Small Space Growing

More people than ever are interested in growing their own food and the Victory Garden movement is here! Not all of us have acres of land to work with but that doesn’t mean you can't have a plentiful harvest right out of your backyard. With proper planning you can create your own edible oasis - whether a patio filled with pots and an herb trellis or a modest backyard that you can line with fruit trees and bushes. Take a fresh look at your yard. There are likely places you could incorporate edibles where you have ornamentals or simply grass.

Choosing the Right Plants

When choosing what to plant - consider your climate, hours of sun, and of course what you personally like to eat! Think about the over-all aesthetic, add a trellis or arbor for height and line your paths with edible flowers and bushes. If it's ground cover you need - consider strawberries.

Having lots of sun is helpful, but many varieties can thrive in partial shade - such as blueberries, currants, blackberries, pawpaw trees and more.

Raised Beds

If you think you don’t have the space for a vegetable garden, think again! Raised beds allow you to grow more per square foot and also reduce the amount of time spent weeding. Rotating your crops and having seedlings ready for the next season will also allow you to maximize your space. For example, after harvesting early-maturing vegetables such as salad greens plant traditional fall vegetable, such as green beans, carrots, turnips, parsnips, beets, and radishes. Second season crops can actually help protect and build your soil base throughout the year.

Vertical Growing

Popular with urban growers, vertical farming is the easiest way to make a productive space out of otherwise unused area and is the key to maximizing productivity in your garden. Consider the traditional trellis, an arbor, or even an old pallet. Another option is a tower garden which can fit on just about any patio. The options for vertical gardening are endless and require only some creativity. With the right amount of support, most vegetables will sprawl upwards such as melons, squash or beans. If you're into beer - growing hops up a string trellis is easier than you think!

Edible Borders

Line your yard with dwarf fruit trees and berry bushes. Choose dwarf fruit trees that do not require a pollinator to save from having to plant multiples. However, with berry bushes you will want to plant about 3 of each variety per person in your household. Two different blueberry varieties are needed to maximize pollination and berry set. Or try the unique but ancient method of espalier for homegrown fruit in a narrow space or border. This allows for easy picking, no ladder needed!

espalier tree along fence

Growing Food in Containers

There are many reasons to grow food in containers; whether you don't have space for an in-ground garden, live in an apartment or you’re new to gardening and wish to start small. Most fruits and vegetables can be very happy in pots and containers. Just be sure the container is large enough and well-drained. Many assume varieties not native to their climate, cannot be grown. However, citrus trees, avocado, and other dwarf trees can be potted and brought indoors during cooler months. For plants you wish to bring indoors, ensure the pot size is movable. Keeping your trees pruned will allow them to stay a manageable size and even encourage fruit growth.

Get creative and make the most out of your yard or patio!