Garden / June 2, 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 an art and it can be one of the more fun challenges of gardening. Why limit it to the vegetable garden. Mix your vegetables and flowers. Succession planting is a great technique for any vegetable garden large or small, but it is all the more valuable when space is limited. Succession planting means reseeding quick growing crops every 2-3 weeks during the growing season. It is especially popular with crops like beans, zucchini and lettuce, that tend to exhaust themselves producing so much. By successively planting, you will have just enough produce for your familys appetite and you will have it all summer, not all at once.
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.
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.