More Food from Small Spaces special eBook edition — only $6.99
Grow your own Compact High-Yield Vegetable Garden
A small space is No obstacle to growing big yields of delicious, nutritious vegetables.
But . . . you have to break the age-old rules that waste too much space. Instead, push boundaries by spacing plants densely, growing them vertically, and for a longer season.
Get 30% more planting beds in a given area by minimizing the space for walking and working in the garden.
And space plants as closely as their natures allow so that you increase yields per area. Plants always crowd together in nature’s fields, why not in the backyard vegetable garden?
The plant spacing ideas you’ll find here make this method different from many other growing guides.
The old rules for plant spacing are based on farming techniques. It makes sense for the farmer to have an entire crop of uniform-sized vegetables ready to be picked at the same time. But in the backyard garden, a longer season for harvesting each kind of vegetable is better. So if some plants lag behind in growth and need more time to develop, that’s a good thing. With good soil fertility, vegetables can be planted very densely to increase the yield in a given area. For instance, you can harvest more than 50 beets from a two-foot square area of soil. They won’t all be ready at the same time. Some beets will grow faster or be better positioned, and as you harvest these faster growers, conditions improve for the remaining plants. You’ll be able to pick beets for months — or carrots or —cabbages.
Accelerate your own compost production using very few resources and very little space.
To succeed with such intensive gardening, fertile soil is a must. If we think of the vegetable garden as a food chain with the gardener at the top, we see that each level depends on the nourishment of the level below. We can add the microorganisms that the plants eat and the minerals that the microorganisms eat. There are naturally-occurring crushed rock products that are loaded with the minerals and trace minerals that microorganisms consume and turn into more bio-available forms for the plants. Microorganisms can be added to the soil via compost tea and other composting methods. For those with little space, bucket composting is a great way to add friendly microbes by recycling kitchen and yard waste into great compost fast, inexpensively and tidily without the need for bins or drums or space-hogging, vermin-haunting compost piles.
Use your vertical space. Build our simple Grow-towers without hammering a single nail.
Plants with a vining nature can be trained to grow higher on trellises and other supports instead of bushier ground-level growth. Pvc pipes and their fittings are excellent for constructing simple, snap-together trellis structures that are inexpensive, sturdy, durable, and space-saving. And they can be taken apart easily for storage or for reconfiguring. You can harvest a crop of peas in June and use the same bed and same Grow-tower for winter squashes or melons. Harvest 20 or so butternut squashes in a 3 x 7 foot area.
Grow year-round! Build our plastic hoop house or the gabled greenhouse in less than a day.
Lengthen the growing season. Successive planting will keep the garden productive throughout most of the year. Building a simple and portable greenhouse can add three or four months of harvest. Cooling strategies in hot weather and warming strategies in cold weather can also extend the harvest. Put together a simple shade canopy to cool off your tomatoes in the heat of summer.
Harvest your own seeds for next year’s crop.
Our simple, illustrated seed saving guide includes all the instructions you’ll need to successfully collect plentiful seeds for yourself or to share with friends.
Make Food Last
With our handy guide to canning, freezing, and dehydrating your own home produce, including instructions for making a quick and easy solar food drying box.
There are so many reasons to grow vegetables at home. You can assure the purity and mineral content of your food, pick your vegetables at peak flavor and ripeness and save money, as well. You can choose heirloom seed varieties and harvest seeds for the next crop to save even more money. With the newer methods, small spaces are no longer a disadvantage. In fact, less space means less wasted water on walkways and paths and less time spent weeding a large garden area.
Margaret Park has grown vegetable gardens for more than thirty years in five different climate regions.
“With plenty of photography and good designs throughout, More Food From Small Spaces is a strong addition to gardening collections looking on alternative methods to garden. Highly recommended.” —Small Press Bookwatch, www.midwestbookreview.com
“More Food From Small Spaces is clearly written, well organized, and chock-full of photographs and step-by-step instructions that make implementing Park’s techniques a snap. And her book is apparently cutting edge. Popular ads tell us that ‘small is the new big.’ If that saying is true, then More Food is huge.
“Gardeners who believe they don’t need another book on the horticulture shelf may want to reconsider, as Park’s high-yield techniques are worth far more than the purchase price of her book.” — Nancy Walker, ForeWord Reviews
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