If you’re keen to grow your own veggies, having a small garden shouldn’t mean you’re limited to a small amount of produce. All you need is some space on a patio, decking area or small patch of grass, and to think about growing up the way, rather than out the way.
Vertical gardening is a great way to squeeze lots of plants into a small space – it also offers a whole host of other benefits beyond higher plant yields, including:
- Less weeding
- Less bending (and potential for sore backs!)
- Easier tending and harvesting
- Plants have better air circulation and access to sunlight, which means fewer diseases and pests
- Better access for pollinators
- Less need for expensive soil and amendments
- Visual intrigue and the ability to hide unsightly views
Some edibles work better in a vertical garden than others. Look for vine cultivars instead of bush types for the following:
- Pole beans
- Tomatoes: Choose vining varieties, such as Early Girl or Brandywine for trellises. Bush varieties, such as Roma, work best in cages.
Here’s a great, easy-to-understand, infographic from www.custommade.com about what structures you can use to grow which fruit and veg – it’s really simple, and shows just how much you can grow from using your small plot to its maximum potential :
With a plan, careful pruning, and some patience, fruit trees can also be trained to grow up a flat surface or support – a process called espaliering. Common choices include pear, apple, peach, fig, and pomegranate trees. A horizontal espalier pattern works well for fruit trees. Mature forms can produce 30 to 60 pounds of fruit per season.
Now get out there and get growing!