Even if you have limited space for a garden, you can experience the wonder of growing your own foods and flowers. Whether planting in containers, a raised bed or a square-foot garden, it’s easy to raise crops bursting with sun-ripened flavors and nutrition.
Try your hand at raising table-worthy vegetables and be delightfully surprised at the delicious results. Fresh-from-the-yard flavors and a lower family food budget are just the beginning of the rewards to be reaped. You’ll also harvest bushels of health-promoting benefits, including stress relief and a stronger immune system. All this can be accomplished in a garden requiring very little space.
When you have limited room for gardening, the best solution is planting in raised beds or containers. Either of these gardening approaches promises an exceptionally high yield of veggies.
Raised beds. These above-ground gardens are usually made with a wood frame, such as the one shown above and sold at Hy-Vee Garden Centers. Keeping these beds no more than 4 feet wide allows you to maintain crops by leaning into the garden. Soil, mulch and fillers to improve drainage fill the box. Square- foot gardening is a popular high-yield method similar to raised beds. Read about it, right.
Container gardening. Anything that can hold soil is a potential garden, such as a large plastic pot or an old wheelbarrow. The advantage here is flexibility. No matter the size a yard is, there are containers that will fit. A well-placed container allows you to position plants to capture sunshine or place veggies and flowers where they become design elements within your yard.
For a successful garden, position plants so they will get plenty of sunshine and water. Use quality soil that allows sufficient drainage. Most fruits and vegetables need a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight in the Midwest. Place your garden where it’s convenient for tending and harvesting.
Shapes, sizes and materials for containers are almost endless.
- Add a rustic cedar planting box to a sunny spot on a deck.
- Purchase large, colorful pots of 10 gallons and up. These can be moved from season to season—or even during a season—until you find the perfect position for sun.
- Use half of a wooden barrel to host a gathering of tomato plants.
- Check out water tanks in various sizes at farm stores. They are ideal for planting.
- Create a focal point for your yard by stacking small pots on a bench with larger pots in front on the ground. Keep in mind the heights to which the plants will grow.
- Attach a collection of 1- or 2-gallon- size metal cans to a fence, a shed or other utilitarian surface.