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Organic Gardening with a Small Space

Posted by Nan Fischer on June 23, 2017 under Home Gardens & Growing
 
Do you have the itch to garden but feel like you don't have the space? You don’t need a hundred acres (or even one!) to have a beautiful, fragrant, and productive organic garden. With a little forethought and ingenuity, you can get your hands dirty like a rural farmer - no matter how much space you have.
 

How to Garden with a Small Space | Nature's Path

 

Grow Up

  • Think vertically. The most common vertical garden is the basic trellis. Placed in a flowerbed or container, a trellis is sturdy enough to hold plants with heavy fruit such as squash, melons, and cucumbers. Delicate flowering vines like morning glories, sweet peas, and clematis can wind their way up and around a trellis, providing food for the soul with color and fragrance.
  • Small yards can accommodate fruit trees using an espalier design. Train fruit trees on a wall (horizontally or vertically), or even to fill in as a privacy fence.
  • Turn a used pallet into a small garden with rows of shallow rooted plants. Clean up the pallet, staple landscape fabric to the back, fill the openings with good potting soil, and plant lettuces, annual herbs, or succulents. Prop the pallet against a wall or attach it securely. Stand up a row of them to create a short wall.

 

Going to Pot

Even if your balcony barely has enough room for one chair, you can still make a small garden work for you. Grow something in a pot or other container to save major space. Container gardening has gained such popularity in recent years that seed and plant companies now carry compact varieties specifically for growing in pots. Tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, and even sunflowers can thrive on your balcony or porch. You could even plant an entire herb garden in a shallow pot or box.

 

How to Garden with a Small Space | Nature's Path

 

Tips for growing in a pot:

  • Choose a good pot or container for planting. You'll need a container that will hold soil and water - it also needs to have drainage holes in the bottom. Buy new at a nursery, or upcycle a thrift store find.
  • Potting soil needs to hold water, yet paradoxically have good drainage. Feeling adventurous? You can make your own
  • Plants with the same water and light requirements should go in one pot. Create plantings for sun or shade.
  • If you plant succulents, you will need sandy potting soil.
  • Cluster different types of containers for an eclectic look, or have matching containers planted with a wide variety of vegetables, herbs, and flowers.
  • Use bright color annual flowers for pizzazz and excitement. Planting annuals also allows you to change the design every year.

 

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Combine Food and Flowers

No yard is too small for an organic garden! In a large pot, plant a delicious and dramatic garden of tomatoes, peppers, basil, and marigolds. Use trellises to save precious yard space. If you've only got room for a few plants, grow things that will make your space look both edible and visually interesting.

 

How to Garden with a Small Space | Nature's Path

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Written by Nan Fischer

Nan Fischer

Nan Fischer is the founder of the Taos NM Seed Exchange, a free community service for home gardeners to trade seed. She has been working with plants for 40 years as farmer, landscaper, home gardener, and nursery owner. She holds a degree in Plant Science from the University of New Hampshire, and shares her knowledge by teaching others how to grow their own food. She is a home and garden writer who takes time out for reading, hiking, gardening, and experimenting in the kitchen.

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