Garden / June 21, 2018 / Oriane.
After deciding to grow your own vegetables, choosing the right plants for your space may be the most important decision you will make. Many plants will require a minimum of 6 hours of direct sun per day and others will prefer partial shade during the hottest days of the summer. Assess your space, choose wisely and good luck.
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.
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.
Instead of rows, Jeavons and Bartholomew suggest planting in tightly spaced geometric patterns that will allow the crops to create a living mulch of foliage as they mature. This living mulch performs two of the main tasks that regular old dead mulch does: keeping the soil moist and suppressing weeds. In order to create this effect, however, you need to know how much space to give each plant. Mel Bartholomews brilliantly simple tactic is to set a 1-by-1-foot grid onto a garden space and plant crops into the grid. Large crops such as broccoli, peppers and cabbage require a whole square, whereas small ones such as carrots and radishes can be planted 16 to a square.