How to grow vegetables in small gardens

Nothing tastes quite as good as homegrown vegetables which you’ve nurtured over months and finally been able to enjoy. Things can be a little more complicated when you’ve got a small garden, as the restricted space can make it harder to successfully grow vegetables. Here’s what you can do to make the most of your small garden when it comes to growing your own vegetables.

Take a look at your space

When you have a smaller garden for growing things in, you’ll need to figure out how much space you can allocate to a vegetable patch. This also involves checking how much sun it gets, as some vegetables thrive in sunny spots while others prefer shadier places.

Most vegetables will need around 6-8 hours of direct sunlight, so if your garden doesn’t quite get that level of sun then you’ll need to alter your plans on what vegetables you’ll be growing.

Keep your plot away from high traffic areas and try to use a spot that offers some protection from the wind too. If your garden soil offers poor drainage, consider building a raised bed so that they avoid getting soggy roots which can end up rotting.

Pick suitable vegetables

There are plenty of vegetables for beginner gardeners which offer good yields and can be a bit more resilient than other options. Choosing vegetables which suit the climate of where you live will mean that they’re more likely to flourish, so do a little research before you get down to planting.

Five great options for getting started with growing vegetables are:

• Courgettes
• Potatoes
• Peas
• Green beans
• Tomatoes

There are even more beginner-friendly options out there for you to choose from, but be sure to pick ones that suit your garden – as well as ones that you’re actually going to enjoy eating!

Use the right equipment

Working with a smaller garden means doing everything you can to make sure your vegetables have a fighting chance. This will likely mean using the right equipment to keep your vegetables pest-free and have the best growing environment possible.

Using cloches to protect your plants and provide shelter from strong winds or bad weather can assist your vegetables with their growth. Fencing off an area of your garden to avoid young plants getting stepped on can be handy if you have young children, as well as potentially keeping pets from digging up your plants.

Work with quality products

Because you have a limited space to grow things within, meaning you can only grow a limited number of vegetables each season, you’ll want to try and use the best quality products you can get your hands on.

From the seeds or young plants you start with to the soil you’re planting them in, you’ll want to choose the products which are likely to give your vegetable the best chances possible.

These tips can help your small garden create a bountiful homegrown harvest of delicious vegetables. Make sure to check your plants regularly and attend to their needs, then soon enough you’ll be cooking up dinners with ingredients from your own back garden.

Fruit, flowers & vegetables growing in a small garden

14 Vegetables to Grow in a Small Garden

“I don’t have much space, what are the best vegetables to grow outside in my small garden?”

This has been one of the most often asked questions which is encouraging as one of the first pieces of advice is start small! Why? Because you’re less likely to give up growing your own if you don’t take on too much at once.

You’ve installed a couple of raised beds, you’ve cleared a space for some veggies somewhere bright and sunny in your garden, or you’re even planning on planting vegetables among your flower borders or in containers; now you’re wondering what you might grow in your small vegetable garden that will give you the most return for your efforts. The following might help you take the next steps to growing vegetables in a small garden.

Four tips to bear in mind when growing in a small vegetable garden

1. Grow what you like to eat – no sense growing spinach if you can’t stand the taste.

2. Choose vegetable varieties that are expensive in the shops – shallots, mangetout or early potatoes can all add a few extra cent to your weekly budget which means you may never buy them or they’re only ever special treats.

3. Choose leafy veg that you can harvest a few leaves off and they will keep growing (known as cut and come again), beans or peas that will keep producing the more you pick them, bulbs that will break up into smaller cloves or small vegetables that don’t take up much space.

4. Grow something different . Most supermarkets only sell the most popular vegetables with chards and pretty spinach varieties such as Bordeaux never seeing their shelves. Now’s a chance for you to grow something you’d like to eat and not be told what to eat by the Buyers.

Suggested vegetables to grow in a small garden

In no particular order, here’s a list of vegetables that have grown well in gardens I’ve worked with of all shapes and sizes. I’m not suggesting you grow them all at once, mix and match and see what grows well for you.

Shallots – a member of the Allium (onion) family, just one set (immature bulb) planted in the soil will develop into five or six shallots. They also store well over winter and can be expensive to buy in shops. Easy to grow from set or seed, January to April, harvest during late summer.

Garlic – again an Allium, when you plant one clove, it will develop into a whole bulb and is very easy to grow once you follow the planting guide. Garlic stores well, plant autumn/winter or early spring. Harvest late summer.

Grow Your Own Kale

Kale – there are many types of kale from scarlet to Russian, curly green to Tuscany. If you harvest a few leaves off each plant, rather than stripping the plant bare, it will grow more leaves and keep producing for you for months, from late summer through to early spring. Sow seed spring and autumn, matures in 50 to 60 days.

3 tips to help you get started in the vegetable garden

Early potatoes – if you’re keen to grow potatoes, not only do early varieties grow faster than their main crop cousins, they’re usually pricier in the shops and all being well, you’ll have harvested them before the blight. Earlies also grow well in containers. Plant late March, harvest 12-12 weeks later

Purple Shiraz peas growing

Lettuce – Cut & come again salad leaves or loose-leaf lettuce – there are lots of varieties of lettuce that the leaves are plucked off as you want them and not harvesting the entire plant. We’ve enjoyed many salad meals with just six plants! Sow March to September, harvest May to November.

Beetroot – from your garden bears only a slight resemblance to that sold in the shops – it’s delicious plus you can eat the leaves! We steam the leaves as a side vegetable here in the Greenside Up kitchen. Two supplies can provide up to eight months supply. Sow March to July, harvest June to October.

Chard and spinach – again, versatile cut and come again leafy vegetables that will just keep on giving for months. Stem & leaf can be used. Sow March to July, harvest all year.

Early carrots – small round or early – most vegetable gardeners like to grow carrots but are surprised how long they take to develop! Choose small early varieties like Nantes or round Paris Market’s for something different. Chanteney carrots are expensive in the shops and are a deliciously sweet variety of carrot too. Sow February or March undercover, or April to early July. Harvest May onwards.

Courgettes – they can get quite large depending upon the summer and how exposed your garden is, but one plant of courgettes will feed a family for weeks! Plants can also be grown in large containers of multipurpose compost on a sunny patio. Sow April to June, harvest June to September.

Cherry tomatoes – tiny, sweet cherry tomatoes will grow in beds, borders or hanging baskets and are a good choice if you’re new to tomato growing. Easy to maintain as they don’t need sideshoots removed or support. Sow February to April, harvest July to September.

Runner or French beans beans – the first time I ever grew runner beans was in a large container outside the door with a makeshift wigwam frame I made for the beans to grow up. It provided enough beans for a few dinners and our children loved watching them grow. Sow April to June, harvest July to frosts.

No vegetable garden would be complete without edible flowers that also act as companion plants – Calendula, French marigolds, Borage and nasturtiums not only bring colour and pazaz to a garden, they also bring pollinators in or can act as sacrificial plants the pests will eat first, leaving your veg alone.

Rainbow Chard & Nasturtiums

Lastly don’t forget that fruit, herbs and vegetables can be grown in containers too so if your beds are full of veg, why not consider growing some fruit outside your door or on your balcony.

How to grow vegetables in small gardens

Have you any favourite varieties that would grow well in small gardens?

Sure, we’d all like to have a garden like Oprah or Ina. But some of us live in homes or apartments with backyards that don’t stretch as far as the eye can see (we know, shocking!). That’s why we put together a list of the best fruits and vegetables you can grow in your very own victory garden, even if it is a tiny sliver of soil. Here, our 10 favorite fruits and veggies for tiny garden spaces.

How to grow vegetables in small gardens

1. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are the John Mayer of the vegetable world: They’re universally well-liked and pretty laid back. You can grow them as hanging tomato plants or vertically in a container. Plus, smaller tomato varieties, like Little Sicily, as well as a variety that is ideal for hanging baskets , called Tumbling Tom, grow pretty fast, which means you don’t need to wait for months to yield a good crop in your own backyard.

How to grow vegetables in small gardens

2. Herbs

Herbs, like basil, parsley, cilantro, chives, dill, are one of the easiest plants to grow, since you can grow them indoors or out (spring through autumn is best if they’re outside) and only need about four to six hours of sun per day. Just pick and choose which herbs you prefer based on your own preferences and taste. Then plant in pots or directly into a raised bed or tiny garden.

How to grow vegetables in small gardens

3. Radishes

One of the smallest veggies that can grow inside or outside are radishes. They’re hardy, quick to mature, and don’t require a lot of space since their roots are relatively shallow. Plus, you can eat every part of the veggie, so don’t even think about wasting those green tops.

4. Lemons

Lemon trees get to be about three to five feet at maturity and can be grown in a small planter in your home or a container in the backyard. Just remember to plant all citrus with airy, well-draining soil, like Miracle-Gro® Performance Organics® All Purpose Container Mix.

How to grow vegetables in small gardens

5. Pole Beans

A good way to make use of space: grow vertical. Choose a vine, such as pole beans, which will happily climb a trellis. When buying seeds, look for eye-catching varieties such as “yard long” and those with purple pods to add color to your tiny growing space.

How to grow vegetables in small gardens

6. Lettuce

Salad greens like leaf lettuce, Swiss chard, spinach and kale require only about six weeks to reach maturity from seeding. They can be planted in raised beds or containers at about six to ten inches apart, meaning you don’t need an entire garden to plant a few heads of your favorite greens.

How to grow vegetables in small gardens

7. Shallots

Like radishes, shallots have roots that aren’t very deep, and can grow pretty close together (about four to six inches). If you’re growing more than one row, try to space the rows 8 inches apart.

How to grow vegetables in small gardens

8. Cucumbers

Vining cukes, that is. These are the most common types of cucumbers and grow on a trellis or even up your fence, as long as it’s about 4-6 feet tall. They can grow very quickly and yield lots of fruit (for all the salads we’ll be eating to shed the “Quarantine 15,” that is).

How to grow vegetables in small gardens

9. Garlic

Grown in late fall or early spring, garlic bulbs need about six inches of breathing room between plants. You can even grow whole garlic bulbs from some varieties of grocery store cloves. Just fill an empty cup with a bit of water, place the cloves pointy end up in the cup and wait about a week for them sprout, then plant the cloves roots down in a container with plenty of drainage holes and about two inches deep.

Erin Huffstetler is a writer with experience writing about easy ways to save money at home.

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Even if your garden is small, that doesn’t mean that your vegetable output has to be. You can grow lots of healthy and tasty veggies with these ten high-yield, fast-growing plants. If you just have a small patio or deck, you are still in luck. Many of these plants can be grown in containers, and some grow vertically rather than horizontally. The fruits of your labor will be just-picked-fresh and will add tasty goodness to all your summer meals, and you’ll make a big dent in your grocery bill as a bonus.

Leaf Lettuce

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The Spruce / Autumn Wood

Harvest lettuce leaves whenever you need them, and more will grow right back in their place as long as you don’t damage the crown. Leaf lettuce varieties you can grow include oak leaf, red sails, and mesclun.

Tomatoes

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The Spruce / Autumn Wood

Plant cherry or grape tomatoes and you’ll get gobs of tomatoes in compact clusters. They’ll do well in the ground or in containers on a patio or deck. So use any sunny spot that you have available.

Cucumbers

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The Spruce / K. Dave

Give cucumber plants a place to climb so that they don’t take up a lot of space, and you’ll end up with more cukes than you can pick, pickle, and give away. If you want to grow cucumbers in containers, opt for compact or bush varieties. Their vines will only spread a few feet.

Squash

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The Spruce / K. Dave

Left to its own devices, squash will take over every inch of your garden. But if you grow it vertically, it will do nicely in a small garden and still produce plenty at harvest time.

Peppers

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The Spruce / Autumn Wood

Bell peppers grow up, rather than out, so they’re the perfect candidate for a pint-sized garden plot. Smaller pepper varieties also do well. Tuck them into your landscaping where they’ll look ornamental or grow them in pots on your patio.

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The Spruce / K. Dave

Enjoy all-you-can-eat peas in the spring since they are cool-season vegetables. Then replant the space with something else for the summer and fall. How’s that for making the most of a small space?

Beets

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The Spruce / Adrienne Legault

Plant a small plot of beets, and you can eat the beet greens early in the season and then the actual beets later in the season. Now that’s productive garden space.

Radishes

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The Spruce / K. Dave

It only takes about 45 days for radishes to reach harvest size, so that’s another spot in your garden that you can replant, either with radishes or another plant.

Pole Beans

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The Spruce / K. Dave

Train pole beans up a pole or trellis, and your bean plants will give you a huge (and long) harvest in the teeny tiniest of spaces.

Herbs

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The Spruce / Autumn Wood

Herbs love to share space with other plants. Use them to fill in around your larger edibles, and you’ll get more food from every inch of your garden.

If you want to become more self sufficient or just get a little something extra for the dinner table, then growing a vegetable garden would be great! A vegetable garden not only has a stunning visual appeal, but also provides a place to get your hands dirty and a reason to get outside more often. Some vegetable gardens are big and some are small, but here we just discuss small ones because small gardens are easier to succeed for the beginners. Moreover, land is costly or scarce in many places. Many homes and apartments only include a tiny porch, balcony, patio or yard. But even a single well-placed container can grow your own vegetable garden. Below you will get a lot of ideas to help you start your neat and tidy food gardens.

1. The Spiral Veggie Garden

How to grow vegetables in small gardens

The spiral garden gives a plan to grow food in a very small space. There is almost no big budget in a spiral garden. Stones, bricks, plates and even glass bottles can all be used for construction. See the video tutorial below:

2. Whether it’s building vertical vegetable gardens or laying them on the ground, pallets can make it easy for you to harvest your planting.

How to grow vegetables in small gardens

Check the full tutorial here!

3. Galvanized Water Troughs and Cedar Boxes Turned Into Vegetable Garden with Gravel Path

How to grow vegetables in small gardens

If your yard space allows, this small veggie garden with fence is perfect. Metal water troughs and custom cedar frames can be turned into raised garden beds. You can remove them when you don’t need to grow your vegetable garden. How to do water trough garden bed: drill plenty of holes in the bottom for drainage. filled it with some compost, branches, aged chicken manure, and towards the top mixed in some potting soil.

The full instruction about this project is available here! Check image source at flickr.

4. The Structure is Ideal for a Narrow Side Yard:

How to grow vegetables in small gardens

How to do: Take 1 sheet of plywood and cut it to make the boxes and then use 3 stair-step molds for each side
and one in the middle for the boxes(cutted from 1 sheet of plywood) to sit on. See the full tutorial here.

5. The Checkerboard is Great Layout for Herb Garden. Even If It Rains You Can Easily Get to Your Food:

How to grow vegetables in small gardens

Check the image source here.

6. Growing vegetables that climb, like cucumber, green beans and tomatoes in a small outdoor space, trellis and raised garden box combo will be efficient:

How to grow vegetables in small gardens

Gather the following materials: nine pieces of 2″ by 8″ by 8′ Douglas Fir Timber, two pieces of 4 ′ by 16′ Cattle Farm Panels, some U-Nails, star bit and deck screws. Then following the full instructions here…. Of course, you can also replace wooden boards with cinder blocks and bricks.

7. Build A U-Shaped Raised Veggie Garden:

How to grow vegetables in small gardens

Unlike a large open-spaced garden, a garden bed in a U-shape lets you easily reach across the entire raised garden with less effort. Prepare some tools and grab your pine and cedar planks to finish one. See the full guide here!

Another similar project:

How to grow vegetables in small gardens

Get more information here!

8. Upcycle 55 Gallon Drums for Raised Bed Gardens:

How to grow vegetables in small gardens

They’re high enough that you don’t have to bend over to plant or pick vegetables. The vertical support legs are made from 2-by-4-inch treated wood. How to build it visit here. Check the image source at 1 and 2.

See the video tutorial below:

Have all our collective thumbs officially turned green?? Something must be changing in the universe if I, Ms. Has-killed-every-plant-she’s-ever-owned-including-succulents, is suddenly taking on the task of vegetable gardening. Maybe it’s my reluctance to go to the grocery store that has sparked my gardening confidence that has absolutely no ground to stand on. Nevertheless, it’s happening and I have heard it’s a popular hobby the general population is also starting to pick up. If that sounds like you, welcome! And if you are already an expert, please stick around and comment below on how I can be more like you.

You might be thinking, gardening is a nice idea but I live in an apartment with no outdoor space so thanks for rubbing it in. Well, the title may have clued you in that I would never leave you high and dry because there are absolutely ways you can become the vegetable parent you’ve always dreamed of being without an outdoor space. Let’s begin with the basics for those sans an outdoor space.

For The Indoor Only Gardeners

Growing vegetables is easier than you think, even if it must be done indoors. If you remember from this post, Julie informed us that you can actually regrow green onions by taking the leftover ends (at least 2-3″) and putting them in a cup of water to leave in the sunshine for about a week. Once they start to regrow you can even replant them. Guys, the vegetables are basically doing all the work for us we just need to provide them with the proper resources. Is this what parenting is like??

I have already admitted I am not a gardening expert, so the only assistance that I can really offer is limited to cheering you on and hopefully inspiring you to try. Then I remembered Emily mentioned Gardener’s Supply Co. in her gardening post, so I started my gardening research there to find some beginner gardening tips.

This site has such a well of information on all types of gardening and it is quickly becoming my most visited website. I am serious, and no this is not a sponsored post, they are just an extremely helpful resource for beginners like me.

Here’s what I learned for beginner indoor gardening:

  • If possible, your potting soil should be tailored to the particular type of plant you are growing. Cactus, succulents, and rosemary, for example, prefer a coarse, well-drained soil that is about one-third sand. Seedlings should be grown in a light, moisture-retentive, soilless mix.
  • It can help to add organic components to your indoor growing mix. This might include leaf mold, finished compost, composted peat, or rich garden soil.
  • Plants need humidity, and most plants are happiest when the humidity as at about 50 percent. Misting your plants helps, but only for an hour or so. A better solution is to use a cool vapor humidifier (which you will benefit from as well).
  • Overwatering is the most common cause of death for plants. The best way to avoid overwatering is to not water your plants on a schedule. Instead, get into the habit of checking the soil to gauge whether it needs to be watered or not.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve already learned so much (including why I’ve killed so many plants in my life). Now, I know most renters don’t have ample space for even an indoor garden, but if you have a window that gets enough sunlight, you are going to be growing herbs and tomatoes before you know it. These small planters can get you started:

How to grow vegetables in small gardens

I love the idea of a self-watering planter, and #1 is a great option if you don’t have a lot of space. #2 is a “smart garden” that has capabilities such as automatic watering, grow lights, and nutrient and oxygen monitoring. Are you picturing all the fresh chopped salads that are in your future?? Same. Now, if you have very little direct sunlight in your home don’t give up yet…

For The “I Have No Natural Light” Gardeners

Plants need light, and sometimes our living quarters don’t provide enough natural sunlight which is very sad. The good news is technology exists and very smart people have invented solutions. LED grow light planters are the future of indoor gardening because they can control how much light your plant will get based on it’s growing needs.

Here is what Gardener’s Supply Co. says for using LED grow lights to grow you veggies:

  • Long-day plants require 14 to 18 hours of light each day. Most seedlings for vegetables and garden flowers are long-day plants. When they don’t receive enough light they get pale and leggy.

You can also use fluorescent lights, which are more affordable, depending on what plants you are trying to grow. Here is a great chart to help you decide what you are lighting needs might be.

Most vegetable plants, require a much higher light intensity to flower and produce fruit.

How to grow vegetables in small gardens

#3 does not have an LED grow light, but it is a self-watering, self-fertilizing hydroponic Farmstand that makes growing your own vegetables stupidly easy. If you have a small balcony that just doesn’t get enough light, I think #2 or #4 would be perfect solutions.

For The Small Outdoor Space Gardeners

Now I do have an outdoor space and it’s high time I start treating my backyard like the luscious green garden it could potentially be. One of my goals this year was to eat more plants, and what better way than to have said plants steps away, ripe for the picking. My options for planters is limited to elevated ones or vertical stands because a bed like this would give my dog the idea that he was awarded a new place to relieve himself. No thank you.

Here are some that I am considering:

How to grow vegetables in small gardens

#1 is a really great option if you have a small patio or balcony that gets a lot of natural sunlight. It doesn’t take up a lot of space and it is slanted so all the plants get the right amount of sunlight. If you only have a balcony, #2 would be the perfect way to grow some tomatoes without taking up any potential lounging area space. I personally am leaning towards #11, because it is the right size for my space and it comes with a cover to keep pests away. Oh, and did you check out #9?? That is a potato grow bag, and it blew my mind. If you watch the video you can see how EASY it is to harvest potatoes. I am very into it as you can probably tell.

Before I go, I want to mention that if you have a front yard but no backyard consider starting your garden there. There are no rules! In fact, Gardener’s Supply Co. has entire plans mapped out for you you can create a front yard garden. And okay last thing, since I’ve started this new hobby, I’ve realized I desperately need gardening gloves so I bought these. I truly cannot wait for them to arrive, along with this hat to keep the sun off my face and neck.

Alright, that is all from me for now. I hope you are feeling confident in getting your hands dirty and potting some veggies. And please please give me all your advice in the comments. Happy harvesting! xx

Planting tomatoes, carrots, or cukes for the first time? Use this guide to help you plan, prepare, and plant a successful plot.

Vegetable gardening at home can be a way to save money while you get up close and personal with nature. For example, even just one plant can be super affordable (think $3 to $5) and provide up to 10 pounds of tomatoes over the season (which can easily run you $20 or more). Growing tomatoes and other favorite vegetables or herbs from seeds can save you even more money. You’ll also find that the flavor and texture of garden-grown produce is even better than what you’re used to finding at the grocery store. Plus, tending your vegetable garden counts as exercise! Dig into these tips and tricks to get your vegetable garden off to a strong start.

1. Start with a Small Space

If you’re a beginner gardener, start small. It’s better to be thrilled by what you produce in a small garden than be frustrated by the time commitment a big one requires. It’s also best to learn a few gardening basics before investing tons of time and money in this new hobby. You’ll get a feeling for how much time gardening takes. You’ll find out if you like spending time outside planting, watering, and weeding. You’ll learn how much produce you and your family can eat over the course of a summer.

A good size for a beginner’s vegetable garden is 6×6 feet. Select up to five types of vegetables to grow, and plant a few of each type. You’ll get plenty of fresh produce for your summer meals, and it will be easy to keep up with the chores. Growing vegetables in containers is also a good way to start out. With them you don’t even need a yard; a sunny deck or balcony work fine.

2. Grow What You Love to Eat

What do you like to eat? Your answer will tell you what you should plant in your vegetable garden. There are also a few other things to keep in mind when deciding what you want to grow.

Be Picky About Varieties

Pay close attention to the description on the seed packet, tag, or label. Each variety of vegetable comes with certain characteristics. Some produce smaller plants ideal for containers or small gardens. Other varieties offer better disease resistance, improved yields, or better heat- or cold-tolerance. Start by choosing veggies you like to eat, then look into their sizes and care needs.

Productivity

Think about how much you and your family will eat and how likely you are to freeze, can, or give away excess produce. Then be realistic about how many seeds or plants you need to put into the ground. (Many beginners make the mistake of planting too much.) Vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, and squash keep providing throughout the season, so you may not need many plants to serve your needs. Other vegetables, such as carrots, radishes, and corn, can be harvested only once and then would need to be replanted.

Successive Crops

Planting both cool- and warm-weather vegetables will give you a harvest of vegetables and herbs continuously through the spring, summer, and fall. In early spring, grow lettuce, greens (such as arugula), peas, radishes, carrots, and broccoli. After you’ve harvested your cool-weather crops, plant hot-weather favorites, such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and herbs. In fall, you can harvest potatoes, cabbage, and kale.

Test Garden Tip: By planting vining crops like green beans and peas, you make use of vertical space in the garden and boost yield per square foot.

3. Choose the Spot for Your Garden

No matter where you put your garden or what you decide to plant, there are two basic requirements that your location needs to meet for the best success: water and light.

Lots of Sunlight Is a Must

Like all plants, vegetables need the sun to kick-start photosynthesis. The fastest-growing vegetables need full sun (at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight a day) without blockage from trees, shrubs, or fences. That’s why you won’t have much success if you plant sun-loving vegetables in shady spaces. If your yard provides partial shade, plant vegetables and herbs that tolerate those conditions, such as lettuce, kale, chard, spinach, chives, cilantro, parsley, and thyme. Root vegetables like carrots, radishes, and beets might also work if your site gets at least 4 hours of direct sunlight a day. Or if you have a sunny patio, switch to container gardening. That way you can place sun-loving vegetables and herbs such as tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, basil, dill, and rosemary, where they’ll do well.

Think About Convenient Water Access

The closer you can site your plot to a water source, the better. You’ll need to be able to water frequently during the first few weeks after seeds germinate or seedlings are transplanted to help these fragile plants produce strong roots and stems. Once your plants are established, it’s better to give your garden a long drink every few days rather than a little sprinkle every day. Then the water will move deeper into the soil, which encourages roots to grow deeper, where they’re better able to access nutrients they need to stay healthy. Consider installing soaker houses or drip irrigation on a timer to help minimize water waste and the time you need to spend watering.

wordswag grow garden or grow tomato pixabay

Having a small garden in doesn’t mean you can’t grow a lot of vegetables. By using some space-saving techniques and the right choice of vegetables, you can grow a lot of bounty in a small space.

Try Vertical Gardening

One technique for increasing yields per square foot is to grow vertically. This can be done either by building vertical planters or by supporting many plants that would otherwise spread out along the ground.

Vertical planters can include hanging pots or tiered plant containers — these are often marketed for patios, but are useful in any garden space. Growing up rather than out is a space saver.

Supporting plants with cages, trellises, and tepees (either purchased or home made) can greatly increase yields per square foot. Many plants like cucumbers, some squash, tomatoes, beans, and others grow very well vertically.

Select Indeterminates for Small Gardens

Also called “everbearing,” indeterminates are a great choice for the small space, casual gardener. They yield throughout the season rather than all at once. Several varieties are available this way including tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, some beans, peas, and strawberries. Look for “dwarf” or “patio” varieties if you don’t want them to grow too tall — some indeterminate plants can grow over 8 feet high!

Grow Early Season Vegetables for Small Gardens

Another method is to plant in sequence so that early season (aka “cold-tolerant”) vegetables come up and bear fruit first (usually by mid-July) so that you can plant a second crop in their place as late-season (see below) food.

A similar method is to plant fast-maturing plants alongside slower growing plants so that the fast-bearers can be harvested and pulled when they are just beginning to crowd the slower neighbors.

Popular early-season veggies include: snow or shell peas, Swiss chard (similar to spinach), kale, rhubarb chard, mustard greens, parsley, early spinach, beets (for greens), most leaf lettuces, chives, leeks, green onions, and radishes.

Grow Late-Season Vegetables

Many of the above can also be grown a second time in late summer through to the first frost. Some varieties can handle a light frost and are good for very late planting. Good vegetables for a fall harvest include radishes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, beets, cabbage, Swiss chard, and kale. Garlic and shallots can also be planted in the fall for a spring harvest.

Choose Dwarf Varieties for Gardening in Small Spaces

There are literally hundreds of dwarf varieties of every popular garden vegetable you can name. Any vegetable with the names “baby, dwarf, patio, pixie,” or “tiny” in their name is a good bet. The small size of these compact plants allows you to grow more vegetables in less space. Read the seed packet or seedling plant’s description and note the expected measurements at maturity.