Growing your own food provides many benefits including saving money, enjoying chemical-free foods, the enjoyment of working with nature, high food quality, and more. If you’ve always dreamt of keeping a vegetable garden but your home doesn’t sit on acres of sunny land, don’t fret. You can grow your own healthy food in small spaces with these tips.
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1. Break convention – If you have nothing more than a sunny front stoop in the city, take after Gayla Trail of You Grow Girl, and plant containers you might otherwise use for annual flowers with edibles instead. Besides the obvious choice of growing herbs and greens, Gayla recommends dwarf varieties of cherry tomatoes and hot peppers.
2. Square foot gardening – This ingenious method of planting was developed by gardener and author Mel Bartholomew and involves planting with minimal spacing between plants in raised beds. According to Olivia’s Solutions, a square foot garden requires 80% less space than a traditional row-planted garden.
3. Go vertical – Just as building a skyscraper in a crowded city maximizes space, so too does planting vertically. By growing crops that can be trellised or trained to go up a structure such as cucumbers, tomatoes, melons, and peas, you can maximize food from each precious inch of your garden, says Mother Earth News.
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4. Plant small varieties – If you don’t have abundant space, you may have to forgo your dreams of planting pumpkins or winter squash. However, in the world of plants, there are seemingly endless different varieties, many of which require only a small sunny space. For instance, Mother Earth News says ‘Ophelia’ eggplant needs only a container to grow, ‘Bush delicata’ squash is a compact summer squash that won’t take over the garden, and ‘Totem’ tomato plants top out at just 2 feet.
5. Try edible landscaping – According to Rosalind Creasy, this means integrating edibles in to your otherwise ornamental landscape. That could mean planting colorful Swiss chard among the colorful annuals that flank your front walkway or tucking pollinator-friendly dill or mint into a perennial border.
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