Use Raised Beds Instead of Flat Garden Rows in Your Small Garden
Single rows of plants is the mainstay way of planting vegetables, but it is not the most efficient way. That’s because for every row, you must leave walking space between before the next row. That is a waste of a lot of space that could be used for growing crops. Planting raised beds or even beds on the flat soil will produce more and use less space. You can grow crops in several rows spaced closer together (as wide as you can reach) before stopping to leave a walkway.
Round off the Middle
Adding extra soil to the bed and rounding it off to form a small hill can add even more space to your planting area. Depending on the size of your “bed” it can give you 2 to 4 feet of extra planting area. Even in small beds that small difference can add pounds of more food to feed your family. My Grandpa Bird always planted his cucumbers, squash and potatoes in mounds of dirt. It allowed for more plants and let him harvest early new potatoes without destroying the whole plant, which was left to keep growing potatoes for the fall harvest.
Once the ground around your feet is planted, it’s time to start growing up. Most often the space above your head is overlooked. Trellis and hanging baskets are two very simple ways to add growing space to your vegetables garden. A sunny wall or fence is a great place to place a vertical garden. Plant your peas, cucumbers, green beans at the base of a trellis and watch them grow.
Be on the look out for an old pallet, they make excellent planters for small items such as lettuce, herbs and onions. Just lean them against your fence or wall in a sunny spot. They are like magic for growing small vegetables such as radishes, chives, beets, or salad greens. Hanging baskets or growing bags [made of canvas, burlap or any sturdy material, that drains] can hold strawberries, dwarf varieties of cucumbers or green beans.
Don’t give up your dream of having a vegetable garden if all you have is a small garden space. Use your imagination and see what you can grow. Growing even 4 produce items and rotating them year around, can make a big difference in your family’s food budget. Plus think of all the salads that can come from your special small garden space. Your friends will be envious of you and your ingenuity.