Install a fence when growing in small spaces
By Sirena Rubinoff, Networx
Just because you live in the city or don't have a large backyard, does not mean you can't grow your own fresh vegetables. All it takes is a bit of creativity and some flexibility and you too can have your very own vegetable or herb garden to be proud of!
You don't need a lot of space for your vegetable garden, but you do need to make sure your plants will have access to sun, water and good soil every day. Keep in mind that most vegetable varieties need at least six hours of sunlight per day to grow healthily. This is important when choosing where to plant your veggies. (Think about the movement of the sun and how much direct sunlight or shade your plant will receive). You might also want to try growing your vegetables near to your outdoor tap so that you don't have to worry about having trouble watering the far corners of your garden. And lastly, make sure you check your growing space to see that it is good soil -the better the soil, the better the taste. If you don't have naturally good growing soil, try a synthetic peat-based mix with vermiculite. You may also add compost or slow release organic fertilizers at planting time to keep your vegetables fed for the whole growing season.
*Tip: You're growing your vegetables for consumption at your dining room table, not for the stomachs of all the critters living nearby. Make sure you buy or build a fence to keep any unwanted company out of your growing space.
Don't let yourself get overwhelmed by all the options for home gardening plants. Be smart about what plants you choose to grow in your small space. Consider what vegetables you can purchase fresh in your area and that you enjoy already - and then think about what vegetables you want to add to your palette that are unavailable in your area or simply don't cut it in the taste department from your local grocery.
Utilizing Your Space
Once you've made your decision about what to grow, keep an eye out for key words like bush, compact, space saver, and dwarf to limit the size of the plants you bring home. Think about choosing varieties that can be grown upwards on support rods or poles to save space or if you are extremely limited on ground space, you might want to invest in a container garden. You can grow vegetables in flower pots, pails, buckets, wooden boxes, window planters, washtubs, large food cans or almost anything that can have holes punched through the base for drainage of excess water. Many of your favorite salad ingredients grow very well in containers of all shapes and sizes and different varieties can even be grown together in the same pot, so you shouldn't fee limited in choosing what to grow. Cucumbers, eggplant, green beans, green onions, leaf lettuce, peppers, radishes, tomatoes, carrots and squash are just a few of the tasty veggies that flourish in containers. You can even bring your garden inside by planting small things like herbs in containers on your windowsill. This gives you the option to keep growing fresh plants even in wintertime.
Everybody Needs Somebody...
Some of your plants will do better when paired with others in a style called companion planting, where you purposely place taller plants next to shorter plants so that the small guys can benefit from the shade of the bigger guys. This method is not limited to vegetables alone. You can cleverly intermix flowers with your vegetables and watch them grow beautifully before your eyes.
So go ahead, get on out there and don't let your limited space keep your green thumb from working its magic!
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