When it comes to vegetable gardening, the secret to making the most of a small space, whether you are using containers, raised beds or a small spot in your backyard, is knowing what to plant and how to plant it. By planting a few high yield veggies, you can have fresh, healthy food all summer and make a huge dent in your grocery bill.
Here are a few vegetables that will produce big even in a very small spot.
• Leaf Lettuce Lettuce is a great plant for your small garden because you can harvest leaves and more will grow right back as long as you don’t damage the crown.
• Tomatoes Try planting cherry or grape tomatoes and you’ll reap more tomatoes than you know what to do with. They thrive in the ground or in containers, as long as you provide a good sunny spot.
• Cucumbers Left to their own devices, cucumbers can cover a lot of ground, but if you provide a place for them to climb, they will flourish in a small space and give you more than you can shake a stick at. If you want to plant them in containers, choose a compact or bush variety.
• Squash Squash are natural space grabbers, but they don’t have to be if you provide a vertical outlet for their wandering tendencies. Some larger varieties of squash, such as butternut, are too heavy for the average trellis without extra support. Summer squash, on the other hand, are perfect for vertical growth on a regular trellis.
• Peppers Most varieties of peppers grow up, not out, so they make a perfect choice for a pint-sized garden. You can even add them to your landscaping or grow them in pots for a colorful ornamental touch that will also be a hit at your table.
• Peas A great choice for a small garden that is best when planted in the early spring. If you missed your window to plant this spring, opt for a fall crop and plan ahead for next year. All they need is a fence or trellis of some kind to climb on.
• Radishes These hardy garden plants have a short growing season, only 45 days until they are harvest ready. You can recycle their spot with another vegetable once they have matured and have been picked.
• Pole Beans Provide a bamboo pole or trellis and your pole beans will take off and keep blooming and producing for weeks as long as you keep picking them. If you are growing them in containers, tomato cages make a simple support structure for bean vines to twine around.
• Herbs These sturdy little troopers can be tucked in between your other garden plants to help you make the most of your garden space. And, many of them provide a natural way to repel pests.
For best results consult a gardening neighbor, local nursery or greenhouse about varieties that are best suited to your area and don’t forget to ask about ones that perform well in small spaces. The vegetables mentioned in this article are ideal for small spaces, but the first rule of gardening is to choose the varieties you like to eat. You’ll be amazed at the amount of food you can grow in even the tiniest of spaces. Although the garden may be small, the rewards of a healthy harvest can be huge.