The Edible Garden

Edible Gardening in Small Spaces

Make the most of a small garden space by mixing flowers and vegetable plants in an ornamental edible garden.

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Gardening in small spaces can be a real struggle, especially when it comes to growing food. So how can you maximize your minimal gardening space? Garden author Rosalind Creasy has some delicious ideas for a small edible landscape.

Incorporate edible plants, such as veggies and herbs, in ornamental plantings. There are a variety of appetizing plants that please both the eyes and the taste buds. In her garden, Rosalind mixes edibles like cilantro, pimento peppers, Vietnamese coriander, basil, rosemary, Roman chamomile and thyme with roses and other flowering plants.

Maximize space by going vertical. Plant vining vegetables, such as squash or zucchini, and train them up a trellis or other climbing structure. Get creative by planting cherry tomato vines on top of an arbor and allowing them to spill down over the edge of the arbor.

Plant edibles in containers. With their trailing growth habit, strawberries trail nicely over the edge of pots and produce sweet fruit fresh off the plant. Other fruiting plants, such as blueberries and raspberries, or veggies also make excellent container plants. Create a grouping of containers with plants of complementary textures, colors and tastes. Make sure to provide adequate water throughout the seasons.

You may be surprised at how much harvest can be produced in just 100 square feet. In her small-sized veggie patch, Rosalind has harvested at least 20 pounds of 'Early Girl' tomatoes, 30 pounds of 'Better Boy' tomatoes and 30 pounds of yellow zucchinis as well as bell peppers and green zucchinis during one growing season. "It's hundreds of pounds and dollars," says Rosalind. "The zucchini was $2.97 worth of seeds and the produce was worth probably $150."

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