The Q&A Archives: Garden Planning for Small Space

Question: We have just moved into a new residence within a smaller community in Manitoba, Canada and I am not familiar with the proper way to plant a garden within confined space. Prior to this we lived in the country and had all of the room to make a large garden with lots of row space. Our present garden is only about 16 feet by 16 feet. It is square and in the open so any help in proper planning would be greatly appreciated. We grow tomatoes, carrots, onions, beets, lettuce, peppers, radishes, cucumbers, beans and peas. I do not feel there is adequate room for corn or potatoes.

Answer: I know what a shock it is to move from limitless garden space to a small plot! Fortunately, there are lots of others like you who have pioneered in high-yield, small-space gardening - even for crops like corn and potatoes. Often they concentrate on growing vertically - putting trellises, teepees, a-frames, etc. in the garden for vining crops (cukes, tomatoes, beans & peas). Another tactic is growing successive crops of quick-maturing vegetables like carrots, beets, lettuce, carrots, etc. For instance, once the first round of salad greens is harvested, you can pop in the storage variety of carrots, etc. Two books you can check out on the topic are "How to Grow More Vegetables in Less Space Than You Can Imagine" by John Jeavons (available through and Mel Bartholomew's "Square-Foot Gardening" (available through Hope this gets you started!

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