In the quest to grow more of our own food on our 1/4 acre city lot, we've spent a bit of time bemoaning the fact that we are quickly running out of space. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to make your limited garden space work harder for you.The latest issue of Mother Earth News features a great article by Barbara Pleasant, "40 Gardening Tips to Maximize Your Harvest." The entire article is online, and it's definitely worth reading. The section that particularly caught my eye, however, was the section on tips for using space efficiently. Here are some of the tips that have worked well for me.
Tips for Using Garden Space Efficiently1. Interplant Compatible Crops This can be as simple as sowing some mesclun when you plant your tomato transplants. By the time the tomato plants are filling the space, you'll have gotten several mesclun harvests from the bed already. You could also plant herbs, such as basil and oregano, near your tomatoes, and make better use of your space while gaining some of the benefits of companion planting; basil planted near tomatoes is said to improve the flavor of the tomatoes.
2. Succession Plant for Continual Harvests
Certain vegetables, such as lettuce, carrots, corn, radishes, and peas, mature fairly quickly. If you sow a new row or pot of these veggies every week or two, you'll ensure a regular harvest throughout the growing season, rather than having a ton of stuff ready to harvest at once, then nothing after that.
3. Plant One New Edible Every Week
As Pleasant notes in the article, devoting one row to "this and that" crops -- crops that you sow just a little bit of to add variety to your garden -- can hugely increase the variety in your garden and help stave off boredom. You could also do this with containers. Plant a pot of something new, such as leaf amaranth or bok choy. You'll increase your knowledge, try a few new foods, and make better use of your space.
Read more about Maximizing Your Harvest, via Mother Earth News.
More About Vegetable Gardening:
Lazivores Unite: A Manifesto for Lazy Gardening
7 Ways to Grow Potatoes
No Green Thumb? Try Growing These 3 Easy Vegetables