• GrowNYC Education

Beginner Gardener Intensive: Garden Design

Updated: Jun 9

All the resources from our virtual Beginner Gardener Workshop (Day 1), held on June 8th, 2020.


Scroll to the bottom for the complete Q&A.


See the video below for the recording of our "Garden Design" workshop.



When planning your garden, consider these questions:

  1. Will it be indoors or outdoors?

  2. What are my garden goals and expectations? (Vegetable production, educational experiment, herbs for cooking, air purifying indoor plants, etc.)

  3. How much upkeep and maintenance do I want to invest?

  4. Is there easy water access?

  5. What kind of sun or light do I have, and how can I take advantage of it?

  6. How big is my growing space?

It's a good idea to draw or design a map, both for indoor or outdoor gardens. This is actually a pretty fun step, and you can dream big! You can draw by hand, use free software on a computer, or download a free app for a smart device. On your map, Include cardinal directions and sunlight, dimensions, immovable objects such as buildings and trees, and pathways.


Garden Map Examples


Ideas for Indoor Plants

Very sunny windows:

  • Herbs such as basil, cilantro, rosemary, thyme, parsley, etc. Microgreens and sprouts

  • Certain veggies such as small peppers or dwarf varieties

  • Succulents

Indirect/Low Light

  • Mint

  • Snake plant

  • Spider plant

  • Pothos

  • Air plants

Grow Lights (depending on strength of grow light)

  • Seed Starts

  • Herbs

  • Microgreens

  • Leafy greens

Make sure your pots always have drainage to prevent root rot! Use pots with holes or poke your own. Indoors, you'll need to use a drip tray. If your pot has no drainage, place pebbles, pumice or lava rocks at the bottom.



For outdoor gardens, consider if you want to build beds or use containers.


Additional Informational resources


Planning your Garden:

Small-scale and Indoor Growing:


Read the Complete Q&A from June 8th virtual workshop

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