Big dreams but no space for a garden - try these garden bed solutions...
Adapted from an article by Liz Baessler.
We may all have dreams of big, expansive gardens, but the reality is that most of us simply don’t have the space. There’s nothing wrong with that – with a little creativity even the smallest of spaces can give you plenty of produce, flowers, or even a relaxing outdoor green room all your own.
A Raised Garden Bed
One of the most popular small space gardening ideas is the raised bed. Raised beds are great if your soil is poor or even nonexistent. You can build the borders of your raised bed out of wood, bricks or cinder blocks, and fill it in with good garden soil and compost. If you’re using a raised bed, space is at a premium. A good way to make sure you’re getting the most out of it is to use a method called square "foot" gardening. You can even lay out a grid on the bed itself. Depending on a plant’s size, you should be able to fit 1, 4, 9, or 16 of them in a single square foot. Big plants, like tomatoes and cabbages, need a square foot to themselves. Lettuce, Swiss chard, and most flowers can fit 4 to a square. Beets and spinach can fit 9 to a square. Very narrow plants, like carrots and radishes, can usually fit 16. When growing in a raised bed, keep the sun in mind. Plant your tallest crops on the north side of the bed and your shortest on the south side. You can save even more space by placing a trellis on the north side and growing vining plants like cucumbers, peas, and squash vertically.
Creating a Small Garden Space with Containers
If your space is too small for a raised bed, you can also make gardens in small spaces using containers. You can choose a nice container garden to suit whatever space you have available. If you have a small patio that you’d like to green up, arrange containers around the outside. You can add a lot of depth to a small space by painting the boundary fence green or placing a mirror against it. Plant things that have interesting foliage and bark and a long flowering period, so they beautify the space year round. Plant a single large item, like a flowering bush or dwarf tree, to create a sense of varying levels and different views from different angles.
A Pre-Built Solution (Vegepod)
If you are working with a very tight space - or if you are restricted to paved, tiled or decked surfaces that do not allow the construction of a garden bed/direct soil contact - why not try a solution that is purpose built for these scenarios? Technically oriented planter boxes and relocatable garden boxes like the Vegepod are specifically designed to allow fruit and vegetable growing in tight spaces or where you may have problems with pests and birds.
The Vegepod is a planter box with a difference - constructed from high density plastic with a reservoir in the base that allows moisture and nutrient to be collected and reabsorbed into the soil and growing medium. The Vegepod can be placed in a fixed location at a waist high working height or be moved around on castors with no risk of drainage or soil loss staining your deck. The Vegepod also includes a pest and bird proof cover that allows rain in but keeps unwanted pests away from your fruit and vegetable crops, and an automatic watering system that can connect directly to a domestic hose.
So - being limited on space is no excuse not to get your garden started! For further tips on small space gardening or to get more information about the Vegepod system - check out our website at www.thegardenshedursery.com.au or contact Dave on 0401 541 962.