Cram More Into Your City Vegetable Garden!

Cram More Into Your City Vegetable Garden!

[Music] It’s a common complaint amongst gardeners – there never seems to be enough room to grow everything you’d like! It’s a predicament that’s especially true in small city gardens where space is something in scarce supply. So what to do about it? How can you cram more vegetables, herbs and fruits into even the tiniest of spaces? Well, let’s find out. When every last nook and cranny counts, choosing what to grow takes on a whole new importance. In tiny gardens there’s little sense in growing slow or space-hungry vegetables like Brussels sprouts or parsnip. Opt for quick growers like lettuce, radish or beets instead, or go for vegetables like chard or zucchini that offer high yields or repeat harvests. Herbs are high-value crops that go a long way in the kitchen, and their flowers help to attract pollinators like bees into the garden. Don’t miss out on fruits too – cordon or step-over forms of apple and pear, cane fruits such as raspberry, and of course strawberries are a few wise choices for the space-strapped gardener. Many fruits and nuts may also be grown as edible boundary hedges. Traditional long rows of vegetables aren’t especially space-efficient. Using narrow beds on the other hand enables you to grow in blocks with plants space equidistantly. This helps crowd out weeds while making the best use of space. It also helps to concentrate resources where they are needed avoids the risk of compacting the soil by stepping on it, and makes tending to crops easier. Square foot gardening, where crops are grown at reduced spacings in square foot blocks, takes things a step further. By using deep raised beds and a soil mix designed for optimal root growth, crops may be grown even closer. Containers offer instant impact, flexibility and convenience. They’re the go-to choice on patios and balconies, and are easily moved to make the most of sunlight or to protect plants from harsh weather. Be opportunistic in where you put your pots – any flat surface is fair game! Smaller containers are good for compact crops like salad leaves and annual herbs. while vegetables with bigger root systems, such as tomatoes, need suitably larger pots. Check that containers have adequate drainage. If necessary, punch or drill extra holes into the base so there’s at least one drainage hole every 3 inches (8cm). Stand containers on pot feet or blocks to further improve drainage and airflow for healthier plants. Make sure to keep plants in pots well watered and fed. Whatever the size of your garden, there’s always plenty of vertical space. Train vining or sprawling crops such as beans, peas, cucumber and squashes up and over trellising, canes and other supports. Use their rambunctious habit to create a soothing green backdrop to your tiny oasis of calm. Wall-mounted planting pockets and tubes like these ones here will really pack in the pickings while fence-hugging pots and hanging baskets bring bursts of color or yet another opportunity to graze on the likes of cherry tomatoes or juicy strawberries. When you’re cramming more in it’s essential to feed plants properly. Naturally-derived organic fertilizers such as chicken manure pellets are preferable to artificial fertilizers, which increase the risk of a harmful build-up of salts around the roots. If you don’t have space for a traditional compost bin, consider a worm bin (or ‘wormery’) instead. It’s more compact, and the hundreds of worms within it do an efficient job of turning kitchen scraps into growth-boosting worm compost and a nutrient-dense liquid feed. Plan ahead to have young plants ready to replace crops as they’re harvested or spent. You don’t need a greenhouse for this – a simple cold frame will do, and you’d be surprised just how much you can start off on a sunny windowsill. Plug trays are convenient because you can sow straight into them then grow the seedlings on right up to the point of planting them. Don’t let the size of your garden compromise your quest for a conucopia of crops! Big ambitions really can grow in the tiniest of spaces. And I hope this video has given you a few ideas to get started. As always we’d love to hear from you too, so if you have any tips for cramming more in to a postage-stamp plot I’d invite you to share them below. And keep that spirit of sharing alive by subscribing to our video channel so we can share more of our videos with you. I’ll catch you next time. [Music]


41 thoughts on “Cram More Into Your City Vegetable Garden!”

  • I have 4 worm bins in my garage and another outside. Black gold & worm tea! Plus I'm gonna sell the extra worms ad they reproduce every 3 months!

  • I've run out of gardening space in my back yard so I'm going to expand to the front yard. I'll use decorative vegetables like Redbor kale, Dark Opal basil, artichokes, maybe some of the red-tinged frilly lettuces. That ought to free up some space in the backyard for some new vines I want to grow… bitter melon, and cucuzza.

  • J.French Rennier says:

    Another excellent video & as yet you gave me inspiration for building a worm farm for making worm tea & even better – fishing bait since worms multiply rapidly. Not interested in income, will never spend what I have now but the thought of free fertilizer & free fishing worms are attractive to my keeping it cheap & simple philosophy.

  • I grew a good assortment of crops in large containers last year. One of the best crops was the dwarf french beans. The container was about 45cm square and I had loads of beans. I also grew some runner beans in a 60cm pot but they weren't as successful. I tried to put too many plants in the container so that was a lesson learned for this year.

  • So enjoy your videos and especially this one about small gardens, which I have. You once again gave me some wonderful ideas as to planting more into my small spaces. Thank you so much, I am always learning. 🙂

  • Back when I had 10x12ft of concrete yard, we were virtually self-sufficient. Favourite back then, was growing carrots in a scrap piece of drainpipe. Standard carrots grew down, then folded on themselves & grew up, but my son adored them (esp. roasted) as the bend made them taste extra sweet.

  • For a small areas container gardening is best. I made use of my small space by my garage into a container garden and I even have fruit trees in containers.

  • BroadwayGardener says:

    I’m so worried about over crowding my plants! I’m really hoping to get some large and health produce this year

  • Michael De La Haye says:

    Hi GrowVeg, I was wondering if it is worthwhile planting a Large Fly Trap Sarracenia Pitcher Plant inside a greenhouse to try and keep the little fly population down? or do you have any other recommendations to keep them under control and away from the toms?

  • hallieshouse13 says:

    This is my second year gardening in a smallish garden. Last year I had an urge, this was the year. I spent days, weeks, looking at my corn on the cob. Picked a couple early and they were lovely. Walked out one morning to the whole lot gone, just the husk left ?. Each layer, carefully folded back, better than I can do it. Must of been a badger. I caught him sniffing around once before. So, I'll definitely be protecting what I can this year.

  • jane armstead says:

    What a lot of wonderful ideas and inspiration in your video. I have just packed in my allotment and moved everything into my narrow garden at home. I am building raised beds because I have very heavy clay soil that tends to get water logged. I am also going to turn some blue plastic barels into self wicking planters. I just hope my garden will end up looking as beautiful as the ones in your video!

  • I decided where I had golden sweet onions in a pot, I could add a top growing mostly green onion. as well, where I have garlic seeds that I first sprouted, I added seed garlic chives. with a purple onion started growing in my kitchen, and took off in a pot, I planted simple chives. making use of the extra spaces with what I hope are compatible plants. I and nutrients using worm castings, and I also am adding the worms themselves.

  • I would also point to the idea of making use of more of the plant. An example is pumpkin skins, young leaves and seeds in cooking. We can also eat a lot of brassica leaves as salad greens that would otherwise be overlooked.
    Portulaca has resurged in popularity as well because people have rediscovered it is actually quite tasty. Europeans and Middle Eastern cooking were making use of this plant hundreds of years ago. With this in mind, why not try out some plants that grow well in your region but aren't typically eaten to see if you like them. More examples include the leaves of older geraniums as well as various parts of dandelions and marigold flowers.
    To the composting thing, a lot of permaculture gardeners make use of worm towers, allowing them to compost in situ. This also reduces the need to lug around large amounts of organic matter, which can make composting more accessible for those with medical issues.
    I can also put forward some ideas put forward by the field of Behavioural Economics, where making it easy to do something increases your chance of doing it. This goes beyond that composting concept, to the idea of growing what you enjoy eating. You are already invested in that product because you eat it.
    Dianne from Central Queensland, Australia.

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