Tips for Growing Food in a Small Space

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Planting herbs in flower pots is a great place to start. Image courtesy of Till Westermayer

Planting herbs in flower pots is a great place to start. Image courtesy of Till Westermayer

You may be worried that because you have a small yard or even just a front porch, growing your own food is out of reach. That, however, is not the case. Plenty of options exist for growing food. Greg Peterson, an expert gardener and gardening instructor in Phoenix, advocates keeping it simple, especially when gardening in tight, urban spaces. Here are some tips Peterson offers to help you start growing food in small spaces the simple way:

1. Work with the space you have

Do you have flower pots or a flower bed? Those spaces would work just as well for other kinds of plants. Peterson suggests adding some vegetables to those spaces. Even if flowers and vegetables share the same space, food can still grow.

2. Try out alternative methods

Sometimes a traditional garden bed is out of the question, especially if you don’t have much yard space to work with. One alternative, which Peterson is a proponent of, is a system like the tower garden, which allows you to grow vegetables and herbs without the use of any soil. Although this type of gardening comes with a significant cost up front, it may pay for itself in the long run when you have less expensive grocery bills.

3. Grow herbs

You don’t need to start out planting a supermarket produce display worth of fruits and vegetables. Herbs are a plant that will happily grow in pots. “Herbs are the most expensive thing to buy and the easiest thing to grow,” Peterson said. So try swapping out some of your potted flowers for basil.

4. Plant a fruit tree

Peterson’s favorite suggestion for growing food in your yard is planting a fruit tree (if your space permits). Once planted, they will produce fruit for decades. If you live in a colder climate, you might think this isn’t for you, but consider options like apple or pear trees, which will manage cooler winters.

Want to learn more about how to start growing food? Read: Follow These 5 Simple Steps to Start Gardening

Feature image courtesy of David Goehring

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