Photo by Greta Hoffman from Pexels 

How to Garden in Your Garage

by Emma Croft
emma.croft@getgardening.info  

Gardening in Massachusetts can be a relaxing, fun, and rewarding activity. With careful planning and the right equipment, you can turn your garage into the ultimate cool-weather gardening space. Just make sure you have adequate room to grow the types of plants you want, and you have a plan for keeping them separated so that it’s easier to care for and organize them.

Choosing Your Plants

You may want to grow some hearty vegetables that thrive in the Massachusetts climate, such as lettuce or kale, or some beautiful flowers, such as daisies, marigolds, or snapdragons. Devising a plan for the plants once they’re fully grown (or developed enough for you to move them elsewhere) enables you to predict how many to grow and helps you avoid under or over-shooting your yield.

Lighting

Even though you probably plan to grow cool-weather plants, you still must figure out how much light they need and provide a consistent source for that. The light in your garage is unlikely to be sufficient to sustain your plants, so consider investing in some grow lights. Several kinds are available, such as fluorescent and LED lights, options with various brightness requirements for different plants, and options with different color ranges that work most effectively, so research what lighting is best for the plants you're trying to grow.

Temperature Control

To have a successful gardening project, you need to control the temperature, keeping it within the parameters for your plants' survival. Depending on the usual temperature of your garage, you may need an A/C unit or a heating device to keep plants from getting too hot or cold. This is more challenging if your garage windows allow hot or cold air to infiltrate the space. However, a window repair or replacement can easily solve these challenges. This service costs about $290 on average, but the final cost depends on the window brand and the contractor you select. For your protection, search online for house window repair near you and make sure the professional you hire is properly licensed and insured, and check their references to make sure previous clients were satisfied.

Containers

Use size-appropriate containers to prevent your plants being constrained for space and to help keep you from having to handle frustrating cleanups involving water leaks. Pots may be suitable for small or single plants, especially if you want to keep them separate, but it may be more cost-effective and space-efficient to grow duplicate or similar crops in bins or other waterproof containers.

Providing Nutrients and Pest Protection

Consider adding fertilizers to speed growth and yield healthier plants. Whether or not you're growing food crops, you must consider the potential of pests infiltrating your garage. Pesticides can be an effective way to prevent aphids, flies, worms, and other pests from infiltrating. If you want to go with natural pesticides for environmental reasons, several options are available.

Getting Down to the Roots

By creating ample space, providing the right kind of artificial lights, and controlling temperature as needed, you can have a great garage garden in just a few weeks. Be sure to plan for pest control and other contingencies as needed to avoid pesky surprises.


For more DIY craft projects, healthy living advice, and fun anecdotes from a loving mother, check out Freckled Mom.