Planting a small vegetable garden is almost as much fun as harvesting. Can’t you just taste the plump juicy tomatoes and the sweet tasting cantaloupe? Before you grow the area’s largest pumpkin or zesty collards, and are short on space and time, take a look at some creative small vegetable garden plans.
Square Foot Gardening–A Space Saving Plan
Intensive planting designs use every bit of garden space available. Square foot gardens (4 ft. by 4 ft.)are surprisingly productive. How many plants planted in each square foot is decided by the amount of room necessary for the specific crop planted to successfully produce a harvest.
For illustration, each single square in a square foot garden plan can contain 1-staked tomato, 4 bean plants, 1 pepper plant, or 50 radishes. Positioning of plants or seeds inside the square also depends on the crop selection. Where a single plant occupies a square, set the seed or transplant in the middle to allow room to grow in all directions.
Several plants may be planted in rows, smaller squares, or at random in small vegetable garden plans. For instance, fill a square with four bean plants, divide the area into smaller squares and plant one seed in the middle of each. A square can hold fifty radishes or twenty onions. The seeds can be scattered across the square or sown in small rows.
Harvest early by thinning out young plants for use as tender greens or roots, creating room for the rest to grow. Trellises add a third dimension to small vegetable garden plans. A trellis is useful to gardeners seeking to maximize space. Rather than allowing vine crops to sprawl across the garden, send plants such as cantaloupe, watermelon, and cucumbers growing skyward.
Cages also can be used to take advantage of vertical space and keep crops from sprawling over the ground. Many plants can be successfully grown in cages, including tomatoes, watermelons, and eggplants. In addition to space-saving planting techniques, gardeners have an additional resource: dwarf varieties and bush forms of plants that originally grew only as vines.
Be advised, while the dwarf varieties take up less garden room, the harvests are somewhat smaller than their full size relatives. Geometric planting patterns make maximum use of space in small vegetable garden plans. Gardeners use simple designs to fill wide beds with vegetables. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention.
Vegetable spacing for small plots
Beans are a sure producer and should be spaced four plants per square foot in small vegetable garden plans. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, peppers, and eggplant may need staking and space 1 plant each square ft. Cabbage and cauliflower produces a single head planted at one to a foot. Trellis or stake tomatoes at one plant per sq. ft. Make successive plantings of endive, kohlrabi, and lettuce, at four plants per square foot. Harvest individual leaves of kale and parsley spacing four plants per sq. feet.
A single stake will support floppy, low growing plants that might otherwise be injured by winds or abundant productions. A wire cage gives the best support for tall growing plants.
Don’t think just because you have small vegetable garden plans that means not much of a harvest. Vegetable gardening even on a smaller scale can produce bumper crops. In fact, with vertical gardening, the sky is the limit!
There are many more great plans and ideas for all types of vegetable gardening, (including indoor gardening), available for free on my website.