February 1, 2023

Small Space Gardening

Growing joy!

small space garden
Maybe you have a desire to garden and some space for an outside garden, not much, but just enough to put in a few plants. Using suggestions from this article can help you get the most out of your limited space. You feel that the effort is worth the time to create a home for some beautiful plants or plants that taste good. It is possible to have both beauty and flavor. Some people find gardening therapeutic and maybe on some level you feel that is what you need.

Growing food can change your life and at the very least you will bring beauty and order to the world. Once you grow a plant, it is much easier to eat and you don’t want any of it to go to waste. You know where it came from and what it is made of. Most of all you remember the energy you put out to grow it, it just seems more worthwhile.

To build raised beds, you have to have a source of soil to fill each bed with. The higher the bed, the more soil you will need. Yes, you can use the soil from your yard but add some amendments to make it into super soil. Test your soil before you amend it and use that information to buy what you need. In a perfect world, you would have your own compost to put in but since you are just starting out and do not have a compost pile, you have to buy stuff to add once you start gardening there are things you can add all the time to keep your soil happy.

vegetable gardening in box
The first three things to add are coffee grounds (Starbucks and other places will give you grounds for free), eggshells, and banana peels. Coffee is full of nitrogen and so both the grounds and the drink can be put in the garden daily. Coffee grounds can be used to change the structure of soil and help transform heavy soil into a loam which is the best for growing.

Eggshells have phosphorous and calcium and snails hate to crawl across them so break them up and use them by placing the crunched-up shells at the base of any plant that appeals to snails. Banana peels have potassium and are good for the bloom of plants. Banana peels are often put in the hole when planting a rose bush. This way the roses which you are planting will get the extra boost of potassium to help them bloom.

Most cities have programs to get out free compost and mulch to gardeners. These services are usually connected to a local community garden or a master gardener program. Hit the local government offices and most will direct you to these resources. If not, then you can buy bags of compost and mulch, and soil.

Raised beds keep plants from drowning in heavy rain or overwatering. Raised beds can help people who are disabled or older or just hate to bend over to reach the beds for harvesting, weeding, and feeding. Rows work. The plants tend to be more shallow-rooted and require more support. Start with a plan! Draw it out. Use the package directions if you can but in a small space, you may not have enough room.

Use the growing habit (tall, short, and bushy, low along the ground’s surface in your plan. Plant alternating habits, for instance, if tomatoes are tall and bushy, plant them with onions which are mostly underground. The tomato bush will cover the soil and keep the weeds down while the onion scares off bugs and keeps the soil from compounding and becoming too hard to work with.

pot gardening
The beets, broccoli, and lettuce are on their way out and an unusual heatwave is causing some wilting. There are some plants just coming up and they will get moved to where the broccoli, lettuce, and beets are hanging out. The pots of herbs and starters are on the wooden frame of the box. By running a tube from the watering system to the pots, no one has to water. After a decade of gardening, the greatest feature of the yard is the drip watering system. Get yourself set up and use drip irrigation if you plan to continue gardening. Drip irrigation keeps down the weeds by not watering weed seeds.

The garden in the pictures is a front yard at 30 ft. by 15 ft. By using raised beds and covering the soil outside with wood chips and the inside of the boxes with plant material weeds have been mostly eliminated. A few weeds around are a good thing as it encourages ladybugs and other beneficial insects. Beneficial insects will help you battle disease and infestation.

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