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Maximizing Garden Space

Posted in: Gardening,

Description

When it comes to growing vegetables, there is never enough space. The longer that you garden the more interested you will become in growing more with the space you have. I have a fairly large space compared to most and I am constantly thinking of ways to increase my yield. Here are a few tips and tricks that will help you as well.

First you must think vertically. Many plants grow just as well by growing up as well as by growing out, and in fact it is often better for the plant. Vertical growing keeps the plant off the ground where it could get too much dampness, mold and disease. It also allows the plant to aerate better, keeping the leaves and fruit dryer when there has been too much rain.

Inter-planting is another trick. If you control the spread of one plant, such as a tomato, you can plant other plants in between them. There can also be other benefits to inter-planting. A typical example is growing basil in between tomato plants. In addition to getting more from your space, the basil plants can enhance the flavor of the tomatoes and repel hornworms. Another example is that  growing radishes around squash plants   will deter squash borers.

Lastly, consider dwarf or bush varieties of plants such as cucumbers. Cucumbers can grow all over your garden if you let them. Instead of growing into two rows or more, my cucumber plants will stay within the one row and give me a very large yield. If you plant just two plants two feet apart you will too.

Ingredients

Maximizing Garden Space
Tomato Cages

Almost everybody grows tomatoes, and it is almost always best to use a tomato cage. These cone shaped wire cages force the tomato plants to grow vertically so that you can get more tomato plants into the same amount of space. The end result is that each plant will not require as much room to spread out.

There are several other benefits as well. Cages also keep the plants off the ground and away from potential diseases, they allow sunlight to get at the inner plant, increase aeration and they make it easier to pick the tomatoes or vegetables that you grow.

Trellises

As I show in the video, one of my favorite tricks is the trellis. I find that plastic is the best because it is easy to put up and then roll up to store, using it from year to year. You simply attach the trellis to posts, it is easy to put up and it creates a lot of vertical space.

I grow Sugar Snap peas, one of my favorite varieties because the shell varieties require you to take the peas from the shells. Too much work for me. If you plant them early they will come by the middle of July.

Once I had the peas planted on one side of the trellis, it seemed to me that the other side of the trellis was not being used, and if I could grow something that would work on the unused side it would be a winning idea. That was the challenge. The solution was pole beans.

I chose to grow three different types – a yellow, a long green and a flat green. The reason that I chose pole beans is that by the time that the peas have died, the pole beans will be maturing and grow up the trellis and down the other side. I will end up with a lot of beans from a very small space.

Even though I have a large garden I still like to use these tricks as well as some others that I will share at another time. As I mentioned, even if you are a novice home gardener, you will probably find yourself wanting  to just get one more type of vegetable or herb into your space and will begin to think about and search for space saving solutions like these. After all, we can never have enough fresh, homegrown vegetables. Just ask you friends and neighbors.

Instructions

About The Cook

Guy Esposito MDGuy Esposito is an orthopedic surgeon whose other passion is vegetable gardening. From his early medical school days until the present, he has been growing a variety of vegetables in his home garde

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