Small Space Growing Tips For More Food!Jun 21, 2023
You can grow alot in a small space.
I bet that statement sat one of two ways for you, either...
1, It gave you some hope and encouragement OR 2, you had a pang of skepticism or doubt.
If you feel motivated or excited by the thought of growing food in a small space, you should! It's definitely doable and if you're feeling skeptical, perhaps you've tried to grow food in a small space already and you grew sweet FA! Don't worry you wouldn't be alone!
I can tell you from my own experience and from seeing lots of my students inside my online program grow more food than they thought possible in their space.
So, I'm going to share a few key ways you can make better use of your space if it's limited. There are lots of ways you can fit more food in your space, but here are a few to help get you started.
Are you following the labels?
If you are following labels on seed packets or labels on bought seedlings, chances are you are missing out on fitting more food in! There are loads of veggies I plant closer than recommended. Like Corn for example. The labels probably going to tell you to plant them around 40 cm or more apart. I plant mine at 20cm. That means I can fit in double the corn!
(PIC - Corn growing in planters in my "Courtyard" Garden in my "Grow Your Patch" online program)
So, how do you know how far to plant things apart then?
Two options.... 1. Learn via trial and error like I did over years and years and years OR 2. Learn from someone directly. Google is going to probably give you about 1000 different answers on how far to plant things and the chances are it's not what I'd do.
You'll find a small space growing guide inside my ebook "Grow Big in Small Spaces" and you learn exactly how I grow my food in a small space inside my online program "Grow Your Patch" Where I start a small vegetable garden and courtyard garden from scratch. If you'd like to grow more food sooner rather than later be sure to check it out.
The right varieties
You might already know you can get varieties suited for small spaces, which are generally plants that are smaller in size or more compact, but did you know you can choose varieties for yield? (yield just means the amount of produce you can expect off each plant)
If I was growing in a small space I wouldn't choose small space varieties just because the plant is smaller I would also choose varieties based on yield!
There's not much point in planting lots of "small space-suited" plants if you need to plant 6 of them to get the same amount of fruit from a single plant! Sure some small space varieties are essential, but not always!
My most recent example of this is a cucumber variety called "Richmond Green Apple" just 2 healthy plants was enough to pick between 5-10 cucumbers per week. So if you know how to care for your plants, you really can get alot of food off a smaller number of plants, and when you combine those awesome growing skills with high-yield plants, you really can grow more than you might think!
Keep your eye out for "high yield" on seed packet labels!
(PIC - harvesting cucumbers off ONE single plant)
I already touched on ignoring labels and planting closer, so what do I mean now? You can fit more food in small spaces with some of these other strategies that I have tested and have seen students in my online program adopt too.
Here are 3 strategies you may not have considered (Vertical space and growing up is always people's first thought or suggestion, but consider some of these in addition)
- Over flow - Allowing some select types of plants to cascade out of the garden bed sides or corners, allows for more soil space inside the garden bed. This means if you only have one garden bed, you can free up more soil space for other things.
- Under Plant - Some plants are taller than others. Often there is soil space around the base of larger plants that is left under utilised. Next time you see a spot under a taller plant pop some lettuce under there. Lettuce wont mind a bit of part shade plus their roots are quite shallow and wont disrupt the other plant.
- Dual Purpose - If you're tight on space - think about what varieties or types of plants you can get more than one harvest from or the most possible food from. Like Beetroots for example. You can grow them for the bulb or the beet but you can also eat the spinach-type leaves on them (like chard) or Sprouting Broccoli - You can eat the florets, the stems and use the leaves (like an Asian green) for example. You can basically eat the entire plant.
Bumping the soil
If you are planning on squeezing as much food in as possible, or you are growing in pots. You'll want to consider your soil. If your plants have less soil space to grow in, but you are demanding the same outcome from them then give your soil a boost to help your plants to thrive.
There are lots of things I add to my soil but one very simple thing you can do is use diluted worm castings or worm poo to give your plants a liquid feed. The reason I say worm poo is because it basically has no manure smell (which might be important to you in a small area) and you dont need a large mass of space.
The best thing about worm poo is it really packs a punch, and a little goes a long way. This means you don't need physical space free in your planters or pots.
if you found any of this interesting or you learned something, you'll find my ebook "Grow Big In Small Spaces" helpful in your quest to grow more food in a smaller space.
If you have been trying to grow food for a while, with limited success, then check out my Online Program "Grow Your Patch" - the online program teaching you step by step how to grow food in just 2 garden beds or in a "courtyard". It's made and proven to help beginners succeed! Do it once and have the knowledge for life!