Small Garden Ideas: How to Make the Most of Your Vegetable Garden Space
Sometimes it’s hard to find enough space to grow everything you’d like. Check out these small garden ideas to make the most of your vegetable garden space.
There are some clever ways to grow more things in a smaller space, or even in your front yard landscaping. I adore books, and gardening books are my favorite. When I found gardening like a Ninja, I was overjoyed with what things we could grow. This is our 5th year to grow food in our garden with success, and I am super stoked about what is to come this year.
Small Garden Ideas: Make the Most of Your Vegetable Garden Space
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Our first year in the garden we got way more than I ever dreamed, but I didn’t measure it in any tangible way. So we’ll just say we grew a wow amount of food. Our second year, we didn’t measure either, but we had a ton of fun.
In 2013, we started weighing our produce in order to measure our progress. Our year’s total was a whopping 664 pounds. At that time, we had a large pear tree producing and it put out 268 pounds of pears, the rest of that was garden fruits and veggies.
In 2014, we amped up our goal to 500 pounds of non-pear tree food and we smashed it with a total of 820 pounds of food!
Small garden ideas on a budget
Last year our pear tree blew over in a storm and left us pear less. We were heartbroken but set our goal at 1,000 pounds of food overall. We have planted some fruit trees and they were loaded with fruit on their tiny frames, we had finished building an expansion to our garden, and we had all of the beds filled for the first time.
This goal seemed doable. It was a year riddled with terrible weather, flooding and then incredible heat and drought. Many gardeners I know had no garden at all. Then we had an onslaught of animal pillages and bug overloads. Our goal of 1,000 pounds of food fell by the wayside as disaster after disaster struck our garden. We ended up with a very respectable 678 pounds of healthy, delicious, chemical-free food.
The goal at Little Sprouts is to grow as much of the food the daycare kids eat as we can. We want to provide them with chemical free, safe, and healthy food, and that’s what drives us.
When I heard the title of this book, “Gardening Like a Ninja”, I was instantly interested. I knew this would help us make the most of our space. I went to Amazon and preordered the book and waited patiently for it to become available. When it arrived, the first thing I noticed is that it was stunning. The pictures on the front cover were so inviting and beautiful and as I flipped through the book, it was equally beautiful throughout.
Garden ideas for small spaces
Over the past few years, we began tucking beautiful edibles into our landscaping to provide more food for us. When I saw “Gardening Like a Ninja”, I was so excited to find so many more ideas for how we can do even more of that.
Many people have HOAs or other organizations that control what they are allowed to grow in the front yard. We don’t have such a thing in my neighborhood, but if we did, I know we could get away with growing how we are, because it’s just stunning. Check out my friend Shawna’s front yard garden for more small garden ideas by clicking here.
In the top shot of this bed, we are growing rosemary in the four corners of the bed, and on each side, next to the dusty miller, there is a dwarf tomato plant.
In the bottom shot, we are growing sweet potatoes, which have kind of overtaken, and you don’t have to let them grow that crazy, I just like it. On each side, there is a gorgeous okra plant producing red okra like mad.
We received a ton of compliments on this bed from my daycare parents as well as my neighbors. When we dug this up, we harvested 89 pounds of sweet potatoes from this beauty.
Looking at your garden space differently
It’s all about how you think about what you’re placing there.
“Gardening Like a Ninja” is a guide to sneaking delicious edibles into your landscape. There are three parts to the book, why sneak edibles into your landscape, original edible garden designs, and plants that matter. The book covers all 4 seasons and how to create interest in each one. It also covers using your senses in the garden and different shapes, sizes and colors. There is even a section on garden basics for the beginner.
I love this book and have been pouring over and over every page for weeks. As soon as I got it, I read every word and learned a ton of new ideas and information. I had never even thought about making my whole mailbox planter edible or how gorgeous strawberries would look in there. They really would!
The book addresses patio designs, small spaces, pathways, foundation plantings, corners, and all types of spaces. “Gardening Like a Ninja” also has information on different types of food such as peas, strawberries, melons, sweet potatoes, cilantro, sunflowers and whatever else you can think of that would look beautiful in your landscape design.
There is so much information packed into this book. It’s 175 pages of delightful photos and wonderful ideas about how to grow more food in little space. It helps us remember how gorgeous blueberry bushes are and how stunning asparagus ferns can be.
Don’t forget to sneak some edibles into your landscape and enjoy even more food than you ever thought possible no matter how small your growing space is. We have ¼ of an acre here plus 20 x 80 feet in an empty field next door that we are borrowing. We are growing all of this food by making the best of the space we have.
Tuck a fruit tree in your front yard instead of a Bradford pear! Apple trees look gorgeous all year round. Fig bushes do too. I get compliments on my fig bush all the time and it produces a lot of figs for us. This is a great small garden idea.
Limited garden space
Need help getting started in your garden?
We still have to have space in the backyard for a playground for the daycare kids and we have a lot of very shaded areas back there. I’m blessed to have a lot of trees, but we are doing a lot with a very small amount of land.
Another way we make more is that our front flower beds contain a strawberry patch as ground cover in front of our azaleas. Azaleas like acidic soil and so do strawberries. We also have 4 dwarf blueberry bushes in there as well. We had boxwood, but it died in a drought and we replaced it with the blueberry bushes.
Blueberry bushes look pretty year round. In fall their leaves and stems turn bright red and it looks gorgeous. In spring, they are bright green and then comes the blueberries. It’s a win all the way around.
Get your kids out in the dirt and get your hands on this book right away so you can make the most of your space too!
More small garden ideas for apartments. My daughter was living in an apartment and she was gardening in containers. Just find something that will hold soil. She even had a shoe rack on her front door, filled each pocket with soil, and planted lettuce in it. She harvested lettuce all spring and her neighbors were amazed.
My mom used to live on the third floor in an apartment and she just had a tiny balcony. She filled some big pots with soil and grew eggplant, peppers and greens up there. And it looked gorgeous.
Using your garden space wisely
The way you plant your beds can be a space saver too! Tuck onions into your lettuce beds. Your lettuce will keep your onions cool so they can bulb up and your onions will repel pests that eat lettuce.
You can interplant strawberries with your asparagus and they can share a plot.
There are so many ways you can interplant to save space.
Check into square foot gardening to push the boundaries of space.
Another thing you can try is gorilla gardening. Planting things in spaces that aren’t yours. We tried it with a corn patch in an empty field next to our house. The owner came to mow and mowed all of it down.
But it’s still a happy story because it helped us get up the nerve to ask to use the property. He was stoked and gave us the green light to use all 8 acres however we’d like. That’s how we got the land for our 20 x 80 garden. It’s fenced in so we can use it with the daycare. We also have plans to plant other things there.
These and other small garden ideas are found in Gardening Like a Ninja, so check it out.
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