Garden / June 22, 2018 / Oriane.
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.
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.
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.
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.