Whether planting vegetable gardens, fruit gardens, flower gardens, or even cactus gardens, creating gardens in yards with small spaces or choosing to use small sections of large yards for gardening could present a few gardening challenges along the way. Overcoming small garden challenges to wind up with efficient use of small spaces, however, merely requires approaching the task with the best planting strategies.
In addition to garden location, gardeners must determine what types of plants they want to lay down. When looking to adorn walkways, for example, gardeners will likely prefer to plant flowers. When seeking to utilize small out-of-the-way spaces in backyards or on sides of houses, gardeners may prefer planting food sources like tomatoes or bell peppers. In addition, gardeners may seek to create gardening barriers to deter trespassers by planting complementary cactuses.
No matter what type of small garden a gardener has in mind for their limited gardening space, here are a few tips for gardening in small spaces to help gardeners accomplish their planting goals:
- One of the most important tips to gardening in small spaces is to select plants with like growing requirements. Plants that require the same degrees of sun, the same soil conditions, and the same watering habits should do well together when planted in small spaces.
- Gardeners can sometimes get around growing plants that require similar living conditions by using drip systems to afford more water to plants needing more water, by providing plants suitable soil conditions on individual bases, and by using tall plants to protect low growing plants from intense sunshine.
- Planting low growing plants in between taller plants – This strategy is especially great when gardeners want to plant low growing plants that need shade. Gardeners can use tall plants to provide shade for lower growing plants. The most important thing to consider when using this strategy is the direction in which you lay out the plants in relation to sunrise and sunset. Shade plants often do well in part sun but may not do as well in part shade – especially when part shade is coupled with high temperatures.
- Gardeners steadfast on growing mixtures of plants, such as vegetables and fruits, could plant varying height vegetables or fruits in small spaces using the same strategy of filling in tall growing plant space with low growing plants. For example, tall plants like corn provide space between stalks gardeners can use for low growing plants like strawberries.
- In addition to sun versus shade considerations, gardeners should consider their selected plants’ watering requirements. When considering the aforementioned tip of planting corn and strawberries together, for example, gardeners should note that corn and strawberries both need plenty of deep watering and they grow best in well draining soil. The growing corn with strawberries tip also demonstrates shading low growing plants by using taller plants. Strawberries are sun lovers; however, evening shade is beneficial to strawberries growing in hot climates.
- Use elevated planting systems – Increase the number of plants that fit into small spaces by “enlarging” the space. One method for enlarging small spaces is to build shelves above the space. When using shelves, gardeners can grow crops horizontally and vertically over the same small space. One shelf might support favorite veggies or fruits, another shelf may hold favorite flowering plants, and a third shelf might contain ornamental leafy plants.
- When using shelves to increase gardening space, gardeners can still plant crops in the ground. Shelf placement could be in the very backs of small gardens. Building shelves at the rears of small gardens works especially great when placing shelves near exterior walls. Gardeners could choose to deemphasize shelf presence by growing vine plants like morning glories or bougainvillea and training the vines to hide the shelves.
Planting crops in small spaces makes for a challenge, however, gardeners should refrain from allowing small gardening space deter them from the thrill one gets when growing their own crops.