By Peter Martin, Marketing & Communications Coordinator
Don’t have a big enough patio or backyard garden area? You can still grow several edible plants that don’t require much space. From fresh herbs in your kitchen garden and cherry tomatoes in vertical planters to salad leaves in your balcony garden, you can grow all sorts of things.
With yet another growing season on the way, this week’s blog is centered on some of the best fruits and vegetables you can grow in your very own garden, even if it is a tiny sliver of soil. Here are some of the best easiest, low-maintenance fruits and veggies to keep an eye on for tiny garden spaces.
Tomatoes are like the jewel of the edible plant world: they’re universally well-liked and can be used in many ways. The fruit can be easily grown in small spaces, like a balcony or a terrace. They can thrive well in pots that are 18 to 24 inches wide or even more.
The crops of tomatoes usually require a warm climate, and you will have to wait until 30 to 40 days before harvesting them from when the seeds had been sowed.
Tips to grow tomatoes:
Choose the best variety that yields maximum produce and sow the seeds in a quality soil mixture. For growing cherry tomatoes, vertical planters are nice choice.
Make sure that the plant gets ample, direct light! The tomato plant loves warmth. Be sure to water it regularly, but avoid overdoing it to prevent wilting.
Bell peppers are easy to grow in planters, raised beds, or in a smaller backyard. They do prefer warm weather, however, and may require initial care. The beauty of these plants though is that they are overall easy to maintain.
Depending on what variety of peppers you choose, you can either grow them from seeds or seedlings in a well-drained container. You may begin to harvest peppers as soon as the fruit is firm and grows 3-4 inches in length.
Tips to grow bell peppers:
As referenced before, these plants hate colder temperatures. Because of this, you’ll want to wait on planting these until the summer or start them from seed inside. They do especially well around tomato plants as well! Just remember to add a good layer of compost after your first harvest to replenish them with nutrients.
The evergreen plant can be effortlessly grown in a backyard or a balcony garden. They do especially well in warm temperatures with ample sunlight. High in vitamin C, lemons are great additions to garnish salads and can even be used to make healthy beverages.
Tips to grow lemons:
Make sure that the container used to grow the plant has a drainage hole. You can sow the seeds in a potting mix and place the pot in sunlight as soon as they germinate.
The best direction for lemon plants to grow is the south because it receives the maximum light. These plants demand adequate nutrition from time to time. Therefore, remember to add compost to the soil mix every two months.
Belonging to the cabbage family, kale is a year-round vegetable filled with nutrients. Not only is kale fast-growing and edible, but it thrives well in small pots or containers, which makes it a fine option for anyone with limited garden space. They love to be in partial sunlight.
Tips to grow kale:
Sow kale seeds in pots, trays, or raised beds with good drainage systems. Water them regularly and you can harvest the leaves for your salads within 30-60 days of planting.
Kale plants yield the maximum crop in fertile soil, which means that you should use compost or organic matter from time to time during the growing season. Be sure to get rid of old or yellow leaves to ensure that the plant doesn’t develop fungus or any other diseases.
The leafy vegetable has many varieties, like romaine, iceberg, and butter head, to name a few. They are easy to grow in a balcony garden and can be harvested within four to six weeks.
Tips to grow lettuce:
When sowing lettuce seeds, they should be spaced out evenly in a potting mix and watered thoroughly in the initial days. After one week, they tend to germinate and can be harvested within a month.
These plants and their roots spread as they grow. So, choose a pot that is about 6 to 12 inches in diameter. A tray works best for lettuce. The temperature should neither be too hot nor too cold. It’s best to harvest its leaves in the morning as this is when they are the freshest.
The versatile and edible houseplant is a great addition to your small balcony garden. It doesn’t require much space unlike other bean plants. You can start by sowing seeds four to eight inches apart in a well-drained soil mix, preferably in a tray container with rows. They can be harvested after 30 to 60 days of planting.
Tips to grow pole beans:
Pole beans grow into vines, which means they require a steady support structure. You can install wooden posts when the plants reach six inches in height. Be sure to harvest every three to four days after pods reach their full size to prevent them from becoming bitter.
Mint is one of the easiest and fastest-growing perennial herbs. Just choose a small pot, ideally 8 to 12 inches in diameter, with excellent drainage. The plant can be harvested by snipping its sprigs when they are about 8 inches long.
Tips to grow mint:
It’s best to propagate mint from plant cuttings. Place them in a jar full of water or sow the seeds directly in a pot of soil. Mint loves partial shade and moist soil. As a result, keeping the pot by the window encourages growth.
One of the best things about mint is that it requires little care, other than regularly trimming to keep its roots from growing into other plants.
These are just a few of the veggie, fruit, or herb plants you can try to grow in smaller spaces. Just because you don’t have a large backyard, doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from a home garden!