Gardening With Limited Space

Simone - Picnics and Paddocks is talking about growing Beans, Beetroot, Carrot, Cucumber from Northland

Garden in progress

Although we live in the country we don’t have a huge area to create gardens. Our land is rolling, not flat and as a result we’re stuck with an average sized backyard like most people to grow fruit and vegetables. 

My goal is to be able to grow as many fresh vegetables and fruit for my family as I can. Because we have limited space I’ve had to get creative with designing and growing. 

Here are some ways that I’ve tried to make the most of the limited growing space that we have… 

  • Grow vegetables vertically. This year I’m growing a miniature butternut, buttercup, cucumber, peas, beans and courgettes vertically. The beans, buttercup and butternut will all be grown up frames with wire mesh. The peas on a bamboo obelisk and courgette up a large wooden stake. 
  • Don’t have a large space for a potato patch, but still want to grow your own potatoes? Why not try bags, buckets or homemade power towers. We used three wooden stakes and wrapped old chicken wire around the outside. The bottom was lined with a thick layer of newspaper, then hay around the edges and filled with garden mix in the middle. This year we’re growing Agria, Ilam Hardy, Red Rascal, Cliffs Kidney and Heather. 
  • I’ve always wanted to give growing kumara a go but again, haven’t had the space. This year I’m having a go in an old plastic sandpit. I’ve talked to a few people who have had success growing in these so will share a few tips and my progress in a separate post. 
  • I’ve wanted to keep a large lawn space because I have a young child. Because of this we’ve run gardens down the full length of our house. More room for growing, without taking away space to kick a ball around. 
  • Planter boxes and hanging baskets are also great options. I’m planning to hang a few off the sandpit. You just need to remember to feed and water regularly to prevent them from drying out so they’re a little bit more high maintenance.  
  • I love fresh fruit so it’s made sense for us to start planting our own fruit trees. We’ve got a double grafted plum (Omega and Black Doris), two apple trees, a lemon, mandarin, guava and lime. This year I discovered dwarf fruit trees have the same sized fruit, but grow smaller. Perfect for the backyard orchard! I purchased one dwarf peach tree, but have plans to really focus on developing our mini orchard next year. 
  • Create an edible hedge! Next Autumn I plan to put in a large feijoa hedge. They’re one of my favourite fruits and I can’t think of a better type of hedge to have. 
  • Make the most of the awkward spaces in your garden. I never really liked our ugly bank in the backyard. Now I’ve falled in love with it because it’s been the perfect place to grow melons, pumpkins and more courgettes. There’s also corn down the bottom. 

What are your favourite space saving tips? 

Photo is of my first Zephyr courgette. I love the colour of these.