Small Scale Garden

Efficient Small Scale Limited Space

It is little secret that an overwhelming proportion of the food we consume on a daily basis is grown in rural areas. These locations offer an abundance of space and natural sunlight, which facilitates the rapid growth and maturation of the vast majority of common edibles. Urban areas, on the other hand, are generally not considered ideal environments for the cultivation of edible fruits and vegetables because of the small space available. Such environments have limited space, are dominated by concrete and glass rather than soil, and setting up spaces devoted to growing edible plants requires careful planning in making the most of every available square foot to get the maximum yield possible.

Small Scale Garden

Square Foot Gardening
Square Foot GardeningDespite the obstacles to gardening in confined spaces, increasing numbers of city dwellers and suburbanites are looking for ways to produce their own food. Whether borne of curiosity, necessity, or a desire to be more active in providing sustenance for themselves or their families, such individuals are discovering a new source of power and self-sufficiency in growing food. No longer dependant on large-scale commercial agriculture, they are learning practical skills that are sure to enrich their well-being for years to come.

Step GardeningFortunately, there are more resources available than ever to the space-conscious home gardener looking to become more responsible for the food they eat. Authors and teachers such as Jon Jeavons, Mel Bartholomew, Rosalind Creasy and others have devised thoughtful and often ingenious new techniques to make the most of limited space, soil, and sunlight and other resources in urban settings. In addition, a pioneering wave of home and indoor gardeners have done much to advance the science of hydroponics, or soil-less growing techniques, in the last several decades.


Additional Container Considerations for the Small Scale Gardener
Containers for GardeningLimited space is no deterrent to growing and enjoying your own mini garden. Just about any container sizable container can be converted into a garden. For the urban gardener planning a garden from containers, large plastic tubs are an attractive choice due to their durability, low cost, and ease of conversion into a self-watering unit. Such a unit will provide consistent water to the growing root structures and promote more even growth to a wide array of container crops, including root vegetables. The stresses on plants from watering from above is eliminated as well, and with a fertile growing medium, and nutrients will be retained in the soil longer. If maintained properly, these units will require less frequent fertilizing and watering.


Crops for the Small Scale Garden
Small Scale CropsA variety of greens can be grown with relatively little energy in most environments. With additional sunlight, soil and containers a much broader range of edibles can be cultivated. Cherry tomatoes make an excellent choice for a pleasing and productive hanging basket. Vertical climbers, such as pole beans and Malabar Spinach, can be grown on trellis or other supports with compact containers at their base providing nutrition and stability. Root vegetables such as beets, turnips, and some varieties of dwarf carrots, can be grown with eight inches of soil or less. Cultivating a healthy, fast growing small scale garden requires a fertile, lively growing medium. For best results, recycle your soil and amend annually to ensure an ideal environment for your crops.


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