A Guide To Gardening

Whether we're starting small with creative outlets or building up to self-education and supporting movements that deserve it most, the year 2020 caused us to reexamine life as we know it; challenging the standards we hold ourselves and others to, along with rediscovering more mindful ways to spend our time. While the concept of at-home gardening is one tiny speck on this scale of significance, it can still serve as a sustainable practice for finding solace amidst the storm — no matter where you're weathering it.

Ahead, a collection of strategic planters to grow kits that are crafted to make sprouting everything from fresh basil to ripe strawberries inside your space possible. Whether you're a novice gardener with only an apartment windowsill or a blossoming tomato enthusiast with an actual backyard, these goods can help grow a little patch of green in whatever space you call home.

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Indoor Basil Garden Kit

Best For: Countertop Gardens
Modern Sprout's aesthetically pleasing and refreshingly giftable kits are ideal for at-home gardeners working with no outdoor space on top of very limited indoor space — the compact systems come crafted with a countertop-friendly self-watering planter, organic non-GMO herb seeds (from basil to mint), plant food, carbon, wick, and growing medium that make sprouting for beginners uncomplicated (and chic).

Shop Modern Sprout

Modern Sprout Basil Indoor Garden Kit, $, available at Verishop

The Strawberries Forever Tree

Best For: Rooftop Gardens
Since strawberry plants do best in direct sunlight, this streamlined tree system is perfect for soil-less gardeners with rooftop access (or patios that receive prolonged sunlight throughout the day). The planter is crafted from UV-resistant polypropylene and provides five compartments that can hold up to two plants each with a sixth top compartment that can hold up to three, plus a built-in drainage system, and wall-mountable capabilities.

Shop Hammacher Schlemmer

Hammacher Schlemmer The Strawberries Forever Tower, $, available at Hammacher Schlemmer

Self-Watering Windowsill Herb Garden

Best For: Windowsill Gardens
We're not talking about the lofty bay windows of your dreams; we're talking about the nearly-nonexistent ledges of your small-space realities. Growing an herb garden out of your own recycled bottles may be a no-frills affair, but it gets the compact-windowsill sprouting job done efficiently — each of Urban Leaf's U.S.-made kits comes packaged with biodegradable corn-starch inserts, enriched soil, germination domes, sticker labels, and three packets of seeds — meaning, you can enjoy your homegrown purple basil to Thai basil or dill like you're living a farm-fresh fairytale.

Shop The Grommet

Urban Leaf Self-Watering Windowsill Herb Garden, $, available at The Grommet

The Instant 9 Plant Garden

Best For: Sun-less Gardens
Although on the pricier side, this impressive grow system is strategically engineered for indoor gardens with little to no access to natural light. The nine soil pods are supported by an integrated water reservoir system along with a built-in LED lamp that provides an automatic 16-hour cycle of light that fosters the growth of everything from herb seeds to lettuce.

Shop Hammacher Schlemmer

Hammacher Schlemmer The Instant 9 Plant Garden, $, available at Hammacher Schlemmer

Balcony Rail Planter Box

Best For: Stoop Or Sidewalk Gardens
If all you've got is your front stoop (and some railing real estate) then let this strategically handmade planter be your garden savior. Each of these over-the-railing boxes is crafted from water and bug-resistant cedarwood in a design ideal for growing everything from edible plants to flowers and herbs.

Shop FifteenDegree

FifteenDegree Angled Balcony Rail Planter Box – Dark Stain, $, available at Etsy

Raised Garden Grow Box

Best For: Deck Gardens
Amazon reviewers plug this self-watering gardening box as perfectly-sized for deck spaces and easy growing for plants with shallower roots (including everything from beans to tomatoes, peppers, and herbs).

Shop Amazon

Emsco Group Earth Brown Resin Raised Garden Bed Grow Box Kit, $, available at Amazon

Herb Garden In A Can

Best For: Fire-Escape Gardens
This trio of cans was made to serve as the compact and durable yet dutiful and resourceful herb-garden answer to your barren fire-escape real estate. The all-encompassing planters are filled with everything needed (from seeds to soil and instructions) to grow your own organic mint, basil, and cilantro over the course of a few summer months.

Shop World Market

Back To The Roots Garden in a Can Herb Grow Kit, 3 Pack, $, available at World Market

Raised Bed Garden

Best For: Backyard Gardens
For those blessed with real backyards that are built for in-ground beds, get started on your garden journey with a raised wooden bed that's ideal for housing small plots of vegetables to herbs and even flowers (if that's your thing) in supportive open-space style. Crafted with sturdy steel corners for easy at-home assembly, this bed from a Black-owned and Brooklyn-based plant shop eliminates the need for tilling or soil amending. All you need to get started? Sun, soil mix, and some seeds.

Shop Natty Garden

Natty Garden Raised Bed Garden, $, available at Natty Garden

Organic Hanging Tomato Growing Kit

Best For: Cramped Patio Gardens
If you're dealing with limited outdoor space this hanging planter kit will help you achieve elevated garden heights. And, depending on the amount of sunlight that hits your spot, this system is built to house everything from cherry to Roma tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, and various herbs of your choosing. Each kit comes packaged with a reusable (and recyclable) eco-fabric growing bag, nylon hanging rope, coco-potting soil, a shovel, and packets of non-GMO seeds.

Shop Touch of ECO

Touch of ECO Organic Hanging Roma Tomato Growing Kit, $, available at Wayfair

Crystal Clear Window Planter

Best For: Window Gardens
When you don't even have a sill for sprouting your garden on, this clever planter allows your greens to get vertical: it is crafted with adhesives that attach to non-porous surfaces (like window panes, tiles, and even mirrors) and is designed with drainage holes and a catch basin for watering that's suitable for both herbs and flowers.

Shop Anthropologie

Anthropologie Urbz Crystal Clear Window Planter, $, available at Anthropologie

Community Garden Resources

Best For: Local Garden Support
Explore your local resources for programs that bring communities together through the sustainable teaching and practices of farming and gardening in urban areas — whether you want to make a donation in support of their cause or learn more about how to get involved in upcoming events, check out a few Black-owned initiatives below.

Visit UCC Youth Farm
Visit City Slicker Farms
Visit Clean Greens
Photo: Courtesy of UCC Youth Farm.

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