10 Ways To Maximize Your Garden Space

Some gardeners are lucky enough to
have sprawling acres of countryside to plant everything their hearts desire.
But for the rest of us, the big concern is space, space, space, and the name of
the game is optimization. Here are the top ten tips for maximizing your growing
space and getting the most bang for your garden buck.

1.
Grow vertically
. Perhaps the easiest and most
effective way to increase your growing space is to grow up with vertical
gardens
. Nothing says plants have to be flat on the ground. Install
trellises, cages, and arbors, and focus on vining plants like squash,
cucumbers, and indeterminate tomatoes to minimize your footprint and maximize
your yield.

2.
Plant successively
. Maximizing space is also about
maximizing time, and when you’re going big, the last thing you want is
downtime. Succession
planting
– the practice of sowing new seeds every week or two – will
ensure that you’ll always have new harvests just around the corner, even as
older plants are slowing down.

3.
Grow in containers
. Containers
are an excellent way to spread your garden beyond the garden itself. As long as
there’s light, container plants can grow anywhere – patios, ledges, even
indoors. Hanging baskets are a real gift, and an ingenious new take on vertical
gardening.

4.
Grow in the shade
. There’s no such thing as an
impossible part of the garden. Even deeply shady spots can produce food and
flowers, as long as you know what to plant. Rhubarb, hostas, leafy greens, and
even mushrooms can thrive in the shade. So take advantage of these areas and
fill them with shade-loving
plants
.

5.
Keep walkways small
. It’s important to have room to
move, and to carry tools, but you might be surprised by how much extra space
you can gain by inching your growing space into pathways. How much room you
need is up to you, and it’s different for everyone, but planting right up to
that line will increase your square footage more than you think.

6.
Grow up fences
. Do you have a fence or boundary
wall on the edge of your yard? Grow creeping, vining plants at the base of it
to earn yourself a free trellis. As a bonus, you’ll get a beautiful living
wall
.

7.
Grow double duty plants
. Are you
worried about finding the space for both landscape plants and vegetables?
Plants like sunflowers, swiss chard, banana plants, and sweet potatoes are both
beautiful and edible. Don’t be afraid to grow
both edibles and ornamentals together
. The bees and other pollinators
will thank you.

8.
Grow indoors
. Who says a garden has to be
outdoors? Planting
inside
, with the help of grow lights or just bright windows, will
extend your planting space as well as your growing season.

9.
Plant everywhere
. Don’t feel bound by big plots of
land. Do you have small patches of soil around your house? Do you have spots
where small patches of soil could go? Some plants need very little space to
thrive, and having small pockets of vegetation around your house will give it a
beautiful, green look.

10.
Plant microgreens
. While you can’t change your square
footage, you can change the size of your crops, and how long they spend in the
ground. Microgreens,
leafy vegetables picked very early for tender and delicious salads, are
incredibly efficient both in terms of space and days to maturity, and a single
plot of earth can produce several bountiful harvests over one growing season.

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