Tiny Gardens Can Grow Anywhere

comments (0) June 3rd, 2011

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WesternGardener Jodi Torpey, contributor
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Two windowboxes make perfect planters for small rows of radishes, mixed greens, and speckled lettuce.Click To Enlarge

Two windowboxes make perfect planters for small rows of radishes, mixed greens, and speckled lettuce.

Photo: Jodi Torpey

I’m always surprised when people tell me they wish they could plant a vegetable garden, but they just don’t have the space.

Even if they don’t have the room to plant a square-foot vegetable garden, there’s usually a nook or cranny for a square-inch garden. If there’s a spot that gets at least 6 hours of sun a day, there’s a place to grow many kinds of herbs and vegetables.

Here are a few tips for getting started in small spaces:

  • Select a 2-5 gallon container with at least a 12-inch opening for larger plants, like tomatoes or peppers; plant shallow-rooted plants, like greens, in shallow containers.
  • Be sure to match the container size to the size of the mature plant. Look for container-size plants like “Little Finger” carrots, “Spacemaster” bush cucumbers, and “Tiny Tim” tomatoes.
  • Make sure there are drainage holes and a saucer to catch water; set container on bricks or blocks to aid drainage.
  • Plant in good potting soil and leave 2 inches between top of soil and top of container for a layer of organic mulch.
  • Use a slow-release fertilizer at planting time and keep plants moist; don’t let them dry out.
  • Add diluted fertilizer every few weeks.
  • Group containers close together to slow evaporation.
  • Plant in succession every 2 weeks through summer to ensure a continuous crop.
  • Start in early spring with spinach, lettuce, chard, peas, and carrots; replant in late summer or early fall with cool-season vegetables.

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posted in: Small Gardens, container gardens