Space is one of the main considerations when it comes to planning your vegetable garden. Whether you have a small or big garden to plan the layout for, it is important to maximize your available garden space in order for you to be able to plant more and likewise harvest more.
The following are some useful tips for you to apply as you come up with the best vegetable garden plans for your home.
Plant In Containers
Container planting is a great option for those with limited vegetable garden space. But you shouldn’t be surprised to know that even large home gardens and farms use plant containers to grow fruits and vegetables. If these heavy players see the benefits of container gardening, you should consider using them as well.
Missouri Botanical Garden is the oldest botanical garden in the US and mentions some vegetables that thrive well in containers. Some of which are:
- Beans. These provide consistent production and do well even in 8 x 8-inch containers.
- Asian Greens. These grow well in containers and can give you continued harvest way into summer and fall.
- Lettuce. These are productive. Sow them directly into your spring or fall containers and enjoy single harvesting or “cut and grow” to stimulate continued production.
- Tomatoes. They do well in containers. They are one of the first and easiest vegetables to grow in containers. Planting tomatoes in containers greatly maximize space. It also eliminates the need to keep changing your vegetable garden plan and worrying about proper spacing just so you can rotate your tomato crop.
- Herbs. These do well in containers. The good thing about container gardening for your herbs is that you can plant a good variety even with a small space. Just plant each variant in its separate, small container. With that, you’ve seeded a lot while reducing space.
Container sizes and materials vary. You may get them in big 50-gallon sizes and down to small 1-gallon sizes. A lot of container gardeners recommend breathable bags like these on Amazon:
From an actual planting experience, they notice that vegetables seem to grow bigger in these aeration pots or containers.
Plan For A Vertical Wall Garden
A vertical wall garden can add creativity and appeal to your vegetable garden. They can add life to a blank wall or a boring fence. Vertical or wall planters are also great at increasing the greenery in urbanized areas or urban homes. This is a great way to infuse nature and relaxation into a homeowner’s busy and modern lifestyle and setting. As for space, you can’t go wrong as these are great at maximizing your vegetable garden space. You plant upwards , meaning you consume one small plot and build your vegetable garden by adding more levels. A vertical garden makes for great organization too and helps you plant more vegetables without cluttering the look of your vegetable garden.
Did you know that a vertical wall garden can save you dollars on utility bills?
Energy Australia says greening your wall grants an additional layer of insulation to your home. This in effect cools down the interiors of your house. And we know that with cooler homes, you can lessen energy use from air conditioning. So consider sectioning out a particular space for it.
Hunting for vertical wall planters and designs can be great fun. The designs abound and the material choices are almost limitless. You can go with wood planter boxes, metal ones, or plastic ones. Even heavy-duty fabric or sacks may be used. You can go as expensive on your budget as you like with framed wall planters like these on Amazon:
Or you can go low key and strategic with durable grow bag multi-pocket wall planters like these:
Plant In Raised Beds
You can go for framed raised beds or uncontained ones. Framed ones may utilize wood, boards, concrete, metal, even plastic or aluminum. For an uncontained bed, you just mound soil in a narrow bed. The space-saving choice would naturally be to use a framed raised bed. Your vegetable garden plan can do well (and much, actually.) with a 2 x 3 raised bed.
Washington State University lists some of the benefits of using raised beds in your vegetable garden. Some of which are:
- Getting better soil drainage, which is great for perennial crops that require well-drained conditions.
- Fitting them in small spaces, which is great for gardeners with a limited gardening area.
- Preventing soil runoff and contamination, which is great for areas where water runoff from storm and storm drains is a common occurrence.
- Using better soil, which is great for urban gardens that are prone to unproductive or unusable soil. You can purchase special soil to pour into your raised bed then start planting luscious veggies.
For soil types, you may go with topsoil, potting soil, or compost mixes. Amazon has choices like these for you:
Do Companion Planting
Companion planting is a great way to maximize space and increase your vegetable garden harvest. You can do this in your raised beds, containers, and garden plot. When planted together, certain vegetable plants can enhance mutual growth and protection. This is called companion planting or sometimes, intercropping.
Country Living suggests companion planting combos you can consider in your vegetable garden plan. Some are:
- Lettuce with eggplant and tomatoes. Eggplant and tomatoes grow quite tall. Growing lettuce under them adds shade that is beneficial to the heat-sensitive lettuce. Your lettuce will taste sweeter or less bitter and they will be less prone to bolting.
- Tomatoes with cilantro or basil. Intercropping these may enhance the flavor of your tomatoes. More importantly, basil and cilantro let off a scent that repels garden pests. If you let them flower, this will also drive more pollinators to your tomatoes.
- Three Sisters. This is a popular expression that refers to corn, beans, and pumpkin. Corn enables the beans as they climb. Beans provide nitrogen. Pumpkin leaves act as mulch and helps reduce weeds while keeping moisture in.
- Melons and Squash with flowering herbs. Drive more pollinators into your garden by planting herbs that love to flower. Some of these are parsley, fennel, and dill. As you may already know, more pollination means more fruiting.
Choose High And Quick Yielding Crops
Different vegetables seed and grow at different rates. If you are fond of cooking or if your household is high on vegetable consumption, consider planting fast-growing vegetables. These are short on waiting time. Some plants to consider are:
- Salad leaves. These grow as early as 21 days. You can cut baby leaves as they grow and regrow. Use them freshly cut on your salads or meals.
- Spinach. These grow as early as 1 month.
- Dwarf green beans. These yield harvests within 60 days. Prepare your next planting midway (or a quarter of) the wait to ensure a monthly (or weekly) supply.
- Potatoes. These grow from 10 to 20 weeks and you can harvest baby potatoes for early consumption.
- Spring onions. Have your own supply for garnishing and other meal prep by planting your own spring onions. These can be ready for harvest in 8 weeks.
- Other herbs. Most herbs germinate within 1 to 2 weeks. You may even be able to start making some small cuts one to two weeks after that.
Plant Vegetables In Hanging Pots
Hanging pots add a feeling of luxury in any garden and indoor space. They also help you maximize space by allowing you to plant vegetables above ground. You can hang them from your deck roof, suspend them from the posts or have them around your gazebo.
Hanging pots or baskets come in different designs and materials. Some use chains for suspension. Others incorporate rope or heavy duty strings. With hanging baskets, your choice of a lining is essential. Liners help with water retention and aeration so you need a good one. You may use burlap liners. These are cheap and adjustable, environmentally friendly too. They don’t hold water for long so you may need to monitor your watering. Supamoss is another option. This type of liner is versatile. It has holes so drainage is ensured. The thick coating helps with water retention.
Here are a few vegetables you can grow in hanging pots and baskets:
- Strawberries. These can be quick growing. With proper care, you may have to hang a lot of strawberry runners around the garden.
- Cherry pot tomatoes. Yes, there are tumbler variants that are content and fruitful growing in baskets.
- Most herbs. Name it and you can probably hang that particular herb in a basket. These are great for small containers and small hanging baskets. They are easy to plant and grow. They don’t demand much space and they tend to be quite low on maintenance.