Growing veggies can be such a satisfying experience and has so many great benefits (such as getting to eat them!). But not everyone has a big backyard garden to grow their veggies, so it is important to know how to grow them in smaller spaces so you can enjoy your plants.
Here are six tips for growing veggies in a small space.
Use Raised Beds
Using raised gardening beds/boxes can allow you to grow a lot more veggies in your small space. In a raised garden bed, you can keep outside weeds from your soil, and prevent water runoff, and soil compaction. Plus, when using them you can worry less about some garden pests, including slugs and snails.
Using garden boxes allows you to focus all your energy — watering, weeding, and fertilizing — on that small area. Gardening boxes also allow you to garden longer each season because there are ways to weatherproof them. You can add things like cold frames, cloches, row covers, and plastic tunnels to protect your growing veggies when it gets cooler out.
Grow Up, Not Out
Another great way to utilize your small space is to plant vegetables that grow upwards rather than wide varieties. Pole beans, cucumbers, and snap and snow peas can produce a lot in a little space if you add trellises to your planter boxes or a small garden.
Using a trellis keeps the fruit off the dirt and makes them straighter and easier to find when you are pruning or harvesting your veggies. Place the trellis or twine for climbing when you plant, to avoid damaging other plants after they are already growing.
Plant “Friendly” Plants
Some plants just do not grow well together for reasons including soil, sun, and water needs. Or, perhaps, one grows too lush and overtakes the space of the smaller veggies. So, it is important to know which veggies grow well together when you’re planting your garden.
Pairing shallow-rooted vegetables, like bush beans, with beets, makes good use of space without the two vegetables fighting over root space.
Planting heavy feeders such as cabbage or cucumbers with light-feeding carrots or beans is another good pairing because one sucks up a lot of soil nutrients and the other requires a lot less.
Intercropping is when you plant small crops in between bigger ones. The small, fast-growing crops will be ready before the big ones need extra space, and you’ll be able to harvest them without causing any damage. Your big veggies will then take over the space and fill your garden up again.
Make sure to monitor your plants because some plants, such as tomatoes, are known for taking over space in gardens. When this happens they overshadow the smaller plants, killing them off. As soon as you see that your smaller veggies are ready to harvest, remove them and enjoy them. Pairing something like herbs with cucumber and tomatoes often works well.
Plant Fast-Growing Veggies
If you only have a small space to grow your veggies, you may want veggies that grow quickly so you can keep planting as they grow and are harvested.
Use quick-growing vegetables like lettuce, spinach, radishes, or beets to fit several crops into one gardening box. This will save space and will produce plenty of veggies in no time. All of these vegetables generally grow within 30 days of planting.
Grow Veggies in Hanging Baskets
Using hanging baskets on your porch, decks, fences, or inside your home is another great way to grow veggies in small spaces. Hanging baskets do not take up any ground space and are easy to maintain.
Many veggies, including eggplants, small peppers, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, chives, mustard greens, cabbage, and many herbs, are a natural choice for hanging baskets. Just make sure that they hang in a place where they still get the sun and water that they need.
To Sum Up
If you are trying to grow a veggie garden this summer, but you’re having problems because you do not have a big garden, that’s okay. There are ways to grow a very successful veggie garden in a small space and these six tips will help you do just that! Some veggies do great in a small space and there are ways to take advantage of all the gardening space you have.