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How to Make the Most of Your Small Garden

When you bought your house, maybe the selling point wasn’t the backyard and garden. Maybe it was the kitchen with the huge island or the fact that is was close to the kids’ school and your office. Or maybe you wanted a house in the city, and what you sacrificed was your yard size.

Regardless of how you ended up with a small garden and yard, it can feel discouraging to try and make the most of out it. But it’s not impossible! With some creativity, you can turn that small garden into some extraordinary. Read on to check out our tips for making the most of your small garden.

Only Grow Plants That Take Up A Small Footprint

Plants like rhubarb and brussels sprouts take up a lot of space and are best suited for larger gardens that can accommodate their footprint. However, there are a variety of vegetables, herbs, and flowers that don’t need to be planted as far apart, and some even prefer to be crowded! Some plants that are ideal for small garden plots include beans, beets, carrots, cucumbers, and spinach.

small garden

Photo by Ronan on Unsplash

That being said, if you really want to grow those items that take up a bit more space, you might need to sacrifice growing other plants. But at the end of the day, what matters is growing things you will actually eat and use rather than ones that will fit your location needs.

Invest In A Small, But Functional Garden Shed

Garden supplies like saved seeds, soil, tools, and organic fertilizers can take up precious space in your garage or backyard and can be an eyesore, too! Though you may feel like you don’t have space for a garden shed, by taking advantage of your side yard or opting for a lean-to option that can be installed against your house, you’re taking up a small footprint while keeping everything easily accessible and organized. If you can’t find the garden shed that’s the right size for your needs, you can always get a bit handy and build your own!

Take Advantage of Your Side Yard

Take a look at your side yard. What purpose does it serve? Does it even serve a purpose? If your side yard is covered in rocks or is just a place to store your garbage and recycle bins, it’s time to take better advantage of that space!

small garden - side yard

Photo by Shika Chan on Unsplash

Plant some seasonal flowers, or add some perennial plants that are low maintenance but will still provide you with plenty of visual interest. If the side of your house is shady, consider adding some shade plantsthat will add a bright pop of color to the dark side of your house.

Grow Up, Not Out

If you really don’t have much square footage in your garden or want to leave some grass for your kids to play in, you might have to consider growing up rather than out! If you have a fence, a retaining wall, or an empty wall on the side of your house, you can have a vertical garden! Though you may be a bit limited on what you can grow, you can still have a thriving garden that won’t take away from your yard’s space.

small garden

Photo by Ruth Hartnup on Flickr

Aside from taking advantage of vertical space, another way to expand your garden is to invest in a pergola, and utilize the top of the structure to grow vining plants like grapes, kiwis, and a variety of flowers!

Garden On The “Off” Season

While spring is certainly the busiest gardening season, it’s not the only one! By taking advantage of cold hardy plants during the winter, you can have garden beds that are full year-round. Taking advantage of every opportunity to garden is the best way to optimize the space that you do have.

Expand Your Garden to The Deck

If you’re short on yard space but have plenty of room on your deck or patio, then you have an area just begging for some planters filled with flowers, herbs, or fruits! Depending on the size of your deck, you could add some standing garden beds that offer easy access to care for your plants while adding a bright pop of color to your space.

Consider Replacing Your Grass All Together

If you have no need for grass, consider eliminating it altogether. Grass requires lots of watering and mowing, doesn’t offer much for pollinators, and can easily be replaced with something a little more low-maintenance.

Photo by Megan Hansen on Flickr

If you’re looking to attract more pollinators to your garden, consider replacing your grass with white clover, Corsican mint, stonecrop, or creeping thyme. And if you’re looking for a more low-maintenance alternative to grass, consider replacing it with pea gravel, stone pavers, or lava rock.

How will you take advantage of the small garden space that you do have? Let us know in the comments below!

Bio: Leigha Staffenhagen is the managing editor of Insteading.com, a homesteading and sustainability site focusing on everything from gardening and raising chickens to tiny homes and off-grid living.

 

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IqRa

Wednesday 30th of June 2021

Awsome post: "Plants like rhubarb and brussels sprouts take up a lot of space and are best suited for larger gardens"

Aloysius Ochiamu

Wednesday 12th of February 2020

Wow, this is quite awesome. I enjoy eco-friendly zones. I plant garden egg, cucumber, pepper and tomatoes in my pretty garden.

Those are beautiful articles.

Sarah

Wednesday 8th of January 2020

I picked up this idea of intensive gardening a while back. It's very similar to your great post. Thanks for sharing it! Very inspiring.

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Wednesday 17th of April 2019

Wow! It sounds so great! I thought I can't have a garden in my tiny apartment. Thank you for sharing the post!

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