How to maximize a small garden – Top 10 tips

Not every home has enough gardening place to grow the various kinds of plants, trees, herbs and veggies that they would like to. Irrespective of the space available, if you have a strong will, a little time and a love for gardening, you can overcome the space constraints to a considerable extent, by following proper garden maximizing techniques.
If the property you are living in has a smaller garden (or none at all), and if you want to maximize your garden, the following top 10 gardening tips can be of a great help.Window plantations
1. Window Plantations: Are you living in an apartment with little or no gardening space at all? Don’t give up yet. Window boxes can help you create small window gardens to grow your own food, and also some beautiful flowers.

You can use your window boxes to plant some incredible edibles. Window box plantations are the best way to maximize whatever little space you have available for gardening, and enable you to grow veggies and some delicious herbs. These boxes are normally around two feet long and are good to grow basil, rosemary, oregano and chives.

Patio Plantations

Patio Plantations

2. Patio Plantations: Small gardens need ample sunlight (at least 6-8 hrs) for best plant growth. To develop patio gardens, the most important ingredient is a couple of bags containing a good quality soilless mix, which you can buy from a local nursery or landscaper. This mixture is light weight, usually contains appropriate fertilizer and is capable of draining fast, which is ideal for growing veggies.

All food plants require plenty of water and sunlight to survive, so careful planning is necessary before planting. Choose a place that has easy access to water, such as a tap or a faucet, to be able to water the plants as and when needed with minimal fuss. Or you could make use of plant stands with wheels on them. This enables you to move your garden to follow the sun if you need to, perfect for people in apartments, or those with high buildings either side.

Though patio plantations do not have a huge output, they are still capable of producing enough greens to prepare a fresh salad or salsa for your loved ones.

Grow your own tea

Grow your own tea

3. Grow your own tea! If you are a tea lover, you can grow your own tea with the help of portable tea garden baskets. All you need is a wooden crate (old wine crate) or any other container that has good drainage. Visit your local nursery or garden market and ask for soil that is suitable for growing herbal tea at home.

To ensure maximum growth, plant geranium, mint, rose or pineapple tea plants where there is abundant sunlight – perfect for your window boxes! Soon you will be ready to savor the flavor of these home grown teas in the morning, or by adding some sprigs to your black tea in the evenings. Also remember, these portable tea garden baskets also make excellent gifts for small garden lovers and tea enthusiasts. This is also a really good way to start exploring the world of medicinal teas.

Patio pots

Patio pots

4. Garden Pots: As long as there is enough sunlight, any flat surface can serve as a portable garden to grow various kinds of crops. The advantage growing veggies in pots is that they do not demand much labor. It is always a great idea to devote as much space as possible in to growing veggies you and your family love.

If you have decided to grow veggies like tomatoes, beans or cucumber, medium size pots at least two feet in diameter are required. On the other hand, if you would like to grow herbs, peppers, leafy veggies, kale, etc., smaller pots having one foot diameter would be enough. Small pots with greens also look great when tucked in between the larger pots, and will assist in making the most of the available space.

If you want to keep your garden green all year long, choose your plants carefully. They should have varied harvesting times. This way, while some plants are ripe and ready to reap, others will still be flowering, keeping your patio green throughout the year.

5. Use Clusters: Staking is required for large plants such tomatoes. This allows the plants to grow vertically so that they can get enough sunlight and air. This ensures less space consumption. Clustering also helps to accommodate smaller plants such as carrots, radishes, etc under bigger ones. Bamboo is a good and cost effective clustering option. You can also use metal clusters for better support, however, they are expensive compared to wooden alternatives.

Use Superfast productive plants

Use Super productive plants

6. Use Superfast productive plants: Instead of waiting for longer periods of time for the fruits or veggies to ripen, get some super fast productive plants such as cherry tomatoes, which grow quickly compared to contemporary plants.

7. Mix them up! Combining various plants belonging to the same species, can yield a better crop and less space consumption. Since all the plants and herbs planted in a single pot are from the same species, the kind of soil required, amount of water, sunlight and air required to nourish them will all be the same.

This makes gardening easier; saving you a lot of time, which otherwise is spent on cultivating each of them separately. Pots suitable for this kind of gardening are generally 18 inches long and can hold various plants belonging to the same species, such as lemon chiles, peppers, habanero, etc., all in the same pot.

Dwarf Veggies

Dwarf Veggies

8. Dwarf Veggies: As the name suggests, these plants are dwarf sized and are a perfect fit for small gardens. Many plant breeders have now introduced dwarf veggie plants that consume less space and yield better crops. An example would be ‘Diamant’ cucumber. This little vegetable plant though tiny in size is capable of producing some seriously delicious cucumbers.

9. Focal Point Creation: This is very important for every small garden. Creating a focal point helps look the garden much bigger that it actually is. Actually, any place in the garden that is clearly visible from inside of the house, or entrance can serve as a focal point. Many gardeners define it as, “a point where things intersect.” For example, a focal point could be a farther point across the corner of your front yard, which is easily visible from the entrance, dining room and the guest room. Adding a fountain, growing a large tree, adding your favorite sculpture or a simple birdbath, etc., can serve as an anchor to your courtyard, giving your garden an expanded and posh look.

Wall Climbers10. Wall Climbers: When you have a little space to spare, wasting even a bit of it is undesired. So leaving your courtyard walls bare, will only contradict a small garden’s definition. Consider espalier fruit trees, or vertical herb or strawberry garden. Remember, walls are just like a plain canvas looking forward to be painted by good gardening artists to expand their gardens. So, don’t sit back. Go ahead, and paint them green!

As an occupant, or as a home owner, its totally up to you to decide on how to expand your small garden. Some people like to maximize their gardens to increase the value of their homes while others like to maximize their gardens by growing a variety of commercial crops that can save them some money. Yet others do it for the love of gardening. Whatever might be the reason, maximizing your small garden can only benefit you in more than one ways. Happy garden maximizing!

 Rob Lundholm
Lundholm Landscaping
P.O. Box 1066
Cape May, NJ 08204
Office 609-898-9136
Cell 609-722-1814

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About Stephanie Fairey

I'm a unique individual with many and varied talents. My main aim in life is to provide a decent life for myself and my family, and leave the world a better place when I die.
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