Gardening > Making the Most of Growing Space

Making the Most of Growing Space

Tomatoes - Growing Your Own Veg

© Glinn

Garden these days are very much smaller than in times gone by. Many people have no gardens at all and access to allotments has become very competitive. Indeed all around the UK unthinking councils have sanctioned the selling off of acres of allotments for building houses. Large gardens have been built on and houses have been turned into flats and the gardens divided into two tiny plots.

In times of rising food prices the most useful vegetables to grow would be row upon row of carrots, potatoes, parsnip and swede which could then be stored and used throughout the winter. Unfortunately these crops take up a good deal of space for a considerable length of time. In an average size garden however several rows of each can generally be afforded and quick-growing, intercropping vegetables such as radish, lettuce, courgette or brassica can be grown in between the rows.

If your vegetable growing is restricted to a very small garden or patio look for the new ranges of "patio" vegetable seeds. It is quite possible to grow peppers, chillies and aubergines in pots. Tumbling tomatoes do very well in hanging baskets which make excellent use of space. There are special containers now available for growing new potatoes on the patio, a very neat and easy way of having baby potatoes for Christmas dinner.

Look out for specially dwarfing fruit trees sometimes bearing more than one variety of fruit to each tree which will grow happily on a sunny patio. Remember as well that blueberries grow very well in pots and two bushes will provide several bowls of fruit per season.

Whatever containers you choose and really anything from old tyres to drawers out of an old wooden chest are worth trying, keep in mind that the keys to container growing are watering and drainage followed by feeding. It is probably also advisable to start off with a really good compost although this might prove a bit expensive. Make it in your own compost bin if possible.

If you have no conventional outside space at all a window box can provide lettuce (try the cut and come again varieties), radish, corn salad and even a few carrots. Productive cucumber plants will grow happily in a sunny porch as will tomato plants.
Even a summy window sill and a few screw top jam jars can produce sprouted seeds which only take a few days before they are ready to eat.

As time goes on it may again become important that we are able to feed ourselves. It is well worth experimenting and seeing what can be grown in your garden, yard, patio, balcony or window sill. Study the new seeds on the market, many can be grown in pots and are resistant to diseases and pests making them easier to raise in a crowded environment. Have a go and let's try and wean ourselves off supermarkets!