I grew up in a home where we grew what we ate.
We were lucky to have a big garden to grow all the vegetables we needed.
When I had my own family, I was wondering, is it possible to be growing your own food in a small space?
With a lot of research and creativity I was able to grow all the vegetables my family needed given the small space I had.
You do not need to have a big space to grow vegetable, even fruits and herbs.
You do not even need to have a real garden, so to speak.
What you do need are plenty of sunshine, good soil and water.
Having a small space should not stop you from growing your own vegetables.
With a lot of creativity, you can grow your own food even when a small space.
Option 1: Container Gardening
You can grow vegetables in many varieties in a container.
All you need are the right conditions and a container that is of the appropriate size for what you are growing.
Every soil in the container is a growing space and you can chase the sunlight because you can move them throughout the day.
Decide on what to grow. Cucumber, tomatoes, hot pepper, lettuces along with oregano, basil and rosemary grow well containers.
Decide on the area where to place your container garden. Choose an area that will give your vegetables at least 5 hours of sunlight (direct) every day.
Choose the appropriate container. Some vegetables such as radishes and lettuce can grow in shallow containers while such veggies as tomatoes need larger and deeper containers. Make sure the container has proper drainage.
Choose soil made specifically for container gardening- soilless potting mix. You can also opt to fixing clay soil.
Plant only the right number of vegetables in the container that will ensure they get enough sunlight. Overcrowding your container will cause your plants to die and will also give you a weak harvest.
Water your vegetables frequently because soil dries out faster in containers.
Fertilize your vegetables because watering frequently leads to rapid leaching and flushing through of nutrients.
Containers are a great way to squeeze a vegetable garden even in the smallest of space because you can sit them in your balcony or windowsill.
Option 2: Vertical Gardening
If you do not have the horizontal space, go vertical!
You can have a hanging hydroponic vegetable garden, a vegetable garden in a hanging basket, a pallet planter, a vegetable garden in a vertical structure or a trellis.
Here is how to do vertical gardening using a vertical structure.
Decide on the area where to place your container garden. Choose a sunny area because vegetables need at least 6 hours of sun every day. Chose a sunny window. Make sure to also have a water source nearby.
Pick vertical structure that will support your plants. The most common vertical support systems are trellis, fences, walls, tripods, wire cages and pyramids. These structures must be strong enough to support to support the vegetables you are growing.
If you opt to hang containers on the vertical support system make sure they are appropriate for the type of vegetables you are growing and have proper drainage, too.
Position the vertical support system on your chosen location. Make sure it is securely fitted. A trellis can be attached to your home’s external wall or directly staked to the ground. Should you opt to attach the vertical support system to a wall, there should be a space between the support system and the wall for proper air circulation.
Prepare the soil. This is for vertical structures with containers or pots. Compost-rich and weed-free soil are best for vertical vegetable gardens.
Pick the vegetables you want to grow. Tomatoes, vine variety of cucumbers, pumpkins, melons, vines of gourds, winter squash, peas, corn and beans grow well in vertical gardens.
Maintain your vertical vegetable garden. Water your vertical vegetable garden at least 5 times a week during the early morning and late afternoon.
Growing your own food will not only save you a lot of money.
It will ensure that you are eating the freshest produce all the time.
Do not let your small space stop you from growing your own food.
Vegetable gardening in small spaces entails a lot of creativity and patience.
Have you tried planting vegetables in small spaces?
Ann Sanders is the founder of A Green Hand, where she shares tips on gardening.
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