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5 Garden Tips For Small Spaces

5 Garden Tips For Small Spaces

With springís arrival on March 20, you might be feeling the urge to start a garden. But if you live in a space with no yard, or in the middle of the city, you might be thinking you canít satisfy this urge.

Even if you live in the heart of the city and all you have is a balcony, rooftop, or a patio, you can still grow some fresh fruits and veggies. You just have to learn what you can grow, instead of focusing on what you canít grow.

Here are some tips for small-space gardening.

Use container planting. Almost any vegetable can be grown in a container, if the container is big enough. Anything can be used: old tubs, old window frames put together to make a box and a wheelbarrow all make great containers, so use your imagination! Think about the size of the plant. How wide will it get? How tall? What about the size and depth of the root system? Research your favorite veggies, read seed packets (a good seed company puts this important information on the package for you). Once you have the right container, then you just need to fill it with good potting soil, have a spot that provides full sun at least six hours a day, and water it consistently.

4 Creative Garden Container Ideas

Grow up. Many crops can be easily trained to grow up poles, trellises, or even lattices attached to walls. Any kind of support that is sturdy enough to use string across it will work. You can use planter boxes in different sizes and stack them to make a vertical garden. When choosing what to plant, think about things that can be trained to grow up. Pole beans, peas and even cucumbers are good contenders.

Use succession planting to create more space. Succession planting (sowing seeds of the same crop every few weeks), will allow you to have more of your favorites for a longer time. Leaf lettuces are especially good for this because they grow quickly. If you start seeds in a different planter every two to three weeks, you will have enough lettuce to last you all summer.

Fool-Proof Tips for Container Gardening

Use companion planting. Companion planting basically means planting things next to each other that benefit one another, by providing needed shade, acting as a natural pest control, or adding nutrients to the soil. Not only is lettuce a good crop for succession planting, it is also a great companion plant. Since lettuce is a bit more shade tolerant and actually prefers less direct sun, planting or putting those containers of lettuce beneath your taller plants or vertical planters will help them thrive during the hot summer afternoons. Aside from lettuce, think about other crops that can tolerate some shade, and plant them next to taller ones, especially leafy vegetables like cabbage, chard, endive, mustard greens, parsley and spinach (all cool season crops). Or, think about things that grow faster or earlier like radishes and peas, and plant them with your warm season crops that are slow growing, like peppers or tomatoes.

Use compact or dwarf varieties. There are varieties made specifically for containers or small areas. When choosing plants, look for anything that’s marked patio, container, baby or dwarf. If you think you can’t grow a fruit tree, there are even dwarf varieties of apple, citrus, peach, and pear trees that do great in containers.

Easy Themed Edible Gardens

5 Tasty Crops to Grow in a Container


 

 

 

With springís arrival on March 20, you might be feeling the urge to start http://www.care2.com/greenliving/5-tips-for-starting-a-vegetable-garden.html a garden. But, if you live in a space with no yard, or in the middle of the city, you might be thinking you canít satisfy this urge.

Even if you live in the heart of the city and all you have is a balcony, rooftop, or a patio, you can still grow http://www.care2.com/greenliving/seven-reasons-why-you-should-grow-your-own-food.html some fresh fruits and veggies. You just have to learn what you can grow, instead of focusing on what you canít grow.

 

Here are some tips for small space gardening.

Use container planting. Almost any vegetable can be grown in a container, if the container is big enough. Anything can be used, use your imagination, old tubs, old window frames put together to make a box, a wheelbarrow, all make great containers. Think about the size of the plant, how wide will it get. How tall? What about the size and depth of the root system? Research your favorite veggies, read seed http://www.care2.com/greenliving/sharing-seeds-to-sow.html packets, a good seed company puts this important info. on the package for you. Once you have the right container, then you just need to fill it with good potting soil, have a spot that provides full sun at least six hours a day, and water it consistently.

 

Grow up, vertically. Many crops can be easily trained up poles, trellises, or even lattices attached to walls. Any kind of support that is study enough to use string across it will work. You can use plant boxes in different sizes and stack them to make a vertical garden. When choosing what to plant, think about things that can be trained to grow up. Pole beans or peas are also easily trained to climb up.

Use compact or dwarf varieties. Choose varieties specifically bred for growing in a small area. Look for anything with the words patio, baby, or dwarf in the name. If you want a fruit tree, there are dwarf varieties of apple, peach, pear and citrus trees that can be grown in a container.

 

Use succession planting to create more space. Succession planting (sowing seeds of the same crop every few weeks), will allow you to have more of your favorites for a longer time. Leaf lettuces are especially good for this because they grow quickly. If you start seeds in a different planter every 2-3 weeks, you will have enough lettuce to last you all summer.

Use companion planting. Companion planting basically means planting things next to each other that benefit one another, by providing needed shade, acting as a natural pest control, or adding nutrients to the soil. For example, not only is lettuce a good crop for succession planting, it is also a great companion plant. Since lettuce is a bit more shade tolerant and actually prefers less direct sun, planting or putting those containers of lettuce beneath your taller plants or vertical planters will help them thrive during the hot summer afternoons. Aside from lettuce, think about other crops that can tolerate some shade, and plant them next to taller ones, especially leafy vegetables like cabbage, chard, endive, mustard greens, parsley and spinach, all cool season crops. Or, think about things that grow faster or earlier like radishes and peas, and plant them with your warm season crops that are slow growing like peppers or tomatoes.

.

 

With springís arrival on March 20, you might be feeling the urge to start http://www.care2.com/greenliving/5-tips-for-starting-a-vegetable-garden.html a garden. But, if you live in a space with no yard, or in the middle of the city, you might be thinking you canít satisfy this urge.

Even if you live in the heart of the city and all you have is a balcony, rooftop, or a patio, you can still grow http://www.care2.com/greenliving/seven-reasons-why-you-should-grow-your-own-food.html some fresh fruits and veggies. You just have to learn what you can grow, instead of focusing on what you canít grow.

 

Here are some tips for small space gardening.

Use container planting. Almost any vegetable can be grown in a container, if the container is big enough. Anything can be used, use your imagination, old tubs, old window frames put together to make a box, a wheelbarrow, all make great containers. Think about the size of the plant, how wide will it get. How tall? What about the size and depth of the root system? Research your favorite veggies, read seed http://www.care2.com/greenliving/sharing-seeds-to-sow.html packets, a good seed company puts this important info. on the package for you. Once you have the right container, then you just need to fill it with good potting soil, have a spot that provides full sun at least six hours a day, and water it consistently.

 

Grow up, vertically. Many crops can be easily trained up poles, trellises, or even lattices attached to walls. Any kind of support that is study enough to use string across it will work. You can use plant boxes in different sizes and stack them to make a vertical garden. When choosing what to plant, think about things that can be trained to grow up. Pole beans or peas are also easily trained to climb up.

Use compact or dwarf varieties. Choose varieties specifically bred for growing in a small area. Look for anything with the words patio, baby, or dwarf in the name. If you want a fruit tree, there are dwarf varieties of apple, peach, pear and citrus trees that can be grown in a container.

 

Use succession planting to create more space. Succession planting (sowing seeds of the same crop every few weeks), will allow you to have more of your favorites for a longer time. Leaf lettuces are especially good for this because they grow quickly. If you start seeds in a different planter every 2-3 weeks, you will have enough lettuce to last you all summer.

Use companion planting. Companion planting basically means planting things next to each other that benefit one another, by providing needed shade, acting as a natural pest control, or adding nutrients to the soil. For example, not only is lettuce a good crop for succession planting, it is also a great companion plant. Since lettuce is a bit more shade tolerant and actually prefers less direct sun, planting or putting those containers of lettuce beneath your taller plants or vertical planters will help them thrive during the hot summer afternoons. Aside from lettuce, think about other crops that can tolerate some shade, and plant them next to taller ones, especially leafy vegetables like cabbage, chard, endive, mustard greens, parsley and spinach, all cool season crops. Or, think about things that grow faster or earlier like radishes and peas, and plant them with your warm season crops that are slow growing like peppers or tomatoes.

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Judi Gerber

Judi Gerber is a University of California Master Gardener with a certificate in Horticultural Therapy. She writes about sustainable farming, local foods, and organic gardening for multiple magazines. Her book Farming in Torrance and the South Bay was released in September 2008.

63 comments

+ add your own
11:17AM PDT on Jun 3, 2014

I am moving from a 2.7 acre home to a condo in June. This article has given me a few new things to consider. I plan to have a herb garden in planter boxes that fit over the deck railing. I will definitely try the container ideas for the patio area! Thanks!

11:36AM PST on Feb 21, 2014

Thanks

3:22AM PST on Feb 21, 2014

I turned the top patio into a lil garden with a variety of planters. Plus cat nip 4 the cats. Thanks

7:18AM PDT on Jun 21, 2013

thank you! ♥

8:19PM PDT on Apr 23, 2013

Use pallets for ones where the roots aren't harvested, and smaller plants (lettuce would be a good one). Take a pallet, smooth down the edges that are rough, take that black liner and staple to the back fill with soil and plant. When the seedlings are big enough to have roots to hold the soil in place (or you could use the black liner between the spaces of the plants) up it on it's side and lean it against the house/fence/wall or what ever you have to prop it up against.

9:45PM PDT on Mar 29, 2013

thanks

6:29PM PDT on Mar 25, 2013

My yard is filled with stately oaks that I wouldn't dream of cutting down, but there are some spaces that get full sun, so I am going to try these ideas out, and if I find the plants aren't thriving, I will be able to move them. Thank you for the great ideas!

6:17PM PDT on Mar 25, 2013

Thanks.

4:19AM PDT on Mar 23, 2013

Thank You :)

9:43PM PDT on Mar 22, 2013

Thanks.

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