Becky Searles, founder of Family Garden Life, provides some advice for home renovators wanting to grow vegetables in a confined garden:
If there’s one thing that has no limits it’s space to grow food. As long as you have sun you have an opportunity to grow food. Even a windowsill, patio, outdoors wall or space for hanging pots, with enough light, will provide an opportunity to grow something you would normally buy. So whilst the volume of produce might be smaller than you would like, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a go to grow something useful. Don’t be limited by your space. It’s more a case of addressing your options and doing the best you can with the space you have. The most important thing with small spaces is making sure your soil is of a good quality; your plants are watered and feed regularly; and they are getting enough sun.
Growing inside. If you have no outdoors space, then microgreens and herbs are perfect for you. You’ll need about 4 hours of sunlight to grow healthy plants. Microgreens are tiny vegetable that are packed with nutrients delivering up to 40 times that of their larger counterparts. Herbs will also grow inside; with mint, coriander, lemon balm, rosemary, oregano and thyme all performing well under the right conditions. Check planting-guides for your climate to see what you can grow.
Pots, containers, patio beds, Styrofoam boxes. You can grow most vegetables in pots. Pay attention to each plant’s recommended growing conditions so you give your plants enough room for root-ball growth. The key-points for growing vegetables in this way are: 6-8 hours of sun a day is ideal; make sure you’re using a good quality potting mix; don’t let them dry out; they also need to drain well; and feed them with an organic fertiliser on a regular basis. If you can add soil to it, then you can probably grow something.
Going vertical. When you’re short on space you need to think outside the box. Growing vertically is a great space-saver idea; and you can totally change the aesthetics of your home by adding a green-wall, such as on a patio wall or small courtyard wall. Tepees in pots and small patio raised beds can help support climbing beans, snow peas and even cucumbers. All you need are some bamboo stakes and twine to tie them together at the top. If your family has a sweet tooth and strawberries are a favourite, try cascading them down from a hanging basket. This also works well for cherry tomatoes.
Dwarf fruit trees. Catering for the urban sprawl, you’ll find a growing range of fruit trees on the market which are perfect for pots; the most popular being citrus.
Family Garden Life