Garden / June 17, 2018 / .
If you have limited outdoor space, be it a small yard, shared courtyard or balcony, a container garden may be the thing for you. One of the great things about container gardening is the ability to grow almost any vegetable and many varieties of fruit, given the right conditions and space enough for an appropriately-sized container.
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.
No south-facing window, balcony or yard? Consider a community garden, it is a great way to grow food while strengthening relationships with neighbours. If there is not already a community garden in your neighbourhood, might there be a vacant lot on which to start one? One thing is for sure, learning how to grow vegetables with others in your community while sharing information and resources will do more than put food on the table. Collective gardening or even just sharing gardening space will help to build and strengthen relationships within your community.
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.