If your garden is smaller than you’d like, there are a number of clever design techniques you can use to make the most of every inch space.
Make the most of the vertical space available. Attach planters to walls or fences, or fix mesh or trellising for climbers such as kiwi fruits, grapes, climbing beans, peas, and tomatoes. Make sure supports are sturdy enough to hold up heavy plants in full fruit.
Tree fruits such as apples, pears and peaches can be trained to grow close to walls or fences. Single-stemmed cordons, espaliers with parallel branches, or fans look attractive and make efficient use of ground space, especially when underplanted with perennial flowers and herbs.
Most fruits prefer a sunny spot, but some - including sour cherries, gooseberries, redcurrants and whitecurrants - will grow well on shadier walls.
Grow Vegetables and Flowers Together
Growing edible and ornamental plants together can help confuse pests and insure there are always beneficial insects on hand to pollinate fruit and flowering vegetables.
Choose fruits and vegetables that both look and taste great, and include edible flowers such as calendula and nasturtium. You can use our Garden Planner’s Companion Planting feature to find flowers that will grow well with your crops. Simply select the crops you wish to match then click the heart-shaped Companion Planting button to view suitable companions, including flowers.
Make the Most of Your Space
Select only high-yielding or high-value crops such as tomatoes, chard, runner beans and zucchini. Fast-growing crops such as radishes can be sown, grown and harvested multiple times in a single growing season, or they can be planted between slow-growing crops and harvested early.
Square Foot Gardening is an intensive growing technique that enables lots of crops to be packed into raised beds using a special rich soil mix. Click on the Garden Planner’s SFG button to turn on Square Foot Gardening mode, and when you add plants to your plan the Garden Planner will calculate how many plants can be grown in each square foot.
Many vegetables can also be grown in containers. Choose compact varieties suitable for growing this way and grow them in new or up-cycled pots in pretty colors, glazes and designs. Don’t forget that hanging baskets can be used to grow strawberries, herbs and many trailing or climbing vegetables.
Lastly, include a bench or seat in your plan, and surround it with aromatic herbs or fragrant flowers to enjoy.
Try out our Almanac Garden Planner! We’re offering a free 7-day trial of the Garden Planner here.