There are several ways to maximize the space in a small garden and still grow a wide variety of vegetables.
Growing lots of fresh fruit, vegetables, and herbs in a backyard suburban garden may not seem possible, but with these methods, anyone can grow a bountiful harvest that will feed you and your family all year long.
Try growing cucumbers and beans on a trellis to support them but be aware that the weight of the vegetables can break them and multi-sowing to increase the harvest in one spot.
It is possible to grow a lot of food on a small plot of land, especially if you are willing to think outside the garden.
Growing leafy greens like spinach, lettuce, or kale in containers or raised garden beds will save some space in the garden.
The raised beds can be placed around your home and the containers can be placed on a porch, deck, or in a plant hanger that attaches to a fence.
With these methods you will need good rich soil to grow in, therefore composting and making natural fertilizers is a must.
Companion planting is an important gardening technique that pairs two plants to make them more beneficial to each other.
With this method of planting, you can increase the nutrient levels in the soil, deter pests, and encourage predators in your garden.
When you plant a variety of plants close together, you can attract certain insects that would otherwise eat the other plant.
Dill is an excellent companion for a variety of vegetables and helps to deter pests.
Legumes are another great option for ground cover, but a more important reason is that they fix nitrogen in the soil.
In a Ph.D. dissertation from 2004, researchers found that intercropping basil with vegetables increased yields and the presence of beneficial insects.
Historically, companion planting was only practiced in small gardens, but it is now increasingly being used in large-scale fields.
The type of companion plant you select will depend on the climate and sun conditions of your garden. Marigolds and zinnia seeds attract beneficial insects.
THE 3 SISTERS METHOD
Using the three Sisters method, you can grow corn, beans, and squash in the same area.
These three plants are good for the soil, increase crop yield, and encourage pollination.
The corn is planted first and when it is about 6 inches tall, mound up some dirt around the base of the corn plant, then the beans and pumpkins are planted in the mound of dirt.
When using this method, make sure that the soil is well-fertilized because three plants will be growing in one spot. They will also require more water.
The Native Americans used this method to grow corn, beans, and squash in the same area.
The three Sisters work together to create a harmonious environment for the garden.
One way to maximize the growing season is to plant your crops in successively spaced intervals. This way, you will have a full harvest at different times.
Instead of planting rows of beans, for example, you can stagger the crops and plant them about every week or two over the course of a month.
This allows the plants to be ready for harvest at different times which allows you to have a constant production of food all season long.
This method of planting can be done with any garden crop to keep them from becoming ripe all at one time.
Staggered planting is also like an insurance policy if you have to deal with pests or diseases.
By planting weekly for a month, you have the ability to bounce back quickly from an attack.
When sowing your seeds, it is recommended that you place 4 to 5 in each hole. This guarantees that at least one seed will sprout, but in most cases, more than one seed will sprout.
This will give you the ability to grow more food in the same amount of space. Succession sowing is when every week a new asparagus seed, for example, is sown next to a sprouted one.
When this method is practiced, you will see your harvest increase dramatically and be able to harvest for a longer period. Using the Three Sisters method, you can grow corn, beans, and squash in the same area.
These three plants are good for the soil, increase crop yield, and encourage pollination. Companion planting can also boost the flavor of your produce.
The Native Americans used this method to grow corn, beans, and squash in the same area. The three Sisters work together to create a harmonious environment for the garden.
There are several different trellises and cage designs, but they all are intended to support the plant to keep the crops off the ground.
Choosing the right trellis depends on what is being grown, for example, an arch trellis at the entrance of your garden is best done with squash because of the length of the vines.
This can also be used in your garden, but with a much smaller arch, and this will allow you to grow something else in the arch-like herbs that repel pests.
It also makes harvesting easier and will help to save precious garden space by growing vertically.
Any vining plant will work well with a trellis or cage such as peas, beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, and zucchini.
They can be made by hand or purchased at any lawn and garden retailer or online retailer.
CONTAINER GARDENING AND RAISED GARDENS BEDS
Containers and raised gardens are good options for adding extra growing space.
Containers can be placed on porches, patios, decks, in plant hangers that attach to a wood fence if you have one, or around your home.
Raised garden beds offer you the same ability to add extra growing space around your home.
Both options also give you the ability to use the containers and raised gardens to grow herbs and vegetables that can take over an area and reduce the growing space in your garden.
SHEPPARD’S HOOKS WITH HANGING PLANTERS
Using strong and sturdy Sheppard’s hooks to hang planters from is a good option to expand your harvest in any size garden.
They can be placed between the plants in the garden and/or they can be placed at the border of the garden.
With the planters, you can grow flowering plants to attract pollinators, herbs, strawberries, bell peppers, asparagus, or any other fruit or vegetable that doesn’t need a deep pot or trellis, or that doesn’t grow too tall.
With this method of growing, you can grow lettuce for example in planters, and planting every 2 to 4 weeks will give a continuous harvest of lettuce throughout the growing season.
4 X 4 LUMBER
When you don’t have much to work with then you may need to get inventive and lumber can help. The only downside is that concrete will need to be used to support everything from falling over.
An upside to this technique is that it can be placed outside the garden and by using multiple will greatly increase a harvest in a small growing area.
After choosing an area, dig a hole that is one foot deep and about eight inches wide, using a piece of 4 x 4 lumber that is 2 to 3 feet tall, place it in the hole and pour the concrete in the hole, and make sure that the lumber is straight by using a bubble level.
Let the concrete set for at least 24 hours, use another piece of 4 x 4 that is 4 to 5 feet long, place the center of that piece of lumber on top of the piece of lumber that is in the ground, and use brackets to hold everything together.
Then place another piece of 4 x 4 lumber that is 4 to 5 feet long on top of the first piece but in the opposite direction.
For example, the first piece is facing north to south and the second piece is facing east to west.
From this point, another piece can be added to the top that is facing southwest to northeast as an example.
Then a 1 to 2-foot piece can be added and cross pieces then can be added.
After that has been completed all that is left to do is to add eye bolts to the cross pieces to hang plants from.
If you would like to add more to this, add plant hanging hooks to the piece of lumber that is in the ground.
To keep the wood from splitting, it is recommended to first drill holes before screwing and bolting anything together.
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