Garden / June 20, 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.
You do not need a large area to have a vegetable garden. You do need good soil, plenty of sunshine, a water source and probably a fence. If you think the deer love your Hostas, the entire woodland community is going to enjoy your vegetable garden. If you plant it, they will come. If you have a small sunny spot in your yard, or even on your patio, you can grow vegetables.
If you do not want to opt for drip irrigation, try and site your vegetable garden near a water spigot. You will be more likely to water if you do not have to drag the hose out. This final consideration is essential. Vegetables need a soil rich in organic matter. Soil is important to the growth of all plants, but more so with vegetables, because even taste is affected by the quality of the soil. That is part of why wine from the same grape variety can vary from region to region and why some areas grow hotter peppers than others.
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.