Vegetable Gardening in Small Spaces

comments (0) March 19th, 2012

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MikeTheGardener MikeTheGardener, member
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Do not let the lack of space be a reason or an excuse to not have a vegetable garden at your home. Thousands of people are in the same situation as you and that is the space they have available to grow fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs from seeds is very limited.

Maybe you live in a big city and land available is scarce, or you reside in a condominium or apartment and the only thing available to you is a patio. Either way, there are some great solutions to help you through this. You can be growing your own fresh veggies in no time.

I recently spoke with Tracy Godsey who runs the small container blogEden’s Container. Tracy started her small space vegetable gardening adventures when growing fruits, vegetables and herbs in containers is all she could do with her limited apartment space, which consisted mainly of a balcony.

“I currently grow herbs on my patio including basil, parsley oregano, thyme, mint and chives. The basil and parsley are the only plants that won't overwinter in my containers outdoors.”, says Tracy. “In a vegetable garden, full-sized plants can grow in any pot that holds 3-5 gallons of soil. Large plants like tomatoes need 5 gallons, while plants with shallow roots like lettuce can get by in a 3 gallon pot. Even smaller plants like radishes can grow well in trays and produce a harvest very quickly. If you don't have a container handy, you can make one by filling a plastic tube (such as a garbage bag or bread wrapper) with potting soil. These types of tubes are known as grow bags.”

Tracy reminded me of a very important factor that I had not thought about and that was the weight of what you are growing. If you are on a second floor balcony where weight will be an issue, Tracy recommends, selecting smaller heirloom varieties and grow them in hanging baskets. 

Just because you are limited on space does not mean you are limited on what you can grow. Remember to select fruits, vegetables and herbs that you and your family will consume. Since space is a premium you do not want to waste any with items that will get discarded. Be careful not to over water your items in containers and make sure your containers have adequate drainage holes. To protect from the loss of dirt through those drainage holes use coffee filters at the bottom or paper towels. Both options allow water to pass through but not dirt.

On a final note, “never put ordinary dirt in containers, only potting soil,” says Tracy. “You will have much better success since the soil is already formulated for growing plants in pots.” 

Now it’s your turn to roll your sleeves up, get some containers, fill them with potting soil and plant the seeds of your favorite fruits, veggies and herbs. Don’t let space, or in this case, the lack thereof, prohibit you from eating fresh from the garden.


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