Gardening in Small Spaces

small grdn

Limited space: It’s a problem many gardeners face. Few of us have the ideal 1/2 acre garden plot with 18 inches of top soil and full sun. Don’t give up ! With careful planning you can turn a tiny plot, or even a sunny porch, deck or patio into a wonderful area to grow herbs, flowers and vegetables.

Here are some ideas to get the most out of whatever space you have available. Draw up a specific planting plan. The most productive gardens begin on paper. Simply draw a large square on paper and section it off into smaller squares. Fill in each square with what you’d like to grow. For instance, you’ll want to take a closer look at how much room each plant requires to produce a crop. Choose plants that require minimal space per plant. Salad greens and bush green beans take up far less space than a huge and sprawling squash plant.

Think trellises and hanging baskets, window boxes and 3 tier planters. Vertical gardening is the way to go if ground space is limited. A variety of vegetables can be trained to climb a privacy fence, railings or poles.

A porch, deck or patio are great places for container gardening. Place 3 or 4 large planters together. Hanging baskets and window boxes can be filled with lettuce, herbs and flowers. Always use a light weight potting mix for the containers. Ordinary garden soil is too heavy and dense for container gardening.

If garden space is limited, look for vegetables and herbs of the compact variety. A single tomato plant can produce up to 10 pounds of fruit. You can’t miss with a dwarf cherry tomato plant. They produce all summer and can be grown in a 16 inch planter. Compact dill will not grow any taller than 12 inches, but will deliver “full size taste” for pickles and salads. Vegetables such as arugula, kale, lettuce, carrots and radishes will produce abundantly over a period of several weeks. Include a compact size sweet bell pepper as well when planting the summer garden.

Some ideas:

Planter 1- leaf lettuce, basil, chives, arugula

Planter 2 – tomato plant and dill

Planter 3- Green pepper plant, radishes

Planter 4 -kale, gourmet lettuce, cilantro

Herbs and vegetables will require at least 4 to 6 hours of sun each day. Water weekly, and about once a month feed the garden a weak solution of plant food. You can use organic liquid plant food, or Miracle Gro. Follow directions on the package.

Harvest weekly so the plant will continue to produce for a longer period of time.

Top ten “scent ta mental” herbs for summer

Thyme, mint, sage, rosemary, lavender, basil, chives, dill, oregano, lemon balm

~ Meadow Walker

Tires used as hanging planters in a small garden

Old tires used as hanging planters.

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