While some people are blessed with seemingly endless open spaces, most people who catch the gardening bug quickly find out that their passion for plants is often limited to their available square footage. The good news is our space-saving gardening strategies can help you have an impactful garden. You may find yourself struggling to find the space for all your gardening ambitions, but if you use the following space-saving strategies your gardening bug will be cured.
Space-Saving Gardening Strategies
The sooner you start considering space the better. For example, many shrubs, trees, and perennials are available in dwarf sizes. These plants offer similar characteristics to your garden but will stay considerably smaller than their traditional varieties. After all, many gardeners can relate to finding a cute shrub in a one-gallon pot that in a matter of a couple of years has grown into a six-foot-tall giant in the middle of a garden bed. For our number one tip on space-saving gardening strategies, you must pay attention to the descriptive plant tags included with the purchase of the plant! No matter how improbable it may seem at the time, if the information states that the plant will grow to six-feet tall by six-foot-wide then it will grow to that size. Save yourself both time and money and plan your garden according to how large a plant will be and not on how it looks today.
Try square foot vegetable gardening. This is a type of gardening that utilizes every inch of usable space. Create a garden plan that divides your usable space into 1ft by 1ft squares and each square holds a different type of vegetable or herb. The number of plants per square foot varies from crop to crop but the idea is to not spare any space with rows or give up space for weeds to take over. Square foot gardening is the practice of intensively growing crops is a small space to maximize yield and minimize the opportunity for unwanted plants to grow. Please note that for square foot gardening to work it is necessary to also use take your gardening vertical.
Going Up! There are several ways that you can take your garden to the next level. By using the going up space-saving gardening strategy you won’t be the only one looking up at your impressive garden. The good news is that bringing your garden up also positions your plants up to eye level. This provides a sense of enclosure that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. How to create a vertical garden space? Utilizing trellises is a great place to start. It is both space-saving and comes in at all price points and styles. Many plants benefit from additional support and will require less of your precious garden space. You can build planter towers and even create a wall made of plants. It is possible to train plants many vining plants to grow up fences which offer additional growing space and privacy from your neighbors.
Container gardening is another wonderful way to maximize your garden potential. Containers can adorn patios or line your driveway. Containers can also add personality to your garden. Strawberries make a great container plant. Container gardening gives you more opportunities to plant different types of plants such as those with a trailing habit or a specimen plant that could go unnoticed in a larger garden bed. Containers today are far more than terra cotta pots and many found objects can be successfully used as container gardens. Be aware that container gardens tend to require more frequent watering than crops planted into your garden. Check out all these great garden containers that you can have shipped to your door. Soil fertility is also an important consideration for container-grown plants as potting soil does not support plant growth like garden soil. Many inexpensive soil release fertilizers are available to add to your containers to remedy that problem.
Build some raised beds. Raised beds are another space-saving strategy similar to both container gardening and square foot gardening. These elevated beds provide an opportunity to intensively grow within a limited space. There are many raised bed systems available from pavers to wood there are numerous options to choose from but the key to successfully raised beds is your soil. Amend your soil with organic matter such as well-rotted manure or compost so that the soil is soft and nutrient-rich. Elevating the bed allows the soil to drain easily and warm quicker each spring so you can plant your crops earlier which opens up the possibility of double cropping.
Double cropping is a method of systematically planning to grow multiple crops within the same growing season. This is a common practice in production agriculture but it is also easily accomplished in a home garden. By applying these space-saving gardening strategies you will be reaping a harvest year-round. For example, you can plant green beans in late April and once you have picked the fruit off of them a couple of times in July then remove those plants from your garden. In their place plant yellow squash seeds which will be ready for harvest in late September. Other examples are lettuce followed by pumpkins or fall squashes, radishes followed by potatoes, peas followed by pole beans etc..Double cropping is an excellent way to get the maximum amount of harvest off of limited garden space.
Hanging pots and planters are another great way to add interest and it is an additional way to maximize your garden space. Many beautiful flowers excel in hanging baskets but even a few fruits and vegetables can be hung and successfully grown in hanging planters. Strawberries and sweet potatoes are not only productive but attractive as hanging baskets. Keep in mind, both of these crops will require fertilizer and lots of water to be successfully grown in hanging baskets while producing harvestable fruit.
Bring it inside. Many vegetables and herbs can grow quite well indoors and as a bonus, you will not be confined to a limited growing season. Take your time and research which plants do well grown indoors. Purchase well established healthy plants and designate appropriate planters for indoor gardening. Look for containers that have adequate drainage and find a south-facing window where your indoor garden can grow and thrive. If you do not have a sunny window, then consider purchasing full-spectrum fluorescent lighting. A cool-mist humidifier will also help keep the humidity high around your indoor plants which is vital during the drier winter months. It is particularly rewarding to enjoy fresh from the garden flavor during the winter months when outdoor gardening is still weeks or even months away.
Look for unused spaces especially where turf struggles to grow. Under a shade tree is an excellent spot to plant shade-loving perennials or impatiens. Plant a pumpkin vine or two under the slide to the playset. Consider these unused corners of your yard as serendipitous opportunities for a little extra gardening.
Although we may have limited physical space with which to garden, the creative solutions that each situation presents offer us the chance to exercise our problem-solving muscles. Well maintained small gardens can be equally rewarding to vast gardens that are often time-consuming. Many of these space-saving gardening strategies will not only help you to maximize your garden space but they are also ways to reduce your garden maintenance. Gardening is a relaxing past-time and finding clever ways to make your space productive and beautiful only add to the inherent value of this pastime.