Garden / June 23, 2018 / .
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.
Keyhole gardens are designed to maximize space by eliminating the need for walkways as found in traditional row gardening or with raised beds. The design is also intended to be draught-resistant and deliver nutrients via compost throughout the entire growing season. Keyhole gardens are a raised style bed that take the rough shape of a circle with a keyhole shaped path allowing access to the entire garden. In the center of the circle is a vertical tunnel that houses many layers of compost. As the compost breaks down it delivers nutrients and moisture directly to the bed. Certainly an efficient way to grow, keyhole gardens can be constructed with many different materials as a quick Google search of the term will confirm. If you have space for a circle roughly 8 - 10 feet in diameter you can use whatever appropriate materials that are easily accessible corrugated siding, cedar posts, landscaping rock, bricks or any combination thereof. We have a page dedicated to keyhole gardens for more details.
You do not need a lot of space to grow fresh vegetables, herbs and fruits. You do not really even need a garden. Plant breeders know that after taste, home gardeners want a high yield in a small space, so they have been developing more varieties that can grow in a small foot print or even live in containers all year long.
With the right amount of sun exposure it is even feasible to successfully grow small fruit trees or bushes this way. In my day I have seen both lemon trees and blueberry bushes thrive in above-ground planters. Container gardens are also extremely space efficient as every ounce of soil in your container will count as no growing space will be wasted underfoot as you care for and harvest your plants.