Having a small outside space doesn’t mean that you should have a small garden. There are plenty of ways to utilize small spaces to grow produce and plants that beautify your home. Some Texans may have a limited amount of overall space to work with while others have certain small areas of their yard that need an extra bit of love.
Kristina Phelan shares these quick tips for choosing the right gardening composition for a small space.
Choose Plants Wisely
Similarly to the way you would prepare your garden in any other season, you’ll want to plan it out. One of the most important parts about gardening in a small area is choosing smaller plants that won’t mind the cramped quarters. Make a list of those plants that you want to grow and be sure to keep in mind their size at maturity. Remember to figure in the amount of spacing that a mature plant will need.
There are many fruit and vegetable varieties that can get out of hand quickly in a small space. Fruits, including melons and squash, need an ample amount of room and may take up too much space that could be used for other things. Choosing plants wisely is the key to having a small successful garden.
Gardens don’t have to be a square space of dirt in a sunny spot in the yard. You can grow a large amount of produce using some unconventional methods. Consider using recycled tin cans to grow a single plant or even old baskets to become a unique planter when there is no land left. We’ve seen some Texans turn old work boots into a new home for a plant and the holes in the bottom are great for drainage. There are plenty of ways to grow a garden if you are creative in with your choice of planters (See our previous post on Container Gardening).
Many gardeners make the common mistake of planting too many seeds of one variety together in a space. The result is a lot of crowded plants and a lot of produce. Restrain from planting too many seeds by remembering the amount of produce that one plant will bring. For example, one cucumber plant will produce dozens of cucumbers in a short amount of time. Having to harvest so much produce can be overwhelming and cause you to lose space for other things that you would like to grow. Make sure that you know how much harvest to expect from a plant before putting it in your small garden.
Use Vertical Space
There are many times that gardeners think that plants need to be either in the ground or in a planter that sits on the ground, but that simply isn’t the case. Consider using the vertical space within your small gardening area to maximize the amount of plants that you can grow. Using hanging baskets, an upside-down tomato planter, or attach a vertical garden to an unused wall or fence that gets a lot of natural sunlight. Other options include railing baskets that can be easily installed along balconies or walkways. Taking advantage of vertical space is a great way to garden in a smaller area.
Utilize Every Inch
Making sure that you take advantage of every inch of space is important in having a successful small garden. Plan your garden accordingly and plant as much as you can while also allowing space for everything. Many gardeners forget the small spaces around a yard that could easily house a plant or two instead of being weeds or bare patches of dirt. Consider the small rows of dirt between a walkway and the house or even the space underneath a fence line to become a small garden in itself. There are plenty of small plant varieties, like strawberries, herbs, or peas, that would love those areas and produce an ample amount of food as well.
There are plenty of plants that you can grow in a garden despite having a smaller space. Make sure to choose your plants wisely as well as refrain from planting too many seeds of one variety. Plan out your garden well in using every inch of space available. Get creative by using unconventional planters and utilizing vertical space to maximize your garden. Consider all of these composition tips for small spaces for a successful gardening season.
About the Author
Kristina Phelan is a freelance writer and her parenting column, Mama Bear Moxie, is printed in a few newspapers across the country. She lives on a farm in the Midwest with her husband, three kiddos, and too many animals.