Small Space Gardening

vertical gardening containerSmall space gardening can be tough. If you are not blessed with a huge yard or if your huge yard is not the most garden-friendly, small space gardening can help you grow a lot in a little area. Although I have lots of actual space, due to our really bad soil (more rocks than hard clay, no actual dirt) and other gardening issues we have to use much less space than is actually available. So, we use raised beds and container gardens.

This idea for a whiskey-barrel strawberry planter is perfect for growing a lot of strawberries in a small space. Strawberries are a perfect container garden plant since they stay pretty compact. I have also seen strawberries grown in a 55-gallon plastic drum that had holes drilled into the sides for planting the strawberries. Lots of space, but not as aesthetically pleasing as the whiskey barrel cascade idea. This planter would also work well for herbs or vining plants like cucumbers or peas. Just add a trellis to grow the plants on.

Of course, a trellis is the perfect solution for small spaces. Vertical gardening is very popular with small space gardeners. You can trellis tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, small watermelons or muskmelons, green beans, and other veggies that grow on long vines. Don’t assume that trellises are your only option, these vertical gardening ideas offer even more ways to grow your plants up instead of out. For even more creative ideas, check out this bicycle tire trellis.

Deep raised beds are also great for growing a lot in tight spaces. With square foot gardening, you can grow enough veggies for your whole family in just a couple of 4 foot square beds. But, what if you have even less space than that? Containers can be planted on balconies, beside walkways, or even on a tiny porch. If you have very little space, you’ll need to prioritize what you grow. Forget the sweet corn, focus on salad greens, herbs, green beans and other plants that grow to maturity quickly.

Even in a very small space you can swap out seasonal crops to get three plantings from a container. A large container could handle a bed of salad greens that would make way for green beans in the summer and cabbage in the fall. Bush varieties of tomatoes can produce all summer in a patio pot – but you’ll need to keep it well watered and trimmed back.

Even if all you have is a windowsill, you can grow a few herbs or use an indoor garden for salad greens. No matter what you have to work with, you can find a way to grow something that will make you smile or fill your plate. Small space gardens are a challenge, but they can be very productive with a little effort.

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