When you consider starting your own garden and growing your own food, do you automatically assume that the task requires a large amount of space in order to be successful? Have you been hesitant to begin because you have a small yard or live in an apartment?
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Well unpack your gardening tools and head to your local nursery; just because you may not find yourself in an ideal gardening situation, it doesn’t mean you can’t grow your favorite foods or flowers. All that is necessary is sunshine, warm soil and a little creativity.
Turning a small yard into a lush paradise can be simple if you have patience, dedication and a few of these space-saving tricks up your sleeves.
Vertical Gardens: Grow Up
When ground space is limited, remember that there’s more than one direction you can take your gardening exploits; why not try going up? Vertical gardening is not only incredibly conservative of space, but it can be very aesthetic and easy to maintain.
Hanging pots and trellises are simple and practical, but they most definitely are not the limits in vertical gardening. Washington State University gives some pointers on growing a vertical garden on their website, along with some pros and cons that come with the process.
Vertical gardens are typically convenient to gardeners, who have their plants at more of an eye level that will allow gardening without crouching, bending over and putting tension on joints. Vertical gardening is also good for the plants, because air is allowed to circulate the plants with much more ease, keeping pests, disease and fungus at bay, and also keeping the fruits from lying on the ground where they are more likely to rot.
Be aware of the location of where you place your vertical garden structures however, as they will cast shadows on the lower-lying plants around them, blocking out the much-needed sun. Verticalgardeningideas.net showcases a surplus of vertical gardening ideas, and everything you need to know to get yourself started.
Container gardening is another solution to growing your own food with little space. Pots and containers can be moved from area to area with little effort, and can be displayed indoors and outdoors—anywhere they can catch some sun.
Not only is container gardening a convenient way to grow food when space is limited, some plants actually grow better when planted in pots because the container walls minimize pest invasions and the soil inside usually retains heat better.
According to container-gardening-for-food.com, “Container gardening will open up opportunities to you, allowing you to grow food virtually anywhere with much greater control and flexibility, and with less disease and pest issues.” Another perk is that container crops can also be grown indoors, where they can soak up the sun from your windowsill.
Tomatoes are a perfect plant to grow indoors, just be sure to keep them in a warm area with enough sunlight.
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Several plants can easily be grown indoors if it’s warm and they can get the required amount of water and sunlight. Reader’s Digest gives us nine vegetables that they recommend for an indoor garden: tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, carrots, radishes, potatoes, mushrooms, beans and peas.
Fruits can also be grown indoors if you have a little more room to spare than a windowsill, and Reader’s Digest gives us nine of their suggestions for this variety as well: peaches, nectarines, apricots, mulberries, cape gooseberries, dwarf pomegranates, figs, grapes and strawberries.
Herbs also do well indoors, take up little space, and provide a delightfully-scented kitchen in which to cook, where you can pluck the flavorful leaves directly from the plant.
With a little bit of effort and dedication, you can have healthy, homegrown, pesticide-free fruits and vegetables year-round, and you don’t even need a sprawling yard to do so. If you have access to the sunshine and a little bit of creativity, you can make any space, inside or out, your own personal Eden.
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