10 Tips for Small Kitchen Gardens

While going through the notes I made for my garden workshop last year I found this list of tips for making the most of small gardens. I’ve limited it to ten because that fit with the format but I’m sure you could add some of your own tips in the comments.

    Small Garden Tips:

  1. Grow Potatoes in pots
  2. Grow Squash not Pumpkins
  3. Grow vertically using wigwams, Cucumbers and even Green Beans
  4. Buy plug plants if you don’t have a greenhouse
  5. Build and use a coldframe
  6. Use every scrap of soil you have by planting closer than the book suggest (but remember to use a general purpose fertiliser)
  7. Plant in rows north to south to minimise over-shadowing
  8. Train fruit onto walls or along wires
  9. Only grow what you like to eat
  10. Use hanging baskets for things like cherry tomatoes

16 Comments on “10 Tips for Small Kitchen Gardens

  1. Great ideas! We also grow in large containers to extend our space and to make the most of having a green house. We also add some vegetable plants to the flower borders. Her x

  2. Love those 10 tips, I certainly do half of them, and I think vertical growing is the way forward for me this year, and I’m certainly growing a lot closer this year, but hadn’t thought about the extra fertiliser. I’ve started off a square-metre plot this year, so am going to squeeze in as much as I can in there.
    Love your site.

  3. You can also double up your compost heap as another growing space. I haven’t tried it because my composters are mostly in the shade but apparently it’s really good for hungry plants like pumpkins, squashes and courgettes.

  4. Great tips, I may try winding my squash & pumpkin plants around some canes to keep nice and compact.

  5. Using a cold frame for the first time this year and still learning about the correct quantities of fertiliser, last year I just used manure. Found an organic fertiliser that I’m trying on parts of my plot this year.

  6. Thanks for the tips I will particularly bare number 7 in mind when I’m planting this weekend :)

  7. Hi! A nice list I ran off for reminders. I already do some of them but maybe can think about a couple more! Nancy at Cozy Thyme Cottage

  8. Great short list for a tiny garden. However, here in Montana, Yellowstone Country I even grow pumpkins! My secret after falling in love with Cinderellas and getting ONE, is to grow sugar pie pumpkins, small, delicious, and I usually get 15 or so to roast & freeze.

  9. Great ideas for small gardens. Intercropping can work well too in a small plot. Use the bare soil around slower growing crops to get a harvest of salad leaves before your main crop gets big enough to fill the space.

  10. Hi! What a great list, and the comments have been useful too. We have 2 compost bins, one that is actively being added to, and the other is full and working away at becoming beautiful black gold. I always put a couple pumpkin seeds on top and let them grow up and over the compost bin. The pumpkins love the hot soil and it doesn’t take any extra garden space! We’re also trying something else new this year. We bought a pipe bender intended for row rovers (it will be used for that eventually) and are using it to build arbors over the walkways between the beds. We will grow beans up and over the walkways so that they don’t overshade the beds and the row of beans takes up very little of the bed right on the edge. We plan to post soon on how it’s coming along…
    kari from kitchendirt.com

  11. I use pots for vegetables even though we have a large garden. Reasons for this are – we are surrounded by trees which take a lot of nutrients and moisture from the soil and also it is easier to protect plants from visiting deer if they are in pots close to the house or in the greenhouse.
    Best wishes

  12. One tip I liked for small gardens i saw a few years ago was growing thyme and chamomile in gaps in the paving or in gravel paths. These plants can take foot foot traffic with out damaging them plus you get the aroma.

  13. Have you any tips for growing potatoes in a container? We did it last year and they were ok but we didn’t get very many.
    The old wicker laundry basket was good though