Grow an Amazing Garden on Small Plot
We’re always looking for ways to grow more food in our small garden, and over the years we’ve adopted nine strategies for maximizing our growing space. Today I thought I’d share these strategies with you in the form of nine simple tips.
The first tip is to growing garden beds instead of rows, going in beds maximizing the amount of growing space, relative to walking space. For example, this 4 by 8 potato bed as thirty two square feet of growing space, but if it were planted in single rows with walking spaces in between. We’d only have about sixteen square feet, additional space savings can be achieved with keyhole, which allow access to all crops, but only of a small inlet or keyhole in the middle thereby significantly increasing growing space relative to walking space.
The second tip is to optimize spacing between beds and plants. We decided to make the center path in our garden only twenty five inches wide, which frees up a lot of growing space. But is still wide enough to carry buckets of compost, mulch and compost tea around the garden. Of course, if you want to use a wheelbarrow, you’ll have to make the path wider. The paths between the beds on either side of the garden are only eighteen inches wide, we find this width to be just right. We can still comfortably navigate between the beds but any narrower would be awkward. When it comes to plant spacing, we like to plant crops as close as we can without hindering their growth. A great reference for plant spacing is Mel Bartholomew ‘s book Square foot gardening. We often follow Mel’s recommendation to the letter. For example, these indeterminate cherry tomatoes, each occupied a square foot of space and we pruned the suckers to keep them from getting too crowded.
Tip number three is to grow vertically. This may be the best space-saving tip of all. If you’ve ever seen a squash or pumpkin plant sprawled out on the ground, you’ll know how much space can be saved by growing vertically. We grow a wide variety of crops on 2:04 , including tomatoes, peas, pole beans, winter squash, pumpkins and melbar spinach. Growing these finding crops vertically frees up a lot of room for other crops, in the future we hope to grow some nonbinding crops vertically as well using other vertical growing systems.
The fourth tip is succession planting, which is a great way to keep a bed continually producing. One example of succession planting is here in our potato bed as the potato plants are starting to die back and the potato harvest draws near. We’re already planning what will take their place, after the harvest-able we’ll plant carrots, rutabagas, beads, kale, collard and Swiss chard for a late summer and fall harvest. We chose these crops in part because it’s important to consider crop rotation and not follow one crop with another related crap.
Tip number five is inter-planting. A recent example of Inter-planting in our garden was when I planted sun-chokes and radishes in the same bed this spring. Even though I’d already fully planted the bed with sun-chokes. I also planted radishes, hoping they’d mature quickly and be ready for harvest before being completely shaded out by the sun-chokes. The plan worked well and the radishes were ready to harvest just as the sun-chokes really started to take off.
Tip number six is to grow in the shade or at least partial shade, even if you already have a garden in full sun. You may be able to grow even more by putting leafy greens, herbs, rhubarb, Paw Paw trees, mushrooms and more in partially shaded areas.
Tip number seven is to grow food in your front yard. It’s a shame to let all that space go to waste. Even if local ordinances forbid front yard vegetable gardens. You can still usually sneak in attractive edible plants as part of your landscape.
Tip number 8 is to grow micro greens, one of the best things about a lot of leafy greens is that you can plant them much closer together than the recommended spacing on the seed package. As they develop you can do a cut and come again harvest of micrograms, which gives you a much earlier harvest, as well as a potentially more bountiful one.
And last but not least tip number nine is to grow in pots and containers. The great thing about pots and containers is that they allow you to grow where you otherwise couldn’t. So you can have a garden on your patio, deck or in our case of front steps where we grow, peppers and eggplants.
So there you have it, or nine easy three tips for growing more food in a small garden. If you have more tips along these lines please let me know in a comment and I’ll include them in a list in the description for everyone to benefit from. We’ll that’s all for now. Thank you very much for watching. And until next time, remember, you can change the world one yard at a time.