taking advantage of small spaces in the garden

If you are a front yard farmer like I am or have limited full sun spaces, don’t fret.  I’ve been there, and I’m doing that.  Our little farm has continued to expand a little each year, but this year I am committed to maximizing our produce yields.  I’ve been reading and studying, planning and dreaming so I thought I pass a bit of that along to you too.

  • Go vertical–many veggies and fruits will climb stakes, planks, walls, and fencing.  Growing up instead of out saves ground space for those yummies that can’t climb.black eyed peas trellis
  • Try succession planting–I’ve not been as organized as I’ve wanted to be the last few summers, but after reading up on succession planting, I’m giving it a real go this year.  Taking the time to plan to plant seeds every few weeks can keep the produce coming in regularly.  Once the first round is harvested, you can also replant in that spot as well.
  • Think outside  of the box–once I quit dividing “flower beds” from “produce beds,” I doubled my options for growing space.  Now, my kale provides a great filler around my coneflower and daisies, and my herbs have become neighbors to my veggies.
  • Pair sun with part sun plants–Some climbing veggies, such as cucumbers and beans, can provide shade over tender plants like lettuces that will burn in hot, direct sun.  Creative use of chicken wire, pallets, or bamboo can be functional as well as artistic.
  • Contain ’em–I’ve actually used food safe pots that I could move into sunny areas so that veggies could get enough light.
  • Tighten up the space–take advantage of the small space by planting items closely together, remembering to leave them enough room that they don’t compete for nutrients

Over the next few weeks, who knows what else I’ll discover.  I’ll be glad to share any other ideas and hope you’ll do the same!

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