Urbanites are proving that space limitations will not confine a gardener from pursuing his or her interests. From windowsills to patios, to balconies, to rooftops, productive small space or mini-gardens are taking root in metropolitan areas across the country.
Nothing tastes better than vegetables picked fresh from your own garden, and Bonnie Plant Farm, the nation’s largest grower of container vegetable plants, offers some advice for a successful small space garden.
Fundamentals – Plant care, including a sufficient space or a container with adequate drainage, plenty of sunlight and water, and fertilizer should result in a productive and easy to maintain small space garden.
A Little Help – Some vegetable plants are available with a biodegradable peat container. These containers simplify the gardening process, as the container can be planted and with the plant. Peat containers also reduce transplant shock and encourage root growth.
What to Plant – Peppers and eggplant are ideally suited for small space gardens. With hundreds of varieties to choose from, tomatoes are also a favorite. Some varieties, such as the Bonnie Original, can produce up to 50 pounds of tomatoes per plant. Herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, and oregano grow well in containers and are perfect for home cooking.
Potager – This form of gardening mixes different varieties of flowers, herb, and vegetable plants in an ornamental fashion to ensure both aesthetic appeal and functionality.
Timing – Once the threat of frost is over, warm-season vegetable plants may be planted. You may wish to continually plant small amounts of short-season vegetables throughout the spring and summer. This helps you to avoid having all vegetables come to maturity at the same time.
Ornamental Vegetables – Some varieties of vegetable plants are both edible and attractive. Plants, including red cabbage, sweet peas, and green beans will add some color to your mini-garden.
Bonnie Plant Farm’s General Manager, Dennis Thomas, says that the benefits of gardening are the same, whether you live in the city or in the country. “Gardening is great for stress reduction, eating fresh vegetables daily is an excellent way to maintain healthy eating habits, gardening can be less expensive than purchasing produce at the grocery store level and nothing tastes better than vegetables picked fresh from your own garden.”