Small Vegetable Garden Ideas

If you live in an apartment or a condominium and have ever felt envious of friends with large yards, you can rival their vegetable gardening efforts in your smaller space. One tomato plant usually produces all that a small family can eat; two zucchini plants will likely enable you to share the bounty with your friends. Green beans, a pepper plant and some herbs will fill your dinner table with fresh, wholesome goodness.

Grow Vertically

Cucumbers, melons and many squash plants can take up a lot of space in your garden because they spread out and travel up to 8 or 10 feet. Train plants like these up a support pole or give them a trellis to climb. These traveling plants benefit from the support because when their fruit sits on the damp earth, it can easily or become dinner for hungry creatures such as snails and slugs. Keeping them elevated prevents problems and saves space at the same time.

Non-vining Varieties

Tomatoes come in two different forms: determinate and indeterminate. Determinate varieties are compact plants that stop growing when they reach their adult height, while indeterminate tomatoes keep on growing all summer and can sprawl over larger areas. Bush zucchini are also smart for smaller spaces, but be sure to grow at least two plants because female plants need male pollen in order to produce successful squash.

Containers

You can grow many vegetables in containers that are 12 inches or more in diameter. Vegetables that do well in containers include both hot and sweet peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, pole or bush beans, lettuce and other greens and most herbs. Select creative containers such as old bathtubs or wheelbarrows. Drill drainage holes if none exist.

Plant Successively

Plant a few of each vegetables and then plant a few more later. This works well for vegetables that ripen quickly, such as radishes or lettuce. Lettuce often bolts to seed as warmer weather approaches, so after you harvest your lettuce, you can plant a heat-loving vegetable in its place, such as a hot pepper or eggplant.

Raised Beds

One or two raised beds can take up an area only 10 feet square. They also produce more vegetables than other types of growing areas because when you build them, you add many organic materials, making the soil super-rich and able to support more plants in a smaller space.

Keywords: vegetable gardens, small spaces, container gardening pots

About this Author

Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hi'iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Fahs wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens," and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to Big Island Weekly, Ke Ola magazine, GardenGuides and eHow. She earned her B.A. at UCSB and her M.A. from San Jose State University.