Garden / January 27, 2018 / .
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.
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
An extended growing season. A raised bed will warm up faster than the ground in the spring and in the fall your bed can easily be tented to extend your growing season by a few weeks or so. Location, location, location: Grow food in the location of your choice regardless of soil conditions as you will be adding your own.
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.