A tiny yard doesn’t have to limit your chances of growing a delicious and abundant veggie garden. Nowadays, creative strategies and space-saving plant varieties are creating big possibilities for small-space gardening. As long as you have good soil, lots of sunlight, and a watering can, you can grow edibles just about anywhere.
Plant smart: Put plants where they’ll thrive.
When you’re dealing with limited garden space, it’s important to map out your garden wisely to take advantage of every inch. Here are some smart planting strategies to help you get the most from the space you have:
• High-Density Gardening. Place plants close together following the minimum space requirements on the seed packet. This helps reduce unused spaces and block out weeds.
• Companion Planting. Some plants are happiest when they’re paired with the right partner. For example, try planting taller crops like tomatoes next to shade lovers like basil or lettuce.
• Succession Planting: Plant crops in succession, a couple weeks apart. This space-saving technique will ensure that you have a steady supply of fresh fruits and veggies ripening throughout the growing season.
Look up: Take advantage of vertical space.
Raised beds and containers are wonderful places to grow fruits and veggies. You’re able to control soil conditions, and ensure that your plants are positioned to get lots of sunshine.
When you run out of room on the ground, it’s time to look up. One of the coolest trends in gardening has been the shift toward vertical gardening. Create an eye-catching living wall spilling over with your favorite herbs and vegetables. Espalier an ornamental or fruiting tree against a fence. Or use tiered hanging baskets to put herbs, salad greens, and strawberries away from pests and within easy reach.
Size & Variety: Mix it up and produce big results.
Higher yield, less space. That’s been the goal since the dawn of agriculture. Today, nurseries are offering a multitude of compact fruits and vegetables that yield great crops. Reach for smaller varieties of vegetables, e.g., cherry or patio tomatoes, minicarrots, and bush varieties (rather than vining types) of cucumbers, melons, and beans. (If you see “patio, pixie, tiny, baby or dwarf” on the plant tag or seed packet, it’s a good bet.)
For added variety, plant mixed seed collections that blend colorful and tasty varieties for you. Try growing a seed collection of multicolored vegetables, like beets, carrots, and zucchini, or a collection of mixed or themed salad greens. It’s a great way to make sure your family gets to enjoy a delicious array of edibles throughout the growing season.
With a bit of planning and creativity, you can enjoy a huge bounty of fresh-from-the-garden fruits and veggies all season long, with very little fuss and very little space.
Join Molbak’s on June 1 for Edible Gardening Day
Get the Best Edible Yield Ever – Planting to Lure Pollinators
Robin Haglund, Garden Mentors®
June in the Edible Garden
Don Marshall, Environmental Horticulture, Lake WA Institute of Tech.