No space in the garden?

by - June 12, 2012

When space gets tight in the garden, the good news is that your crop has a time limit. Whether it's a 68 day carrot or a 150 day garlic, the time will come to harvest. However, I have a packed garden with nothing quite ready to be scrapped, and five more sweet potato plants ready to be put in the ground. I did manage to get four of the nine planted under the boys teepee along the fence, and now they thing they have a fun new garden bed just for them.

So what to do when the space is gone? There are always more options!

1. Grow up! Perhaps your cucumbers are sprawling on the ground. Train them to grow up a trellis and save tons of space. I even trained a cantaloupe vine up a dome last year. Trellises don't have to be expensive. I'm always rigging old tomato stakes into new vertical growing contraptions.
2. Pot it! There's no reason why you can't grow veggies in pots when your beds are completely full. So long as you regularly water and pay attention to root depths and give the plants enough room, they will be happy. Pair plants with extensive roots with those with shallow roots to make the most of your potted garden.
3. Tuck it into a flower bed! Many vegetable plants can be quite lovely, and there's no reason why you shouldn't mix your pleasures. If you have a shady perennial garden, it might be a great opportunity to grow extra lettuce that tends to bolt in the heat of summer. Swiss chard doesn't mind a little shade, and mine has thrived when it gets afternoon shade.
4. Box it! If you have a deck, you could build boxes for the rails. Plant foods you like to pick regularly and have quick access to. This is especially a convenient idea for a culinary herb garden. While you are prepping dinner, you can run out and take a quick snip to spice up your dish.
5. Interplant! If you spaced out your tomatoes according to the seed packet, there is a good chance you have extra space at the base of the plants for lettuces and root crops like carrots or beets. If you prune off the bottom branches of the tomatoes, you'll find you have tons of space to work with.

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  1. I have underplanted all my tomato's with lettuce and other leafy greens, and am at the point now, where I need to start pruning the tomatoes, to make some breathing room for the lettuce.



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