In small spaces/vertical growing

One of the biggest complaints I hear concerns lack of space. People don’t want to put a vegetable bed into their garden if that’s all they can fit in their garden. Or sometimes there is just very little ground space to grow anything. One of the most efficient ways to grow things in a small space is to grow vertically. Most are annuals:

  • Peas and beans up a cane are great in these circumstances
  • Instead of a sprawling pumpkin you could try a pumpkin munchkin or red kuri that have small fruit and can be trained up a trellis
  • Cucumbers like cucamelon or lemon cucumbers that don’t need a greenhouse can do well
  • Malabar spinach is a great vining spinach with succulent leaves
  • Instead of a courgette you could try a tromboncino. It is a vining squash with huge, amazing shaped fruits that when green taste quite courgette like
  • Out of the perennials I’d recommend Caucasian spinach, blackberries and kiwis
  • Beetroots, radishes, mini turnips and kohl rabi (which grow a bit taller and wider) are great here. You can eat all the tops as tasty greens too, which makes them worth while crops.
This is a blackberry wall. Yes I can almost hear you asking why on earth are you growing blackberries when you can pick them anywhere? There’s a long story for another time and this plant has a history. I also didn’t mean to grow quite so much of it. It’s thornless and very tasty though. It’s also quite shady where the roots are as there is a fence behind it. It grows up to above the fence so that the berries get sun and get really sweet.
Pretty much all pots and a pallet planter

In you have very little soil available at all you can do very well with just pots (or make a pallet planter). In our previous garden it was all paving slabs so literally everything was in pots. Things that don’t grow tall and have fairly shallow roots do well in deep-ish trays and can be placed anywhere – on short, walls, on tables, on bike sheds or even lining the sides of pathways where their short height do not feel invasive to the space.