10 Tips to Grow More Food in a Small Garden

Want to grow at least some of your own fresh ingredients? If you think you’re limited by a small garden, don’t be! You just need to use your space wisely.

10 tips to grow more food in a small garden

Few people have the perfect area to grow a productive food garden. So, clever design and plant choices are vital for success.

I help my clients to maximise the food they grow even when their garden is tiny, on a slope, in the shade, narrow, has poor soil, too much or not enough water and the list goes on! These tips will help you do the same.

How to Grow More Food in a Small Garden Space

1. Prioritise. Just Grow the Essentials

  • Grow the foods you love and buy most often. If you’re going to spend time growing food, it should provide ingredients you will use and save money on your shopping bill.
  • If you’re mowing lawn or growing plants that don’t serve you, you could be wasting valuable space in your garden! Make tough choices.
Grow More Food in a Small Garden: One of my client's front garden makeover before with lawn and an edible garden after 10 weeks!

A front garden makeover at one of my clients – Before with lawn; After 10 weeks – a productive pretty edible garden!

  • Dig up the lawn and save money on mower fuel!
  • Sell your ornamentals, so you have more space (and money) to grow food.

“We grow lawn that we harvest weekly in the growing season and throw it away. Why not food that we can eat?” Dave Jarratt – Sustainable Soil Solutions

  • For example, if you are buying a weekly organic food box, aim to cut the cost by a third or half by supplementing some of the ingredients from your own garden.
  • If you love salads, then it makes sense to avoid chemically grown produce by growing lettuces and salad ingredients.

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12 Valuable Tips to Grow Healthy Microgreens

Do you want an abundant harvest of healthy microgreens? Whether you’re growing these nutrient-packed vegetables and herbs for your own health or to sell, these tips can help you succeed quickly.

12 Tips on How to Grow Healthy Microgreens

I’ve been growing microgreens for over 6 years and raised thousands of these tiny vegies and herbs in that time. Not only for our own use and good health, but also to share at public workshops and garden events to help inspire others.

I love these babies and have learned SO much about their needs. So, here are a few of my secrets to help you get a continuous abundance of healthy microgreens.

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Guide to Growing Spring Onions

Want to grow spring onions? If you love tasty, versatile vegetables that only need minimal space and effort, then spring onions are an excellent choice! Even the tiniest plot or pot will accommodate  them.

How to Grow Spring Onions

I grow all the flavoursome Alliums (Onion family). This includes garlic, leeks, onions and chives. You can swap them around in recipes and always have an ingredient to add flavour to whatever you’re cooking. If you haven’t grown them before, or are a beginner gardener, just follow the tips in this tutorial and give them a go! (more…)

‘Jack & the Bean Stalk’ Theme Garden

Love beans? If you want to encourage children to start growing ‘incredible edibles,’ then this might be just the project to get them excited! I’m sure you’ll also enjoy growing beans this way for yourself.

With a little creative thinking, themed gardens help children learn while they are having fun.  Here’s a cool garden project for the ‘kid’ in all of us – complete with Beans, Beanstalk and even a Giant! Plus lots of quick tips for growing beans.

 

A child's vegie garden can start in any space they can call their own - it might be a corner of your garden, a container or even a self-seal bag with moist cotton wool to start seeds on! | The Micro Gardener

Encourage children to grow a micro garden in a pot or container to get started. They don’t need much space – beans are so easy to grow. When young, tender and homegrown organically, try stopping children from snacking on beans straight from the garden!

 

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For while knowledge defines all we currently know and understand, imagination points to all we might yet discover and create.” – Albert Einstein

 

How to Create Your ‘Jack and the Bean Stalk & Giant’ Garden

  • There are 3 elements to this garden theme – the bean seeds; the vertical beanstalk structure they need to climb up on like Jack did, and the ‘Giant.’ (more…)

Choose Safe Containers for Growing Food

Do you want to grow food in safe container gardens? Whilst not wanting to dampen your enthusiasm for using repurposed planters, I encourage you to do your due diligence when choosing that perfect container.

Choose Safe Containers for Growing Food Gardens

The majority of pre-loved or second-hand goods may well be safe to use. However, before you reuse a container for planting in, there are some considerations, other than whether it can hold some dirt and leafy greens!

 

My philosophy is “to err on the side of caution – it’s better to be safe than sorry!”

 

Tips to Help you Choose Safe Containers for Growing Food

  • Check the Skin it’s In!  What is the container is made of? If you can, find out what material the container or item is made from (especially on the surface). Can you find out more from the manufacturer? Is the surface porous? Some materials such as terracotta or unfired clay are extremely porous. They can absorb and leach water-soluble chemicals through the surface into the soil.  (more…)

Getting a Small Kitchen Garden Started

Start with what you or your family love to eat.  Think about what is important to you.  Why waste precious space growing something you won’t eat, or grow flowers if you like herbs!

 

Shallots are the lead actor in this pot of yummy edibles. Filled with herbs, edible flowers & salad greens, this is a ‘Pick and Pluck’ salad garden.

This is one of my edible salad gardens in a pot – filled to the brim with tasty herbs like parsley, chives and spring onions, edible flowers, baby spinach, tatsoi and rocket. I rotate this by planting seasonal greens and herbs.

 

Keep it simple and you can fit at least some gardening into your life.  Having an idea of what you want is a good starting point.

Clever design tips will help make the most of the space you have.  Lots of plants including vegetables require very little effort but reward you extremely well for a minimal outlay.  There are lots of clever ways to design your space for maximum production, design out problems like weather or nosy neighbours and add beauty, colour, fragrance and structure as well as encouraging children to get their hands dirty.

 

“This is a universal idea – to connect the garden with the kitchen and with the table and back to the garden again.” – Alice Waters, Chef & Author “In the Green Kitchen”

So where do you begin?  Here are some ideas for starting a small kitchen garden(more…)