No room for a large garden? No problem! Small space gardening is easy to do on a patio, porch, or balcony. Even if you have a large yard, what if you just want to start small? These tips are for you as well. Gardening doesn’t have to be a large venture. Start small and use your space wisely.
Vertical Gardens Produce More Vegetables in Smaller Spaces
A small space garden will produce more when plants are trellised and trained to grow upwards. The produce will also be bigger and healthier when grown in a vertical garden. To generate the most food from a small space garden, look for usable upward space and select the right plants.
By simply lifting the plants and produce off the soil and away from damaging moisture and pests they will have a better chance of survival. Upwards growing plants also receive more sunlight and air circulation, making them healthier and stronger.
A trellis can be anything that provides support to each plant and that is sturdy enough to support the weight of ripening vegetables.
Cucumbers, pole beans, peas, and melon plants send out tiny tendrils that will latch onto anything within reach and grow in that same direction, To get them to grow vertically, use support methods that provide something for the tendrils to reach up to and small enough for them to grip. Cane poles, metal or wood fence posts or wire fencing works great in the garden to support plants.
If you want to keep things even simpler, use my DIY Bean Teepee instructions to build your own or purchase a beautiful obelisk or trellis from Amazon or your local hardware store. Many obelisks can easily fit into larger pots, making them perfect for small space gardens.
Containers are another great way to maximize growing area in a small garden space. Plants grown in containers may need to be trellised also for best production. A self-watering planter, like an Earthbox, gives plenty of growing area with an easy watering spout with no danger of overwatering. The Earthbox has an optional trellis kit, and comes with instructions that tell you exactly how many plants will fit in the box and where to place them. It’s easy gardening at its best!
Containers that can be attached to a vertical wood fence or stacked in a tier will increase vegetable growing space too. Or get creative and attach containers to the fence itself!
Feed the Soil
The soil keeps plants nourished and thriving and it must be very fertile to support vegetables growing in small spaces. Feed the soil before planting anything.
Use a quality potting mix that combines compost and peat, or use my DIY Potting Soil recipe. It’s easy to put together and can be stored in a rubber tub to make it easy to access when you need to fill a pot. Also, when using containers, you want to feed your plants with a quality fertilizer or plant food.
Small Space Vegetable Plant Choices
When selecting vegetable plants for small space gardening, look for ‘dwarf’, ‘bush’, or ‘compact’ varieties of your favorite vegetables. These varieties will provide the same full-flavor, full-size vegetable, but on smaller plants.
Succession planting allows you to grow several different vegetables in the same spot and harvest multiple times from spring through fall. Start with a cool-season vegetable, like broccoli. When it’s finished for the season, plant a warm-season vegetable, like tomatoes, in the same spot. Follow that up with a planting of fall greens when the tomato plant is finished producing in the late summer. I even use succession planting in my raised beds to produce the most food in the smallest amount of space.
Succession planting will triple the amount of food produced in the same small space garden. Always add more compost to the soil between plantings to keep the soil fed.
So don’t limit your garden plans because your available space is small. Get creative, grow up, and use the same space throughout multiple seasons with succession planting. I’d love to know how large or small your garden space is and how you get creative with it. Happy Gardening!