Four Ideas to Grow Food in small spaces
Growing food in small spaces has sparked interest especially since the pandemic (Covid-19), many persons are now removing part of their flower gardens for this purpose and then there are those that are gardening for the first time making use of whatever available spot they can find to start a vegetable garden. Never has there been a time since 1800 that people are finding ways to sustain themselves by growing their own foods.
During 1800 in the old English days British peasants installed gardens around their homes planting fruits, vegetables, herbs along with flowering plants, beehives, and livestock that provided food for their families. This method of gardening was called cottage gardens, cottage gardens were crowded with plants. In other words, these peasants made the most out of the little space they had ensuring every bit was utilized because they knew their survival depended on it.
Perhaps you may be one of those persons who have never thought of growing your own foods or may be thinking this is not for you because “you don’t have a green thumb” this is just a myth, anyone can grow an edible garden, why miss out on the joy of growing and harvesting your own foods. If you are interested in knowing how simple growing an edible garden is then continue reading because you don’t want to miss out on what so many homeowners are enjoying.
1. Container gardening
Container gardening is a great way to grow an edible garden, these gardens can be of any size depending on the plants you’re growing. What I love about a container garden is that this method of gardening is easy to maintain and if the weather gets unfavorable the containers can always be moved to a more secure area to protect your crops. With this garden type, you can grow food crops from just about any spot.
When growing edible crops from a container ensure that the container is large enough to accommodate the plant you are growing. The container should have drain holes to allow excess water to drain. The use of a well-drained potting or organic soil mix is ideal, when planting you can start from seeds or seedlings.
Ensure however that you know the growing needs of your food crop as far as water and sunlight requirements are concerned. For seeds, the growing instruction should be on the seed package. When it comes to seedlings growing requirements your plant nurseryman should be your source of information. The best vegetable varieties to grow in a container are Beets, Beans, Onions, Radishes, Tomatoes, Kale, Spinach, Lettuce, Chili peppers, Chard, and Sweet peppers. The best herbs to grow in a container are Lemon balm, Thyme, Parsley, Rosemary, Basil, and Greek Oregano.
2. Raised bed garden
Raise bed gardens are becoming more and more popular because of the many benefits these gardens offer, raised bed gardens can be of any size and can fit into your existing garden or that small space. Other advantages of installing a raised bed garden are Less weeding, no soil compaction because of foot traffic, better water drainage in areas where there are clay soils, less soil erosion, warmer soil for a longer season, the soil will warm faster in the season, better water retention in areas where the soil is sandy, more growing space, if you have to change the soil’s Ph it’s much easier, no need for tilling the soil, raised bed garden can help in keeping out snails and slugs, etc…
This list of benefits can go on so as you can see installing a raised bed garden has its advantages, a good garden or organic soil is ideal for these garden types when growing food crops. Also raised beds should be installed in areas that have adequate sunlight or the amount of sunlight that your food crop requires.
Both my wife and I constructed portable raise bed gardens from large container drums which we cut in half and then drill holes to the bottom. The easiest vegetables to grow in a raised bed garden include lettuce, tomatoes, spinach, radishes, cucumbers, carrots, kale, cucamelons, peas, mint, summer squash, peppers, onion, beans, celery, zucchini, beets, swiss chard, potatoes, and arugula. Herbs that grow best in a raised bed garden are sage, dill, basil, parsley, borage, cilantro, calendula, chervil, rosemary, thyme, oregano, tarragon, chives, garlic, and lavender. These gardens are great for small spaces so take advantage of this garden type you will be so happy that you did. For more on growing herbs refer to the category section.
3. Keyhole garden
Keyhole gardens were first introduced in the 1990s for poor African families that needed to find ways to survive. As the name depicts keyhole gardens look just like a keyhole for ease of access along with fitting into small spaces. These gardens were also widely accepted because of being able to add compost through the growing season ensuring food crops had a constant supply of nutrients. A good garden or organic soil is ideal. The ideal vegetables to grow in a keyhole garden are as followed, turnips, carrots, beets, onion, radish, leafy greens, tomatoes, cucumber, summer squash, cauliflower, zucchini, kale, turnips, Brussels sprouts, red bell peppers, and arugula. Herbs include chives, basil, parsley, rosemary, oregano, tarragon, cilantro, and garlic. For more on how to construct a keyhole garden refer to the link that has been provided.
4. Vertical gardens
A vertical garden is as the name depicts, these gardens are installed in small or vertical spaces, verticals gardens have taken the garden world by Strom. These gardens are very unique in appearance and can be constructed both out and indoors when installing place gardens in an area that gets full sunlight or the required sunlight and good garden soil. The best vegetables to grow in a vertical garden are tomatoes, peas, green beans, cucumbers, winter squash, pumpkins, and summer squash. Herbs that grow best in a vertical garden are mint, basil, thyme, sage, cilantro, basil, oregano, parsley, rosemary, chives, and bay laurel.
The benefits of growing your own food
- Gardening will keep you active and healthy as you work outdoors enjoying nature along with the fresh air
- You will have an almost endless supply of food
- Saving on that grocery bill
- Growing your foods healthy (without using harmful pesticides)
- Enjoy better-tasting foods
- Reduce food waste
- Making a major contribution to the environment and the ecosystem
- Growing more varieties
- Growing your own food will give you a sense of pride
- Spending quality time with your family
- You can share your harvest with family and friends
The final word on growing food in small spaces
Growing foods from your backyard garden are becoming widespread, more and more persons are seeing the need for sustaining themselves, and is turning to backyard gardening or farming utilizing whatever space they have to put food on the table while saving a few bucks which can add up in the long run.
Don’t let that small space go to waste begin thinking outside of the box or better yet follow this guide and you will be on your way to having much success as you grow and harvest your food crops. This is a great experience, both my wife and I have started our backyard container edible garden and are enjoying the fruits of our labor so why not do the same and join the many homeowners like myself who are reaping the benefits.