Grass the size of a postage stamp? Patio limited to one stone? Then it may be that you have a small garden. Don't panic though, as size isn't everything! In fact, just because your outdoor space is small doesn't mean that it can’t be perfectly formed, producing some gorgeous flowers and vegetables for your enjoyment. So, keep reading to find out how to get big results with minimal effort in a small outside space.
The three sisters
Companion planting is a great way to make the best of a small outdoor space and get the maximum return for only a little effort. It involves planting three vegetable in the same space, the idea being that because they all need different nutrients from the soil and grow at different levels they can coexist happily in even the smallest of gardens.
Traditionally the three vegetables used are beans, squash and corn. With the squash growing at ground level and the corn being the highest, and the beans using the corn as a supporting structure.
You can give this technique a little boost by adding extra fertiliser to the soil. Although you need to make sure that it food safe stuff like wood ash. It's also pretty vital to get the planting time right. Spring, once the major frosts are over is the best time to give them a good start and enable them to grow strong healthy. Just in time to be harvested come early autumn.
The concept of scaling down is also pretty vital to get some great results in your small garden with minimal effort. It is basically doing what you would in a larger space, but in an area that is more appropriate for the size of garden you have.
In practice, that means investing in things like the Elite Compact greenhouse that allow you to germinate your plants and crops without using up all of the space in your garden. As well as picking decorative plants that pleasant to look at, but easy to tend and don't overwhelm the space such as Brunnera macrophylla and Erysimum, or Wall Flowers as they are better known.
Vertical planting is another effortless way you can get some great results from a small garden. It entails using wall space as additional room for planting. Allowing you to fit more into a tiny garden, and also making it easier to tend as there is less bending and tilling of the soil involved. In fact, once they are planted up all you really need to do is keep them watered. Easy.
To plant a vertical garden you can get specially built housing, or you can do it yourself instead. Clever ways of constructing your own include in using plastics bottles with holes cut out to let the plants grow and the water drain. String them together in a ladder formation and hang from the ceiling, or use vertical plant pots racks and store them that way of ease of access. Similarly, use plastic guttering, and even wire topped frames for growing things like succulents.