During these stressful times it can be extremely helpful to adopt healthy practices and outlets to avoid burn out, and for us this means allowing for down time, reflection and reconnection with nature - even if we’re limited to an urban setting. We are so lucky to have a tiny porch at our studio, and we delight in planting a variety of beautiful herbs and edible plants every summer. This year we’ve planted purple potatoes for the first time and are in awe of their gorgeous flowers! We have an assortment of organic heirloom cherry tomatoes and sunflowers all of which were started from seed, and it’s such a rewarding experience to watch them grow and flourish into what will surely be a colourful bounty.
3 Ways to Make the Most of a Small Planting Space
1. Start by assessing your light situation and research compatible plants
We recommend first determining what type of daylight you’re working with - for instance is your space north-facing and better suited to growing shade loving greens? Or do you have a south-facing porch that would be excellent for growing cherry tomatoes and other heat loving, sunny crops? If you’re starting seeds indoors, be sure to place your seedlings next to a bright window or under a fluorescent bulb. Do a bit of research for light-compatible crops - this will save you from failed attempts and steer you in the right direction to a successful garden.
2. Opt for miniature varieties of your favourite edibles
When planting in a tiny space, we love to get the most bang for our buck by opting primarily for edible plants and flowers. There are so many wonderful edible florals that can beautify your garden, attract pollinators and make a vibrant addition to a summer salad. Our personal favourites are sunflowers, nasturtiums, pansies and calendula. Choosing miniature fruit and vegetable varieties or crops that reach maturation quickly (such as radishes) is a stellar way to get the most value and yield out of a small garden. Miniatures we love include: multicoloured heirloom cherry tomatoes, pickling cucumbers, patty pan squash, mouse melons, sugar baby watermelons, parisian market carrots, broccolini, baby mixed greens and new potatoes.
3. Choose vertical climbing plants
Another way to maximize real estate and your harvest for the season is by planting upwards. Select veggies such as indeterminate (climbing) cherry tomato vines, snap peas, snow peas, pole beans, scarlet runner beans, pickling cucumbers and plant them into containers or grow bags with trellises to get more veggies out of your garden when you’re working with a limited amount of space.