How to Effectively Grow Vegetables in Small-Sized Garden
If you are having a small garden, I am sure that you are always looking for ways to grow more vegetables in this small space. Over the years, the farmers have adopted various strategies for maximizing the growing space. Therefore, I have learned how to effectively grow vegetables in the small-sized garden from them and succeeded in applying these tips into my own garden. As a result, I am going to share with you some easy and simple tips which will actually support your gardening work.
How to Plant Your Vegetables When Having a Small Garden
1. Grow in garden beds instead of rows
First of all, you need to think about growing your food in garden beds instead of rows. Growing in beds maximizes the amount of growing space relative to walking space.
For instance, a 4x8 potato bed has 32 square feet of growing space. However, if it is planted in single rows with walking space in between, you will only have about 16 square feet.
Additional space saving can be achieved with keyhole beds. This method will allow access to all crops but only have a small inlet or keyhole in the middle. By doing this, you can significantly increase the growing space relative to walking space.
For anyone who are interested in making the garden beds, you can have a look at this video, and then you will know some easy and cheap tips:
2. Optimize the space between beds and plants
The second tip is to optimize the spacing between the beds and plants. I used to make a center path in my garden only 25 inches wide, which frees up a lot of growing space. It is still wide enough to carry buckets of composts, mulch, and compost tea around the garden.
Of course, if you want to use a wheelbarrow, you will have to make your path wider. The paths between the beds on either side of the garden should be only 18 inches wide. I have found this width to be just right and suitable. I can still comfortably navigate between the beds, but any narrower would be awkward.
When it comes to planting spacing, I like to plant crops as close as I can without hindering the growth. I experienced growing the cherry tomatoes many years ago, and they each occupied a square foot of space. I pruned the suckers to keep them from getting too crowded.
3. Grow vertically
Tip number three is to grow vertically. This may be the best space saving tip of all. If you have ever seen a squash or pumpkin plant sprawled out on the ground, you will know how much space can be saved by growing vertically.
I tried growing a variety of crops on trellises, including tomatoes, peas, pole beans, winter squash, pumpkins, and Malabar spinach. Growing these vining crops vertically frees up a lot of room for other crops.
Thanks to this tip, you can increase the amount of product that you make within your garden area without expanding. You can take advantage of the space that is not being used. In traditional gardening, the vertical space is not well-used.
Therefore, by growing vertically, you can drastically improve the amount of product you are able to produce. As I mentioned above, you can use a variety of trellises to take advantage of the vertical space in your garden.
Trellises are basically anything that can support a plant vertically. Things like fences make a great trellis or support to build one on. To be simple, you can use things like bamboo to support annuals such as tomatoes and melons.
An easy middle ground to start with is an electrical conduit trellis. They are easy to install and relatively inexpensive to make. In summary, growing crops vertically allows you to plant other crops in much closer proximity.
4. Succession planting
We are going to move to the next tip about succession planting, which is about frequent replanting. This is a great way to keep a bed continually producing. Succession planting is a great way to double or even triple your harvests in the same area throughout the same season.
You can apply this method for potato. As the potato plants are starting to die back and the potato harvest draws near, you can already plan what will take their place.
After the harvest, you can plant carrots, rutabagas, beets, kale, collards, and Swiss chard for a late summer and fall harvest. You should choose these crops because it is important to consider the crop rotation. Make sure not to follow one crop with another related crop.
Next, we can come to inter-planting. I have recently conducted the inter-planting in my garden. I planted sun chokes and radishes in the same bed this spring. Firstly, I had already fully planted the bed with sun chokes.
Then, I also planted radishes, hoping that they would mature quickly and be ready to harvest before being completely shaded out by the sun chokes. My plan worked well and the radishes were ready to harvest just as the sun chokes really started to take off.
6. Grow in either the shade or the partial shade
Tip number six is to grow in the shade or at least partial shade. Even if you already have a garden in full sun, you may be able to grow even more by planting leafy greens, herbs, rhubarb, paw trees, mushrooms, and more in partially shaded areas of your yard.
7. Grow in your front yard
Tip number seven is to grow food in your front yard. If local ordinances forbid front yard vegetable gardens, you can still sneak in some attractive edible plants as part of your landscape.
8. High-density planting for micro greens
Going to the next point, we cannot forget about micro greens growing. One of the great things about a lot of leafy greens is that you can plant them much closer together than the recommended spacing on the seed package.
Planting crops in high density allows you to grow more than a traditional row garden. To effectively apply this method, you should know how much space each plant actually needs and how close you can plant them.
As the greens develop, you can do a cut and come again harvest of micro greens. This will give you much earlier harvest, as well as a potentially more bountiful one.
9. Grow in pots and containers
Now, we can discuss the 9th tip which is to grow in pots and containers. The great things about these items are that they allow you to grow where you otherwise cannot. Thus, you can have a garden on your patio, your deck, or your front steps as well.
10. Grow on compost piles
Compost is an essential part of any garden. It allows you to take free and local resources that will otherwise be headed to the landfill. Then, you can turn them into a plant available food. In the small organic garden, it still requires quite a bit of compost in order to allow you avoid the purchase of store-bought fertilizers.
You can produce the compost in your garden but not waste space by following my steps. Over the winter, you can pile the compost materials on top, spread it out helping to get some of the hot decompositions.
You should do this process before the planting season as excess heat can reduce germination. You can cover the piles with autumn leaves that act as a bio filter. This helps to keep any smells from wafting over to your neighbors.
Then, when it is time to plant, you can take some potting soil, make a nest and plant crops such as squash, zucchini, and melons. As organic matter breaks down in the compost, it locks up nutrients such as nitrogen releasing it later when the compost is finished.
Besides, I do not recommend planting an unfinished compost as inevitably, your plants will require those nutrients that are locked up during the growing season. Your plants are able to find the nutrients they need while the compost finishes off during the year.
Not only by the end of the season do you have a wonderfully nutrient-rich compost that you can use to further build the soil in your garden. You do not lose any space, and you will be able to produce crops for your family, further increasing your garden yields.
11. Grow the local varieties
Last but not least, the variety is very important. Working with varieties that are well acclimated to your zone can improve your chances at producing a heavy crop every year. You can usually find native crops or well-suited ones to your location.
The core goal of the urban gardening is how to grow vegetables in the small-sized garden at home. Often, in urban gardens, patios, decks, and balconies, there is a limit of space, so I hope that you can benefit from all of my sharing today. However, if you have more useful and better methods along these lines, do not hesitate to keep in touch with me anytime. I am very willing to listen to your ideas and apply them to my beautiful garden at once.