Our urban gardening ideas for those with little space but the dream of a green paradise

17. April 2021 - Anika Semmer

Urban Gardening Ideas: How to Turn Your Balcony Into a Paradise




Gardening also works in minimal spaces! With urban gardening, we use small areas to grow herbs, vegetables and fruit. Sustainable, inexpensive, effective, delicious and above all creative! We tell you some urban gardening ideas how you can turn your mini-balcony, the small roof terrace or the little spot on the patio into a green paradise!

Fruit and vegetables from the garden simply taste best. But when you live in the middle of the city, you have to get creative! For some years now, urban gardening has been a trend. Growing crops, fruit and vegetables in urban spaces, on balconies, courtyards, traffic islands and any wasteland, no matter how small, is also super sustainable. No long transport routes, no spraying and bees, insects and birds benefit too.

Even on tiny balconies you can garden a green paradise. With Vertical Gardening, you plant the plants and herbs at a height. With a little creativity, you don’t have to spend a lot of money: we discovered 7 sustainable upcycling ideas for urban gardening that we liked so much that we wanted to share them with you. The idea of upcycling is super eco-friendly: you give an old, worn-out object a new life. If you’ve been browsing around Abenteuer Freundschaft, you’ll have noticed that we’re big fans of upcycling when it comes to DIY – for inspiration, check out our craft ideas .

7 Creative and Sustainable Urban Gardening Ideas

The best urban gardening ideas to grow vegetables even on small balconies through vertical gardening and other creative upcycling ideas

The best part of urban gardening is the first harvest!

For these Urban Gardening ideas you don’t have to go to the DIY store first! Because you don’t necessarily have to plant vegetables, herbs and flowers in balcony boxes and flower pots. Instead, you can simply go to the basement, the attic or the flea market to find out which objects are suitable as planters and can be given a second life. For example, grandmother’s old enamel cooking pots with floral patterns look particularly nice as planters for kitchen herbs. Or try something completely crazy! How about a worn-out trainer that is now sprouting green?

1. Shelf Made From Wine Crates

Wine crates are a real eye-catcher. You can find inexpensive wine crates with and without vintage prints at flea markets, DIY stores and on amazon – flea market finds can’t be beaten when it comes to style! You can use the wine crates as flower boxes for tomato plants or courgettes – just fill them with soil, plant them and you’re done.

But they are really good for vertical gardening. To do this, stack the boxes on top of each other and, if possible, screw them to the wall so that they are really stable. The shelves are then filled with planted pots and decorations.

Kistenkolli Altes Land 2er Set großes Obstkisten Regal Bertha geflammt Ablageregal Schuhregal Schuhkiste Weinkistenregal
Kistenkolli Altes Land 2er Set großes Obstkisten Regal Bertha geflammt Ablageregal Schuhregal Schuhkiste Weinkistenregal
Gehobelte flambierte Regalkiste, wunderbar als Schuhregal verwendbar; Maße pro Regal 55 x 55 x 30cm
57,90 EUR

2. Herb Raised Bed Made From a Euro Pallet for Urban Gardening

Pallets are an eldorado for upcycling. I keep stumbling across furniture made from pallets on Pinterest and Instagram – and they also make great shelves! Simply stand them on end, insert metal planter boxes, plant them and you’re done. You can find matching planter boxes for the pallets in DIY stores and on amazon*, and they are really good quality.

The Euro pallet is great for growing herbs and lettuce on several floors!

3. Creative Urban Garding Pots: Shoe, Drawer, Old Pots, Tetrapak

Creative urban gardening idea planting all sorts of items like a shoe and a football

Shoes and footballs get a second life as planters

Old shoes, flat footballs, rubber boots, tetrapaks, drawers, old household pots from grandma: herbs, lettuce and useful plants that don’t need much soil do great in creative pots!

The important thing is that you make sure that no waterlogging forms and that you don’t overwater. You can easily prevent this with most alternative pots made of soft materials by cutting small holes in the bottom with garden shears.

4. Urban Gardening Ideas on the Hook: Hanging Pots

Add hanging pots to the balcony parapet! There is a large selection of these to buy in every conceivable colour. You can also screw hooks onto old wine crates and wicker baskets and hang them on the parapet as an alternative, creative balcony box.

6 Stück Hängetöpfe Blumentopf Ø 11 cm Verschiedene Pastell Farben Übertopf
6 Stück Hängetöpfe Blumentopf Ø 11 cm Verschiedene Pastell Farben Übertopf
Blumentöpfe in sanften Pastellfarben zum Hängen; Farben: Weiß, Hellblau, Rosa, Hellgelb, Maigrün, Apricot

5. Rope Ladder Made From Flotsam With Hanging Pots

An idea that I would definitely like to make myself: hang a rope ladder on the wall, attach the struts and fill it with plants in hanging pots as a hanging shelf. You can also make such a rope ladder yourself quite easily by collecting branches / driftwood about 40-50 cm long in the forest or on the beach and connecting the branches with a thick braided rope.


6. Hanging Herb Garden in PET Bottles

Admittedly, not everyone associates a paradisiacal balcony with PET bottles. But clear PET bottles make great upcycling flower pots. Simply cut a rectangular hole in one side for planting, tie twine tightly around the neck of the bottle and 2 cm from the bottom, and hang the bottle from it. Fill the hole with soil and plant it.

It looks especially good if you hang lots of bottles one below the other to create a whole planted wall!

7. Reusable Bags or Old Rice Bags for Planting Vegetables

Deep-rooted vegetables such as potatoes, radishes, onions and carrots can also be grown in a small space. Reusable bags made of fleece are ideal for this purpose and can be reused every year. For the upcycling variant, you can simply use old rice sacks or jute bags. At amazon* you can buy reusable plant bags that have an access flap at the front so that you can easily reach the roots for harvesting without damaging the plants. The flap also lets you see whether potatoes and carrots are ripe and ready for harvest.


These simple urban gardening ideas are all super easy to implement and hardly cost anything!

Always looking for ideas for recreational activities with kids, recreational activities with friends or inspiration for couples activities? There’s something new to discover every week on our Abenteuer Freundschaft blog. It’s worth having a look!

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