Small Space Gardens

March 26, 2006

Many gardeners who desire to grow a productive vegetable garden are challenged by their limited growing area and a small space in which to cultivate their vegetable plants.

Sylvia recently raised the following question about plans to start a vegetable garden in Cleveland, Ohio: “I have only one place in my yard with sufficient sunlight to grow a nice vegetable and flower garden.”

“Any suggestions on how I should approach the layout and design of my limited space to maximize incorporating both vegetables and flowers?”

Raised Beds are Ideal for Small Space Gardens

Fall Raised Bed Vegetable Garden PhotoMy solution for getting the most out of a small garden area is through the use of raised beds. Raised beds will allow you to squeeze far more out of a small garden than any other growing method. Add vertical gardening techniques and even a tiny garden area will produce impressive amounts of fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers.

You don’t need framing to construct raised beds, they don’t have to be fancy, and the soil doesn’t even have to be very “raised” in order to maximize your growing space. The key is in organizing and planting the small garden area so that all of it can be devoted to actually growing vegetables and flowers.

Raised beds eliminate paths, walkways, and vacant gaps from between the rows of plants, allowing you to grow more plants in areas that would normally go unused. The growing beds are just wide enough to allow you to work them from the narrow surrounding paths without a need to actually walk on the garden bed.

Higher Yields from Small Vegetable Gardens

Planting Pattern for Raised Bed Small Space GardensPaths that are required to get around in most gardens can now be employed for growing vegetables and flowers in the small space garden. Plants that would normally be arranged in straight rows are now staggered across the entire growing bed resulting in a higher concentration of plants and more production per square foot of garden area.

Another advantage of using raised beds in a small space garden is that the beds can be shaped to blend into the layout of your growing area. They can curve, follow an “L-shaped” design, or be created in the traditional rectangular pattern, depending on what best fits your unique setting and landscape.

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  • I have also found raised beds to be beneficial. In addition to the reason you discuss (small space), it makes gardening easier overall. Gardening in central Pa (specifically State College), I find the soil has a lot of clay. I do amend the soil, but the extra inches of a raised bed are possibly even a little loser than the lower levels, which I’m sure seedlings (and seeds) have an easier time navigating.

    By the way, Kenny, I really like your blog. It’s quite useful.

  • linda

    Question: Where can I see pictures or videos about a gardener who has pots in the same monochromatic colors? I mean the pots — not the flowers. For instance, i am thinking about only buying various blue pots, something daring and different. Thanks!


  • Thanks, this would really help me cultivate my own plot of plants and flowers.

  • Pingback: Fast Food Gardens » Blog Archive » Perfect Weather for Fall Planting()

  • I just put in my 1st of 51yrs 3rd rock from the sun garden. Everything is growing fast. I spend a lot of time in my little ghetto don’t park the lowrider on the lawn garden. Have fun, BriannB

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