Think that because you have a small space, gardening is not a possibility for you? Whether you want to add flowers, vegetables, fruit, or greenery to your landscape, there are techniques that will help you make the most of your space. You can keep your vases filled with flowers and your dinner table overflowing with produce if you follow a few simple rules. |
Small Space Gardening Uses Beds
Gardening normally entails digging in the dirt to create a large, flat space in a sunny spot in your yard. The approach can take up valuable yard space, and it is hard on your back and knees. Small space gardening takes advantage of raised beds, boxes, or containers that you can place anywhere in your yard. The advantage? With small space gardening, you maximize the space you have in all dimensions, so you can plant vertically by using a trellis, or in a terraced arrangement that takes advantage of a slope.
You have control over the height and placement of the containers. This means that you can garden with less bending and stooping, which makes small space gardening easy for people of all ages, even if you have a bad back or are confined to a wheelchair.
Improved Soil Control
For a garden in the ground, you need to improve the quality of the soil by adding organic material such as manure or compost. Most background soil is comprised of clay that lets water run off, sink in slowly, and then stay wet; sand that absorbs but will not hold water; or silt, which has the properties of both. The ideal soil is loamy, and offers the proper combination of all three soil types. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, loam consists of 7 to 27% clay, 28 to 50% silt, and 20 to 45% sand.
With small space gardening, especially when done in raised beds, you can create the perfect soil from the start. Experts suggest that you either use 50% screened topsoil and 50% high-quality compost, or, 1/3 coarse horticultural vermiculite, 1/3 peat moss, and 1/3 blended compost.
Maximum Yield in a Small Space
If your yard is small, you can still obtain maximum yield if you plant the right things and do so according to a pattern. For a vegetable garden, you might choose vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, onions, cucumbers, eggplant, beans, and summer squash that produce crops all season with just a few plants. In addition, you can add some "cut-and-come-again" crops like lettuce or greens. To find out how to plant to get the most from your space, resources such as The All New Square Foot Gardening, Second Edition by Mel Bartholomew or The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden by Karen Newcomb are plentiful.
One advantage of small space gardening is that you can make the beds, or groups of beds, a landscaping feature of your yard. By arranging them with paths in between you can enjoy the beauty of your space while having convenient access to them for weeding and, of course, harvesting.
If you need help preparing the beds or with a landscaping plan that includes small space gardening, contact a professional landscapers who can help you manage your outdoor space.
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