01 May Tips for Gardening in a Small Space
So, you’d like to garden, but you don’t see how… not when all you have for a “yard” is a tiny patch of soil. Perhaps you don’t even have a yard. Or maybe your yard is occupied by a child play zone, and you don’t want to have kids galloping over your tomatoes.
Well, the truth is that growing vegetables and herbs is possible for anyone, even if it’s as simple as having an herb garden in your kitchen.
You might populate your porch with potted vegetables that both look great, and yield a fantastic harvest come late summer. In fact, in some ways, gardening in a small space is sometimes better than having a large garden. You can give your plants special care, and you don’t have to worry about excess irrigation and weeding worries.
Here are some of the best tips for gardening in a small space:
- Grow plants up, not across: Many vegetables prefer to climb rather than sprawl, which means that you can give them all the space they need by simply adding a trellis. Popular plants for this environment include cucumbers, tomatoes, beans, peas, and even squash. Even better, they’ll be easier to weed and harvest in this kind of setup, and garden trellises add a level of visual appeal to your yard that you couldn’t get otherwise.
- Coddle each plant: You want the maximum yield from each of your plants, so make sure they’re in their happy places. Consider which plants need more sunshine, and which ones grow best in the shade. Small-space gardening tends to sap the soil more, so fertilize well in order to replace the nutrients. Double-check the soil that you give each plant to grow in. Some will prefer well-drained soil, which means more sand. Others need soil that can hold the water for longer periods of time, which means a healthy amount of loam and even a bit of clay. Groom the plant meticulously, and trim it back judiciously to encourage tight growth.
- Add window boxes and pots: Adding window boxes and potted plants to your lineup can help you make the most of a small space. Grow dwarf fruit trees in small spaces and use them to border your garden or porchway. Grow shallow-root plants like strawberries in window boxes, which you can either attach to your house, or to a fence.
- Plant a garden as part of your landscaping: If you have yard space, but it’s dominated by a decorative landscape, consider ways that you can incorporate plants that are both beautiful and edible. These plants can be grown as ground cover, border your porch, or replace a patch of grass. Consider edible greens like kale and swiss chard, whose colors look brilliant in a landscape. Add beets and sweet potatoes to a flower patch, where they can grow out of sight and out of the way of your flowers. Add berry bushes as your shrubbery of choice, and pots of peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant in every empty corner you can find.
- Use smart companion planting: Sometimes, areas of your yard can be doubled up. For example, radishes grow amazingly fast, and they’re usually pretty shallow. So it’s easy to double them up with, say, carrots, which grow deeper under the soil and take a longer amount of time to develop.