Scan your environment, how can you utilize your rooftop, balcony, deck, or a porch. Think outside the box; that ‘dead’ side yard next to the garage could be perfect for narrow raised beds. If you have passion, there is enough space for you to garden anywhere. Border gardens along driveways or ‘hell strips’ can really be amazing with the right plants.
Consider light levels. Is it full sun? Partial sun? Mostly shady? This will determine the types of plants that will be grown there. Sunny annuals and vegetables require a minimum of 6-8 hours of direct sunlight.
Know your micro-climates
Townhouses, for example, often have indirect light ‘in between’ houses. West facing balconies or yards will absorb the hottest part of the day. Choose your plants accordingly based on the climate and exposures you have. (Source: Sunset Magazine, November 2002)
When you can’t grow out – grow up!
One of the best ways to maximize your space is growing vertically. There are several benefits to growing vertically, including:
- increased yield
- better pest management
- visual interest
- create privacy!
- ease of harvesting
By growing plants vertically, you help reduce gardening problems like leaf fungus and fruit rot because air is circulating through the plant reducing moisture buildup and the fruit is off the ground.
Consider installing a trellis or arbor to create the vertical growing space. On a smaller scale, consider tomato cages for not only tomatoes but cucumbers and vining squashes.
Containers with trellis’, pallets, horse troughs, raised beds, hanging baskets and more!! Hanging baskets aren’t just for flowers – try a container size tomato or strawberries. The Earth Box is one of the most efficient container growing systems for patio growing. Check them out at Creek Side.
No space but want more? Check into local churches or municipalities for options to get a plot in a community garden. Great way to meet other garden enthusiasts and share the harvest.