If your garden is smaller than you’d like, there are a number of clever design techniques that you can use to make the most out of every inch!
Go Vertically Where Possible.
Peas and beans give a very high-yield for the amount of space they use on the ground.
Make the most of the vertical space available. Add trellises for climbing vines such as squash, cucumbers, and beans.
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 ensure that 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.
On our Garden Planner, use the 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.
Choose Crops That Yield A Lot
Select only high-yielding or high-value crops such as tomatoes, chard, runner beans and zucchini.
Fast-maturing crops such as radishes and lettuce can be sown, grown and harvested multiple times in a single growing season.
Some plants are harvested early, such as peas, so you could replace the peas after harvesting with a crop such as spinach.
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.
If you have the Garden Planner, just click on the 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! See our video on how to plant a square foot garden.
Edible crops do not have to be grown in the ground! Many vegetables can also be grown in containers, and it can be handy to have containers near your kitchen.
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. Learn more about container gardening!
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. Give it a go and have fun playing around!