November 2014
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Gardening in Small Spaces

I remember living in an apartment for years and years, and thinking I could never have a garden. But boy was I wrong.  I could have used our tiny slab of concrete outside our sliding doors as a base for a small 4X4 spot for a raised bed. The only thing of course was that since I rented the space, I was responsible for not staining the concrete.

But there are even ways to avoid that if you’re determined to try your hand at small space gardening.  You can have a whole season full of veggies even with the small space of 4X4 feet or 5X5 feet.  You can go buy a kit at your local home improvement store if you don’t want to buy the lumber and everything else you need on your own.

If you are building your tiny garden on concrete or a solid substance of some sort, make sure you build your raised bed at least 18 inches up. If it’s on soil, then 6 inches should be fine.  The recommendation is that you plant one plant for every square foot of space in your garden.

You can also buy veggies that are more conducive to smaller spaces like lettuce, small bean bushes, cucumbers and other types of lettuc and spinach since they don’t take up too large of a space.  Bibb lettuce if perfect because as you cut it for your salads and other making, it grows back so you have replenished stores of lettuce all the time and bibb lettuce is very delicate and tender so it’s one of my favorites for summer time salads.

After you harvest one plant, if there is still time, you can plant another in its place so you have something that is constantly “in season”. Obviously this would require some planning and knowing what is in season when in order to plan your garden and strategically get you the most bang for your buck.

Tomatoes are a very prolific plant. They will give you tons of tomatoes off of just one bush, but they do take up space, and you need to stake them to make sure they don’t fall over.  They also may take up more than one precious square foot of your tiny space, so take some time to consider what veggies are really most important to you.

Onions and carrots grow underground, so these are pretty unobtrusive.  Growing your tiny raised bed garden can yield you an entire season of fresh, toxin-free veggies that you can make in a variety of dishes. You’ll be amazed the difference in flavor between home grown and store bought, it’s crazy how good real, fresh and organically grown veggies are.

 

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