#26 Gardening in Small Spaces: Lettuce Tables

Like most people involved in Dalhousie Urban Garden, I’m a student. I live in a one bedroom basement apartment with a grand total of two tiny windows, and a small 8 ft x 3ft outdoor space covered in patio stone. When I first moved in I was a little broken-hearted that I wouldn’t be able to do any veggie gardening and that I would just have to tide myself over with succulents and spider plants in my windows.

However, this past spring I stumbled upon an article published on Savvy Gardener titled “Loving my Lettuce Table” which can be found here. After reading I immediately knew that this faux-garden bed was right for me. I went to kijiji and found the cheapest table I could find to start my lettuce table build.

DIY Lettuce Table


  • Table
  • Lanscape Fabric
  • Nails, hammer, staples, screws (whatever your using)
  • Wood
  • Soil

What’s perfect about this type of ‘container’ is that it can be as small as you need it to be, depending on the size of your space. I picked a small bedside table:

Table 1
Got this bad boy off kijiji for 15$


The first step you need to do is take the top off, this is normally pretty easy. All you need is a screw driver (and maybe a hammer for stubborn tables!).

Table 4
Pictured: A stubborn table

Next step is to buy some wood. I bought mine from Rona for under $10. Protip is to measure before you go in so they can cut your pieces to the right size. Make sure to measure twice so you don’t struggle with a hand-saw for 30 minutes like me.

Table2Table 3

Next is assembly. I just used a hammer and nails for this, but if you want a really sturdy table, and have a power drill, screws would work just as well.

Table 8
Please excuse the quality of my cell phone camera

Soil is heavy, especially when wet. I reinforced the bottom with slats you get at Rona on the cheap (ask for ‘wood lath’). Then covered the whole thing in landscape fabric with a combination of flat head nails (roofing nails) and staples. Landscape fabric can sometimes retain water, so before you add soil, wet the fabric with water plus a little dish detergent. This allows the water to go through the fabric instead of sitting on the top of it due to surface tension.


You’re all good to add soil and watch your lettuce flourish! This is a cheap, small option that can easily be made for under $20 for students on a budget and in a small space!

Table 6
Left to Right: spinach, arugula, tatsoi, mesclun mix

~Mackenzie Thornbury, DUGS General Member


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