There was a time not so long ago when vegetable gardens were kind of like the ugly stepsister of flower gardens. Flowers were proudly displayed all around the front of the house while the vegetables were relegated to a patch of ground somewhere in the back yard. Nowadays, vegetables are enjoying a much more positive reputation as people become more conscious of healthy living and growing their own vegetables has become a popular trend.
Unfortunately, at the same time that there is a positive trend in the amount of people interested in growing their own vegetables, there is a negative trend in the size or even availability of back yard space to dedicate to a garden. In order to find the perfect intersection of these trends, garden enthusiasts are being forced to find new and creative ways to fit these gardens into whatever space they have available. Some of the most popular of these are:
Vertical Gardening - Many varieties of vegetables, if left to their natural growth habits, actually take up much more space than actually needed. By using different items such as strings, pipes, or lattices, these vegetable plants can be trained to vine upwards instead of outward. The result of this method is that in an area that for instance may have been filled by 1 six-foot wide cucumber plant can now be home to 6 one-foot wide plants that are eight-feet high.
Companion Planting - In order to make the most of limited space some vegetables can be planted very close to each other with benefits to both. For instance some vegetables such as radishes mature very quickly in the spring. By planting them in the same space as a much slower growing crop like broccoli, the radishes will be harvested before the broccoli grows enough to fill up the space. Another form of companion planting is placing a taller plant that needs full sun over the top of another plant that may need more shade.
Succession Planting - Instead of planting a large number of plants that will mature all together, resulting in one large crop of vegetables, succession planting involves a few plants at a time a few weeks apart. This allows the series of plants to grow in the same space, but also keeps a usable amount of vegetables coming in over a much longer time period.
With these new ideas and techniques, whether they are living in a city with limited space or on acres in the country, anyone can be a gardener. For more information, contact local professionals like those found at Bear Claw Landscaping, Inc.