How to Make a Beautiful Garage Garden
The weather may be getting colder, but you don’t have to pack away your tools and long for gardening season to return. Did you know that you can continue exercising your green thumb all year round – right in your own garage?
Here are some valuable tips on converting some garage space into an attractive, efficient, and productive garden.
Why Grow Plants Inside Your Garage?
What makes the garage a great place to do a little out-of-season gardening? Almost everyone living in a single-family home has access to a garage, and you typically have either a little extra space, or unused space that can be converted.
It’s close to your house, and has enough shelter that you can work without being exposed to the weather. Plus, where do we usually store our half-full bags of soil, trowels, clay pots, seeds and gloves? In the garage.
Things to Consider with a Garage Garden
When thinking about creating a garage garden, the first thing you should consider is space. You can do as much or as little planting as the space allows.
Whether you’re able to fully transform a whole garage into a functioning greenhouse, or simply blocking off a workbench and planting a few pots and trays, you can carve out a spot for your cool-weather oasis.
You’ll also need to consider the availability of sunlight, running water and electricity. Finally, you’ll need to list and gather all of the supplies you need to transform the space once you have a plan in mind.
Can You Get Adequate Natural Lighting in a Garage Garden?
If you have any windows in your garage, you’ll want to try to set up your plants to get the most natural light. Depending on the scale of the project, if you intend to convert the whole garage the south side wall is the one that’ll need to be fitted with energy efficient windows.
Otherwise, it’s also possible to put up a reflective object to bounce more of the existing sunlight toward the plants.
What About Artificial Lighting?
If there aren’t many windows and a full-scale renovation isn’t on the table, you can install some artificial light sources to encourage healthy plants. There are plenty of grow light products available and you can select some that are a good fit for your project.
Try hanging them from the ceiling above the plants. If you’re looking to save money, try running the lights only at night or reducing the number of lights, especially if the plants are getting some light through the windows during the day.
What Plants Can You Grow in the Garage?
You’re excited to start your garage garden, but make sure you do a little research first on what to plant. There are some plants which do better in certain temperatures, or are meant to rest dormant over the winter and resume growth in the spring.
Roots and underground produce like carrots, garlic, beets and parsnips are great choices for winter growing. You can also grow a delicious and fresh salad in your garage with kale, spinach, cabbage, radicchio and numerous other leafy greens.
Additionally, broccoli, asparagus, peas and Brussels sprouts are fair choices for a garage garden.
Tips for Cold-Weather Garage Gardening
With an outline in mind for which plants to grow, you’ll need to know some tricks to keep them healthy and thriving in your garage. Just like in a regular garden, you should thin out small, weak plants and leave plenty of room in between the rest.
Pests may not be a huge problem, but it’s always a good idea to have a few bug-repelling marigold plants mixed in among the rest. And, if you spot any sick plants, be sure to take them away immediately so that the problem doesn’t spread to any of your healthy ones.
Setting up an Attractive Space
There are many ways you can set up the garden for both accessibility and beauty. Some gardeners like to use shelving units, brightly painted, to house plants on trays.
You can also set up rows of cups or pots on a bench, or create a raised bed along the wall of the garage. Try setting up a pegboard behind the plants to hang your tools and supplies, or a pot rack overhead.
A large planter pot nearby makes a good spot to collect seeds, bulbs and tools as well. Your lighting, sheeting, tool storage and even table coverings can all contribute to a pleasant atmosphere in a garage garden.
Creating a Greenhouse Effect
You can hang up some plastic sheeting to create a greenhouse effect in the garage, if desired. Whether you’re using the whole building or just a small area, you can section it off to keep the plants warm and moist.
This is a great method if you’re growing plants which thrive best in warmer temperatures. However, it can actually get too hot inside, even if it’s very cold outside, so it’s important to keep an eye on the temperature and stabilize it if necessary.
If it’s very hot, you could even consider installing a bit of tubing to employ a misting system over your plants.
Stabilizing the Temperature in Your Garage Garden
In order to know whether you need to heat up or cool down the space, you’ll need to find out the best temperature for the types of plant you have chosen, and adjust accordingly.
Any gardening or home improvement store should have a thermometer that you can place in the garage and check periodically. If the greenhouse effect is making the space too hot for your plants, you may need to install a fan to get some air flowing.
More likely, if you live in an area of the country with harsh winters you’ll need to keep the space heated above freezing. Some inexpensive solar lamps or even a small space heater placed in a safe, clean area near the space should do the trick. Check out our article about the best ways to heat your garage.
What About Hydroponic Gardening?
You can create a hydroponic system in your garage garden with some extra supplies and a little know-how. In fact, this is a great way to grow produce all year in a small space.
A hydroponic system uses a water-based environment to grow plants, rather than a soil-based environment. There are several different types of hydroponic systems, but one that’s very well-suited to a beginner is the water culture method.
In this method, you submerge the roots of your plants into a container of water, adding growth nutrient solution while an air pump provides necessary oxygen to the roots.
The water culture method of hydroponic gardening is a great way to grow fresh salads and is easily achievable in your small garage garden space.
Garage Gardens Are a Great Addition
Now that you’re excited about continuing to hone your cultivation skills even after planting season is long past, it’s time to put these tips to work and create your very own garage garden.
Whether you choose to do a complete greenhouse remodel, or simply curtain off a few seedlings, you’ll soon be able to look forward to enjoying the fruits – or vegetables – of your labor even in the cold season.
Do you want a garage garden but your current garage is too small or in bad condition? If so, you can count on Danley’s to build you a new custom garage that’ll meet all your specific needs. Get a free quote online to start your project today.