Garden / February 23, 2018 / .
Raised beds offer excellent drainage. Soil compaction in no longer an issue, so working the soil and weeding will be much easier. Every square inch of soil will go towards food production as none will be wasted underfoot. Depending on how high you choose to build your raised beds, you could completely eliminate the need to bend over. At worst, even if your raised beds are only a foot and a half high, you would not be bending as far.
That is one way to get a large yield from a small space, but not the best. If you are truly short of space, interplant your vegetables with your flowers. There is no rule that says you can not mix the two. It can be a bit harder to harvest, but many vegetables are quite ornamental in their own right. If you do opt for a variety of vegetables in your garden, recommend the compact varieties and also vining crops that can be trained up on supports. Pole beans take up less space than bush beans. Vining cucumbers and squash, as aggressive as they can be, actually take up less area than their bush cousins.
Almost any plant will grow in a container if the container is big enough. Straw bales themselves can be used as containers for gardening. Be sure to provide enough water and food when gardening in containers, as soil in containers will dry out faster and nutrients tend to flush through them with greater speed than their in-ground counterparts.
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.