kitchen, and constructing your own trellis isn’t hard. A basic trellis has several vertical posts connected with horizontal beams. You can also purchase a stiff wire tomato “cage” and guide your tomato plant to grow up through the middle.

As your tomato plant grows, remember to remove extra suckers, keep the climbing stem wrapped around the posts or wires, and enjoy your homegrown tomatoes!

Hang Boston Ferns

These lush ferns, with dangling fronds that sway in the wind, set the perfect mood in any patio. Plant them in sitting or hanging containers.

Keep healthy, growing ferns adequately hydrated; they require quite a bit of water, and that amount increases with the amount of light they are exposed to. Water them as necessary, about every 2-3 days, ensuring the soil is moist all the way through. Some lower fronds will naturally turn brown and should be removed.

They will do well in either partial sun or partial shade, and hot or cool temperatures. Bring your Boston ferns inside if there is a threat of frost or freeze.

Garden in Containers

Is your patio small? That’s not a problem for a container garden.

This method of gardening makes full use of pots, buckets, and barrels to maximize a small space, and there’s no shortage of flower and plant varieties that will thrive in a container. Consider smaller cultivars, particularly if you intend to have many small pots.

The advantages of a container garden are many. Here are three:

  • Herbs can be placed right outside the kitchen door for quick access
  • Plants can be easily moved indoors if the temperature falls to freezing
  • If you choose to move, simply take the plants with you!

Be Creative

One aspect of homeownership that many people enjoy is the freedom to do what they want with any space. The same goes for patio gardening. This may be the time to connect with your freethinking side and repurpose or upcycle materials you already own.

Here’s a short list to spark some creativity:

  • Gutters mounted on a railing for plants with shallow roots
  • Pallets-turned-planters, leaning vertically against a wall
  • Back-of-the-door hanging shoe organizer as a vertical herb garden

Indeed, the only limitation is your imagination. Creative ideas can match any home style, whether rustic, modern industrial or anything in between.

A quick online search for patio gardening inspiration will provide you with more ideas than you could ever possibly implement, so have fun, try something new, and make the most of your small space!