Garden / June 16, 2018 / .
A small space should not limit your garden or your imagination—hanging baskets, containers, window boxes, espaliered fruit trees. They are all great ways to made a big gardening impact – even on the most limited high rise balcony! Here are some considerations and expert techniques when planning your small garden. Small spaces for gardening may include apartments, town homes, condos, as well as rental homes, retirement homes, and community garden plots. However, a small garden space may also be a small space within a larger garden.
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.
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.
Planning is key to a successful small garden. Measure your space and consider how much room you have for your garden plants and accessories. Pay attention to the lighting where you will be planting. And, consider how you would like to use your garden. Do you plan on entertaining friends and throwing parties? Or, will this space mainly be an intimate space for you to read and enjoy coffee? If you will be hosing parties in your small garden, then you will need to plant around the border and leave plenty of room for walkways. If this space is mainly for your enjoyment, then design your garden with comfy spots to sit and read a good book.