Be Inspired… And create a small growing space

Be Inspired… And create a small growing space

Be Inspired…	 And create a small growing space

 

               My first ‘adult’ garden was 3 plastic pots from the DIY centre: they were all I could fit in by the door and I grew delicious runner beans.  And I learnt that it was worth growing things to eat in the smallest of spaces. The one thing you can’t cheat on is light.  Most veggies, herbs and flowers prefer light, they grow better with some sunshine and these happy plants are healthier and go on to produce crops with a better flavour.  So choose the sunniest spot you have and give it a go.

                A great starting point for a small space is to grow a mixture that you can pick at and will then grow back so you can have some more!  Baby leaves are speedy, come in a great range of choices and flavour and will give you lots of taste and colour from a little space.  Look out for varieties that are cut-&-come-again.

                Consider growing upwards with a climbing bean or a tall tomato or pea.  Then you can fill up the container or pot beneath with other choices including something that can trail over the edge.  You end up with 3 layers of food  - growing above, in and below your container – this really does make the most of the available space.

                And mix it up with colour to make your space look  even more attractive as well as tasty and productive.  You can also pretty it up with flowers:  grow them with your veggies to attract pollinators.  And you can choose to grow some edible flowers to eat with your meals.                

Herbs are very happy in pots which keep their roots well drained.  Basil, coriander and parsley are my top choices for pots on a window sill where they are handy for popping straight into meals.  And I always grow mint in pots to keep it well behaved!

Self-sufficiency is not the aim here but the smallest plot does make a difference – even a few home grown ingredients are a treat.  There are lots of choices that are happy in a smaller space – here are some of them…   

  • for lots of salad from a small space: All baby leaf varieties, cut-&-come-again choices such as rocket, mizuna, Salad Bowl Lettuce (Red Deer Tongue, Cantarix, & Jericho), Cucumber Mini Munch or Spacemaster,  Shungiku and Mustard Leaves
  • perfect for pots (compact varieties) – Runner Bean Pickwick, Broad Bean Robin hood, Aubergine Kaberi, Chilli Rosso Guardia Cielo,  Courgette Patio Star (also Midnight & Piccolo)
  • big veg that can be kept small: Kale Black Tuscany, Leaf Beet Bright Lights
  • growing tall: sweet peas for colour and scent, or climbing beans for lots of meals
  • little veggies: Spring Onions, Carrot Paris Market & Little Finger, Chives,  baby leeks (Atlanta or Tornado)
  • to hang over the edge: tomatoes Garden Pearl, Tumbling Red or Yellow.  Nasturtium Tall Climbing left to trail
  • Be brave and try a pumpkin – plant at the side of your pot, let it hang over the edge and then train it round and round.  It disguises your pots and loves the extra reflected warmth from paving.