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When you have a large backyard garden, you can easily plant whatever crops, vegetables or herbs you like. When your garden is small, you will need to be more creative if you want to get the most out of your small vegetable garden.
Small garden spaces can still be utilized to maximize the output you can derive from them. Here are some small vegetable garden ideas that will teach you how to utilize a small plot of land effectively.
Get the Most from a Small Vegetable Garden
1. Practice Companion Planting
Companion planting allows you to plant two or more crops in the same patch of land. Some crops do well together.
For instance, you can combine carrots and beets. Since beets have a shorter growth period, you will harvest them faster and leave the carrots to continue growing.
Tomatoes are also excellent companion plants as they grow tall. You can easily plant some other crop underneath them.
Here are some other tips for companion planting…plus, just click the name to take you all the details on how to grow them!
- Carrots: plant with beans, garden peas, tomatoes, onions, and lettuce
- Corn: plant with squash, potatoes, peas, melons, and cucumbers
- Onions: plant with lettuce, carrots, and beets
- Garlic: plant with beets, carrots, radishes, peppers, spinach, and eggplant
- Tomatoes: plant with basil, squash, cucumbers, and carrots
- Peppers: plant with basil and onions
- Zucchini: plant with peas, beans, radishes, and corn
2. Consider Vertical Planting to Get the Most out of a Small Garden
Find ways to grow up! Vertical planting works better for vines or crops that crawl. Excellent examples include squashes and cucumbers. This is a great way to take advantage of compact garden layouts.
Use trellis for support and train them to grow along a support structure, such as a fence. This will hardly take up any space at all. You may even have space for something else to grow on the open space on the ground, like other veggies, flowers, and more.
3. Attract Wildlife to Your Garden
Wildlife is a wonderful addition to your small garden space. Waking up to the sound of birds chirping in the morning is a beautiful feeling. Leaf-heavy trees and shrubs are a great way to provide shade that animals will love.
Some animals and birds also act as natural pest controls. Hanging squirrel proof bird feeders from the trees will attract the birds to your garden.
4. Plant What is Not Accessible to You Easily
Find out what you cannot purchase easily in your local store and consider planting this in your garden.
You have to prioritize since you will not be able to plant everything in the small garden. Find out what is more valuable to you and then plant it.
5. Look for Varieties that Maximize Space
Plants grow differently. Some grow bushy while others grow more constricted. Good examples of bushy plants include cabbages, cauliflowers and broccoli.
Example of plants that maximize space include carrots, onions or radishes. Prioritize those that maximize space. And plant closely together – you can always thin some plants later after early harvesting. This will make room for the rest of the plants to continue growing.
You can also choose to plant specific dwarf varieties which inherently take up less space and make a great addition to a garden.
6. Plant your Seedlings Indoors
Get a jump start on the garden season. Instead of creating a seedling bed outside, consider doing it indoors and then transplanting to the garden you prepare outside. Meanwhile, get your garden bed ready by amending the soil if needed. Well composted manure or bagged compost will help build soil health.
Read here to learn how to improve your soil, even if it is heavy clay soil like we have.
You may also consider buying seedlings from a nursery and then transplanting. Some good crops to start indoors: brussels sprouts, peppers, celery, cauliflower, cabbage, and broccoli.
Some herbs are also fairly easy to grow indoors, like thyme, basil, oregano, and parsley. Want to start an indoor herb garden? Read here to learn the easiest herbs to grow inside.
7. Use Railings for Planters
We usually overlook using the rails on our decks, balconies and patio. You can create good planter boxes on these railings and expand your gardening space considerably.
Make sure the railings are strong enough to hold the boxes. And make sure the garden boxes are deep enough to hold the plants roots! Certain vegetables have much longer roots than others.
8. Prioritize High-Yield Crops to Get the Most out of a Small Vegetable Garden
Since you may not be able to plant everything you want on the small piece of land, you may consider prioritizing crops which will give a higher yield.
Crops like lettuce, kale, chard, and radishes are perfect for this. They have a shorter growing span and they deliver high yields.
Seeding a new row every month will ensure you have plenty for the entire growing season. It’s a great way to get the most out of a small garden. Succession planting is a huge component of making the most of a small garden space!
9. Make Use of Pots and Containers
Pots and containers are an excellent way of extending your gardening space. You can prop them against the fence or place them on the patio.
Pots and large patio containers are excellent for growing crops and herbs that do not grow deep. We have grown lots of cherry tomatoes in large pots on a sheltered deck.
These grow bags are a fantastic way to add more growing space, even on apartment balconies.
10. Use Raised Beds to Get the Most out of a Small Vegetable Garden
Raised beds can actually give you more gardening area. When plants grow and need more space to thrive, they just fall over the side of the bed.
They will keep growing and producing and this results in more crops per square foot.
You can create raised beds using timber or steel. You won’t want to use pressure treated lumber to make raised beds. Chemicals can actually leach into the food you are growing.
Awesome Resources for Growing Vegetables:
Our book will give you exactly what you need to know to grow a year’s worth of food in your backyard. Eat healthy organic food, save thousands of dollars and preserve extra fruits and vegetables to eat all winter long!
The perfect companion for that book, although not essential is our Vegetable Garden Planner. Plot your growing areas, record watering and fertilizing schedules, what vegetables to use companion planting with and lots more info to have the very best vegetable garden harvests as possible.
Hopefully you’ve got some great vegetable garden ideas for small spaces after reading these tips for growing a small garden! This book on Square Foot Gardening will also give you lots of tricks for increasing your harvests.
Planting a small garden will enable you to eat fresh healthy food at a fraction of the cost of buying produce. Even if you are limited to a small patio, you can grow pots full of salad greens and tomatoes!
More Articles on Gardening
- Ever wondered how big of a container a Pepper plant really needs? Here’s an example of small container gardening.
- Looking for Gardening gifts? Check out our Gift Guide for Gardeners.
- Here’s the complete run down of how I plan a food garden for the year.
Want to find out which are The 5 Easiest Vegetables to Grow?
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