Garden / June 25, 2018 / .
Companion planting is often touted for the benefit of cutting down on pest infestations, but it also serves well to conserve space. Shade tolerant plants will benefit from being planted next to taller crops. Basil likes a respite from hot sun and does well next to tomatoes. Lettuce will keep producing all summer if shaded by almost any taller plant. Early harvested vegetables, like spinach, radishes and peas, can be planted with slower growing crops like broccoli or peppers, which will not take over the space until the spring harvested vegetables are gone.
Companion planting is an art and it can be one of the more fun challenges of gardening. Why limit it to the vegetable garden. Mix your vegetables and flowers. Succession planting is a great technique for any vegetable garden large or small, but it is all the more valuable when space is limited. Succession planting means reseeding quick growing crops every 2-3 weeks during the growing season. It is especially popular with crops like beans, zucchini and lettuce, that tend to exhaust themselves producing so much. By successively planting, you will have just enough produce for your familys appetite and you will have it all summer, not all at once.
Keyhole gardens are designed to maximize space by eliminating the need for walkways as found in traditional row gardening or with raised beds. The design is also intended to be draught-resistant and deliver nutrients via compost throughout the entire growing season. Keyhole gardens are a raised style bed that take the rough shape of a circle with a keyhole shaped path allowing access to the entire garden. In the center of the circle is a vertical tunnel that houses many layers of compost. As the compost breaks down it delivers nutrients and moisture directly to the bed. Certainly an efficient way to grow, keyhole gardens can be constructed with many different materials as a quick Google search of the term will confirm. If you have space for a circle roughly 8 - 10 feet in diameter you can use whatever appropriate materials that are easily accessible corrugated siding, cedar posts, landscaping rock, bricks or any combination thereof. We have a page dedicated to keyhole gardens for more details.
Hanging baskets and window boxes are ideal for small gardens. They create interest and help add a vertical dimension. Patio and stair railings are great places for hanging pots. Window boxes and wall planters are another way to grow up. Gardens are not just for plants. Hang lanterns, wind chimes and other outdoor décor too.