Sure, we’d all like to have a garden like Oprah or Ina. But some of us live in homes or apartments with backyards that don’t stretch as far as the eye can see (we know, shocking!). That’s why we put together a list of the best fruits and vegetables you can grow in your very own victory garden, even if it is a tiny sliver of soil. Here, our 10 favorite fruits and veggies for tiny garden spaces.
The Best Fruits and Vegetables to Grow in a Small Space Garden
Tomatoes are the John Mayer of the vegetable world: They’re universally well-liked and pretty laid back. You can grow them as hanging tomato plants or vertically in a container. Plus, smaller tomato varieties, like Little Sicily, as well as a variety that is ideal for hanging baskets , called Tumbling Tom, grow pretty fast, which means you don’t need to wait for months to yield a good crop in your own backyard.
Herbs, like basil, parsley, cilantro, chives, dill, are one of the easiest plants to grow, since you can grow them indoors or out (spring through autumn is best if they’re outside) and only need about four to six hours of sun per day. Just pick and choose which herbs you prefer based on your own preferences and taste. Then plant in pots or directly into a raised bed or tiny garden.
One of the smallest veggies that can grow inside or outside are radishes. They’re hardy, quick to mature, and don’t require a lot of space since their roots are relatively shallow. Plus, you can eat every part of the veggie, so don’t even think about wasting those green tops.
Lemon trees get to be about three to five feet at maturity and can be grown in a small planter in your home or a container in the backyard. Just remember to plant all citrus with airy, well-draining soil, like Miracle-Gro® Performance Organics® All Purpose Container Mix.
5. Pole Beans
A good way to make use of space: grow vertical. Choose a vine, such as pole beans, which will happily climb a trellis. When buying seeds, look for eye-catching varieties such as “yard long” and those with purple pods to add color to your tiny growing space.
Salad greens like leaf lettuce, Swiss chard, spinach and kale require only about six weeks to reach maturity from seeding. They can be planted in raised beds or containers at about six to ten inches apart, meaning you don’t need an entire garden to plant a few heads of your favorite greens.
Like radishes, shallots have roots that aren’t very deep, and can grow pretty close together (about four to six inches). If you're growing more than one row, try to space the rows 8 inches apart.
Vining cukes, that is. These are the most common types of cucumbers and grow on a trellis or even up your fence, as long as it’s about 4-6 feet tall. They can grow very quickly and yield lots of fruit (for all the salads we’ll be eating to shed the “Quarantine 15,” that is).
Grown in late fall or early spring, garlic bulbs need about six inches of breathing room between plants. You can even grow whole garlic bulbs from some varieties of grocery store cloves. Just fill an empty cup with a bit of water, place the cloves pointy end up in the cup and wait about a week for them sprout, then plant the cloves roots down in a container with plenty of drainage holes and about two inches deep.
Smaller pepper varieties, like chili, habanero, thai, jalapeno, tabasco and pepperoncini, grow up rather than out, making them perfect candidates for a raised-bed garden or potted plant. The red and yellow-green ones also add lots of color to your small space.