Garden / June 15, 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.
Small-space gardening can have a few challenges: The space may shaded by walls or adjacent structures. There is often little actual ground exposed—much of the space is hardscaped with patios or on a balcony for example. Sometimes there is no water source. Sometimes drainage is poor. And, in particular in multi-family dwellings, such as apartment homes and condos, there is often a lack of privacy in these outdoor spaces.
Fertile soil that retains nutrients and water is one of the keys to success with intensive planting, which is a fancy way of saying planting a lot in a little area. America’s intensive-growing tradition has two fathers: John Jeavons and Mel Bartholomew. In his classic 1974 book, How to Grow More Vegetables Than You Ever Thought Possible on Less Land Than You Can Imagine, Jeavons introduced Americans to French intensive-gardening techniques, notably deep soil preparation through double-dug beds and intensive crop-planting patterns. Seven years later, Bartholomew offered a new way to think about these patterns in a classic book of his own
Another great thing about container gardening is your ability as the gardener to chase the sun if necessary, as containers can be moved throughout the day. If you have no time to be moving containers whilst life carries on around you, no problem, plant for the amount of sun you have. While it is true that many plants will demand a minimum of 6 hours of direct sun per day there are several shade vegetables that will tolerate or thrive in partial shade and dappled sunlight.