Smart gardening ideas for growing a thriving veggie patch in small gardens

If you're one of the many folks who find themselves in the dilemma of wanting to grow your own veggies at home but feel you don't have the space required to do so, then take heart. It is possible to grow and maintain a thriving and diverse vegetable garden that will keep your family ‘in the green' with very little space required at all.

You don't need a huge tract of irrigable land to lead a more self-sustainable and healthier lifestyle by growing your own produce at home. The trick is using what gardening space you do have intelligently and making sure you fill that space with varieties of veggies and herbs that are not space hogs and that produce generously.

The Golden Rule

The golden rule of growing your own produce is to always stick to veggies that you and your family enjoy consuming regularly. There really is no point growing a bed full of kale if you are the only one in your family of five who eats the stuff. Rather opt for choices that are popular with the whole clan.

Also, it is worthwhile doing some price comparisons in the fresh produce section of your local supermarket or grocer and check which veggies and which varieties are higher priced. If you plant based on veggies rated on the higher end of the price spectrum then you will be saving yourself a noteworthy amount of money throughout the year.

Go with the givers

Great growers in small gardens are generally veggies that you don't need to plant over and over again in order to gather a crop. Stick to varieties that will keep producing more and more after picking. These are the golden goose crops of the vegetable garden world.

Focus on growing nice leafy veggies where you can break off the leaves and the plant will keep producing more – kale, spinach and certain varieties of lettuce are great for this. A great way to plant these nice, wide leafy veggies is plant them in a band rather than a nice, neat row. This way they will grow wherever they find the space and as an added bonus this method helps stifle weed growth.

Beans and peas are also another smart choice as they are phenomenal producers and for their size they are able to produce an impressive amount of food for your dinner table. The more you pick them the more they grow.

Think vertically

Cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, runner beans and peas are ideal choices for gardens where space is a serious issue. Instead of growing out and flat, which is how most people traditionally think of vegetable gardens, these veggies thrive on vertical growing platforms like trellises or potted plants with dowel rods and string erected from them.

Clever combinations

The age old adage of ‘they go together like peas and carrots' was obviously not invented by someone who actually had a hand in growing those two veggies. Had they done so, they would realize that it is actually radishes and carrots which belong together in the veggie patch.

Early carrots, like the delectably sweet Chanteney carrots– due to their shorter growing time – should be paired with radishes because the two veggies will be ready to harvest at different times. Radishes will be ready for picking before the carrots which allows you to make the most use of your limited space.

Potatoes are perfect

Early potatoes are a great final addition to any veggie garden where both growing time and space is an issue. Generally among the more expensive supermarket items, early potatoes not only grow faster than regular potatoes but they grow very nicely in pots. This makes them an ideal choice for small gardens and growing areas.

There really is no shortage of smart and useful gardening ideas to help home owners make the most of their available space to grow a well-balanced and productive vegetable patch. With just a little forethought and planning you can soon be putting fresh, home grown vegetables picked from your own garden on the dinner plate.