Kitchen Gardening

Tips For Small Vegetable Beds

One thing is for sure, nothing is more delightful than a small garden bed packed with gorgeous produce.

Small vegetable beds are gorgeous and delicious.   Photo by MPierce under the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0.

One of the first concerns gardeners have with their small vegetable bed is how to space their plants. One thing is for sure, young seedlings are incredibly deceiving as far as how much room they take up when they reach maturity. All plants (maybe especially veggies) need to have good air circulation not only to reach their full potential, but also to ward off foliage pests and disease.

That said, plants that are planted fairly close to each other suppress weeds – and we all want that. So,just how close is too close when you’re planting in a small garden? Most gardeners want to get as much out of their small vegetable garden as humanly possible, so we do tend to really pack in the plants – the funny thing is that it usually works out just fine.

Just keep a couple of things in mind when planting the small vegetable garden. Of course, you want to find a sunny area that’s protected against strong winds, and has easy water access. Try not to place the bed right up against tall shrubs or hedges – they block more sun than you think. Remember that fully-loaded veggie beds will need fully-loaded soil. Don’t be stingy with the amendments such as compost, composted manure, or humus.

And if there’s anyway you can have a drip system right in there in the middle of that produce party, do it. The closer together plants are, the more important it is to not soak their leaves when watering. It’s a lot harder for the leaves to dry when they’re pressed up against their neighbor’s, which makes them vulnerable to loitering fungi.

It’s always possible to use the real estate above your garden. That is grow cucumbers, zucchini, beans, peas, and small pumpkins up. Just place the trellis at the north end of the garden so the tall stuff doesn’t block your shorter stuff.

A purely cosmetic tip is to add vegetable varieties with great colors and textures for some dramatic play in your garden. One thing is for sure, nothing is more delightful than a small garden bed packed with gorgeous produce.

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