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5 Compact Plants For Small Gardens

compact plants

Bunch of small, round carrots (Parisian Heirloom Carrots) on wooden background. Studio Photo

You’re probably interested in frugal gardening tips because you’re on a budget. But I’ll bet that many frugal gardeners also have to carefully budget gardening space. Most people don’t have a lot of room to work with. And even if you have a large property, it’s likely that not all areas are conducive to growing plants.

Growing within a constrained space is also a fun challenge. It’s a great way to try out new plant varieties and come up with ways to grow upward.

I’m a big fan of compact plants because even though I’m lucky enough to have plenty of space to work with, I love the neat and tidy look of compact varieties.

Here are some of my favorite compact plants for growing in small spaces or containers. Their miniature sizing also makes them great for growing indoors.

Orange Hat Tomato

This teeny-tiny tomato plant is one of the smallest I’ve ever grown. It doesn’t get taller than 9 inches and takes up minimal space. If you’re a fan of cherry tomatoes, it’s a great variety to grow on a balcony or patio. Because the plants are mighty small, consider planting a few for a bigger yield.

Seeds available from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

Orchard Baby Sweet Corn

I don’t grow corn often because squirrels usually make off with the ears before I can enjoy them, but this variety is an excellent pick for tiny, squirrel-free gardens. The small ears of corn are ultra-cute, and the stalks don’t get taller than 5 feet. Don’t plan a corn roast after planting these mini corn plants, though. Each stalk produces just a couple of ears. That said, it’s a fun way to try out this crop that usually takes up a lot of room. And it’s a great plant to grow with kids.

Seeds available from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

Baby Milk Bok Choy

Bok choy is one of my favorite crops to grow, and this variety is perfect for compact gardens. I love the unified look of the plants after harvest and the bright white stems. Their miniature size makes them great for steaming or stir-frying whole.

Seeds available from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

Little Gem Lettuce

This is actually the first variety of lettuce I ever grew. And it remains a staple crop to this day. I have some growing in my indoor hydroponic garden right now! Head lettuce can sometimes take up quite a bit of room, but this plant produces crispy, shrunken heads of lettuce that are perfect for one or two people. And the leaves are super tender and tasty.

Seeds available from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

Parisian Carrot

Here’s another variety that was a first for me back in my newbie gardener days. These small orange globes pack so much carroty goodness but don’t require as much soil depth as regular-sized carrots, making them an excellent choice for containers. They also look fancy when cooked and plated. Like little gem lettuce, Parisian carrots are a variety I still grow.

Seeds available from Hudson Valley Seed Co