How to Grow Food in Small Spaces

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    Urban and community gardeners are popping up all over the continent. Parks, schoolyards, and condominium rooftops are being decorated with seed and soil, creating a self-sustaining environment that inspires the next generation. You don’t need a large backyard to grow fresh vegetables, herbs, and fruits.

     Do you ever wonder whether growing your food is worth the time and effort? Here are some announcements about the food prices that could affect anyone long-term. 

Food Prices Are Know What?

     Have you noticed retail food prices have increased by “1.6 percent in the first six months of 2021? It’s less than the rate over the same period last year stated by the United States Department of Agriculture(USDA). Here in the US, food costs and food security issues are out of control, preventing a child from eating healthy food and substituting high sugary foods leading to high obesity. Meat-based meals are in high demand meaning higher prices during the grilling season—a key ingredient for thousands of meals using pork and beef. Suppose there are limited options to create flavor in our meals.

     It can take 50 cents to make a week’s worth of food unaffordable. As our economy changes, we can now have the option to work from home. Ever question the value of organic food at grocery stores? Why was my grocery store selling organic spinach from another state when it grows well in any region in California? Even though I was likely to purchase produce in season, I didn’t realize that most of it was delivered hundreds of miles from the farmer. Read more on “Review to Eat Food Locally or Globally?“.

      As the world reopens, we’ll pay more to get our usual goods, including fresh fruits, fish and seafood, fats, and oils.  Professor Jayson L. Lusk, head of the Department of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University, states on TODAY Food that one of the multiple causes for the increase in grocery prices is Americans eating out again. Can one person make a difference? I believe we can. Even while living in a small space with no garden space.

                                                   
    I want to help you start your own garden, selecting what to grow and the tools to add various ingredients to your meals.  

Is there a downside to a Small Garden?

     It may not be for everyone. There are a few common challenges that all gardeners face in our lives. Sometimes we learn our lesson the first time, and some of these challenges are out of our control, and we have to take them on as they come. Here are five simple tips to avoid these challenges in any location:  

1) Planting during Frost Season

First, we get it. A selection shares a difficulty to survive in the cold weather to grow fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Planting outdoors can be unpredictable for your seeds to sprout and puts your harvest schedule on hold. Planting too early can wait from weeks to months and years to establish healthy yearly crops; however, if your region has long winter or sunny drought seasons. I have your back to recommend a solution shown further in the article. 

2) Proper Planting Spacing

  Second, spacing plants appropriately is one thing that many struggles with. Plants need space to grow for their roots to reach water and their branches to get sunlight. Thousands of different types of edible fruits and vegetables will grow through different stages. As a few can grow into bushes or even trees. Good luck if you try to start growing an apple tree in your own home. That will be legendary if you like a recommendation that grows well with each other. I have your back to recommend a solution shown further in the article. 

3) Protecting Your Plants from Pests

  Third, pets are sometimes unavoidable. If you see tiny green aphids, ants, or other pests that enjoy eating your plants. To protect your garden, there are two things you should do. First, spray insecticides around the base of your plants. Second, plant lots of different kinds of plants in your garden. This way, the insects will be confused by the variety of smells and tastes and won’t know what to attack.

An organic remedy can resolve it. In worst-case scenarios, you chalk that particular crop to a loss, pull the plants, and plant something else in its place. Check your plants frequently for pests. Herbs are delicious plants that also work as insect repellent. You should be careful about using harmful chemicals in order to kill insects. Herbicides harm soil structure and make it inhospitable to most other plants. Even though they can cause some damage, herbicides are much safer than chemical pesticides.

4) Identify and Treating Plant Diseases

Additionally, there as about as many plant diseases as there are plant pests. Some diseases, like blossom end rot, are caused by care inconsistencies. Blossom end rot happens when plants are watered inconsistently. Don’t let them dry out too much, but don’t overwater them either. Take a picture of the plant showing signs of an unhealthy plant, for example, discolorization, weak stems, white moss growing on the leaves, or any unknown feature. Cut off a sample and take it to your nearest plant nursery for a professional to recommend how to deal with it. It’s a simple act to resolve early with limited health possibilities spreading around your yard. 

5) Plant Location Matters

When deciding where to locate your small garden, you must consider these simple essential components. Access to sunlight and water is an important source for the garden’s continuous growth; however, you live in a closed environment with limited daylight and have no time to water your plants. Hydroponics is an alternative recommendation. Once your garden has access to create a sustainable cycle to produce its fruits. You have successfully created your garden. 

     Having you come across an urban gardening project towards a larger project produces higher volumes of crops. We’d love to hear about them!

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10 thoughts on “How to Grow Food in Small Spaces

  1. It is refreshing to know that small gardens can be grown successfully in small spaces. There is nothing like having a fresh salad made with vegetables that you just picked from the garden. An article on organizing a small space in order to maximize vegetable production would be something of great use. I love gardening, but in my urban space the only place to grow is the balcony. How can I maximize the space I have in order to obtain the best results? The spot is sunny and I can supply water and all the nutrients but I am seeking information to help me to organize this space.

    1. Thank you for your generous comment. I have many friends who share apartments, large families, and more. Having fresh plants in our rooms or backyards can be tough to keep our plants healthy and offer easy access. I share your passion for growing food. Would you consider a small greenhouse? The average balcony size can be a minimum of 4 ft (depth) by 9 ft (length). I have seen a nice selection of small greenhouses that can come in multiple sizes that can be easily be put together to organize your plants vertically or horizontally. It will keep your plants safe outside and more. Enjoy my new Article to learn more about my recommendation to buy a Greenhouse.

  2. Hello, your article is of public interest and I really mean it. I wanted to have my own house and grow my own food but unfortunately, I only have a small apartment without a balcony! However, my mother has a house in Cameroon and I will probably start there during my holidays. It is safe to grow your own food, especially with the harsh times that are coming. Please keep up the good work.

    1. Thank you for your generous comment. I have never been to Central Africa, but I have learned it can get to 91 degrees on a bad day. I have many friends who share apartments, large families, and more. It can be tough to have fresh plants in our rooms or backyards to keep our plants healthy. Check out my Article on how to construct your own aeroponic garden for you and your family to enjoy. 

  3. My hat is off to anyone that grows their own food, especially in a small area such as an apartment landing or a small backyard.  I addition to being more affordable, it is also healthier.  None of the chemicals that commercial food growers use.  In a small garden, you can use organic fertilizers and natural pesticides.  Your article is even more important today as we are experiencing crushing inflation compared to 2021.  This is a good post at a good time.  Bon Apetit!

    Warren

    1. Thank you for your generous comment. I live as I have many friends who share apartments, large families, and more. It can be tough to have fresh plants in our rooms or for our backyards and keep our plants healthy. I share your passion for growing food. Learn ways to keep your plant healthy based on where you live. Enjoy my Article

  4. I believe it is quite important for people to realize that they don’t necessarily need a lot of space to grow a small garden. Using hydroponics, one could start some plants on a deck if there isn’t room elsewhere. Especially in the city, it’s important for people to realize that they can grow at least part of their fresh produce at home. It is a skill it would be good for all of us to learn.

    1. Thank you for your feedback. As we can grow food at home using effective hydroponic systems. We should be familiar with how it can affect our electrical bill. Enjoy my Article to learn simple tips to grow and save money sustainably.

  5. Hi John, thanks for your post on growing food in small spaces. We have a small space where we try to grow produce. It is challenging to choose plants that don’t take a lot of space or a lot of sun. We have a shed that shadows the garden area, and a tall fence to deal with as well. Do you have any suggestions for us to maximize the crop that we can produce? Herbs and tomatoes are the first things that come to our mind.

    1. Thank you for your comment. I have many friends who share a similar experience, and I have been finding ways to recommend selected produce to grow and keep our plants healthy. I will be happy to keep you updated. In addition, I wrote an article to grow your own herbs and spices to make your homemade seasonal blends all year indoors. Enjoy my Article to learn more. 

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