Growing Organic Vegetables in Small Spaces

Growing Organic Vegetables in Small Spaces

It is a great and promising time to grow organic vegetables, and with the prospering of urban farmers, there is no telling how advanced home+grown vegetable gardens can become.  Vegetables can add color to the garden and make it more beautiful. With a beautiful garden year-round, you can welcome in birds, butterflies, hummingbirds, wasps, bees, or any insect that can pollinate the garden. It takes a little time to wait for your crops, but it’s worth the wait.  If you haven’t tried gardening because you didn’t have space, we’ve got a solution for you.  Using a new approach called container gardening, you can grow edible crops in just about any situation.

When gardening in small spaces, there are some tips to keep in mind to increase your chances of success.  Use containers that are appropriately sized for your intended crop.  You can use pots or planters of any size, depending on what you plan to grow. Planters should be of reasonable size, and should never drown out the plants. Containers can be placed in a variety of locations—for example, window boxes, balconies, decks, steps, or any place in your yard that has the proper sun exposure. 

Planning a garden should take into consideration your weather and climate. The soil that is good for planting vegetables should be moist, and should be mixed with sand to make it easier to plant and grow. You can take advantage of organic fertilizers and backyard- or locally-produced compost when preparing your soil.  Good news!  Container gardening can be virtually weed-free, so no need to dig or till in a garden.  This makes container gardening easy and fun for anyone, young or old.

With container gardening, it is usually unnecessary to protect your garden against unwanted guests such as slugs, moths, gophers, or even snakes.  If your garden is growing in a window box, or elevated from a ground location, its height protects it naturally from critters such as gophers and rabbits. To maintain the organic nature of your crops, if you must spray, avoid using lethal pesticides.  Try one of the many organic pesticides, or make your own from the recipes for homemade organic pesticides available on the Internet. 

When growing vegetables, there needs to be a suitable amount of sun or shade. Vegetables that grow well in equal amounts of shade and the sun include carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, and even corn. The golden rule is to have six hours of sun and six or more hours of shade. Southern and western exposures are usually the sunniest.  For shade, use locations with eastern and northern exposures. Some vegetables prosper with full sun, full shade, or a combination of both.

Locate your planters where you have easy access to water, as some plants will need water every day when the weather is hot and dry.  Collecting and gathering rainwater in a bucket, as opposed to using regular tap water, is always wise, since gardens can thrive on rainwater alone. The summer heat can be harsh on vegetables, but it also benefits the vegetables’ growth. There are more vitamins in your garden if it is planted in the right-sized container, and has the appropriate amount of shade, sun, or fertilizer. 

Growing your own vegetables in small spaces is great fun, good exercise, a way to eat more nutritiously, and an experience that is well worth the time.  

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