Tiny Gardens – Feed Your Family in Only 64 Square Feet

Tiny Gardens – Plant Across the Width to Maximize Choice & Yield

Many people have only a small space in which to grow, such as a porch, patio, or driveway, and want to plant so as to get the greatest possible yield in the least space. Here’s an idea on how to do that.

You can plant across the width of a Grow-Box (simple 2″ X 8″ container) or a soil-bed, rather than the traditional lengthwise, if you’re willing to do the extra work of feeding, watering, weeding, and pruning that it requires. Remember the first law of plant growth – direct sunlight all day long – and that applies to all of your plants, for optimum harvest. Therefore, planting close together as I’ll suggest here requires that you prune your plants so that they do NOT shade or overlap each other.

You’ll also need to water by hand, to assure even coverage to all plants. And if you’re in the soil, weeding will not be as easy because of the close proximity of plants to each other. The two-way hoe is still the best tool for the job.

And remember to quit feeding the single-crop varieties three weeks before they reach maturity, and ever-bearing crops 8 weeks before hard frost, so as not to waste fertilizers. Multiple or extended (ever-bearing) crops are certainly an option for several of these, especially carrots, kale, lettuce, and green onions.

Here’s what you could grow in a 2″ X 8″ box 4′ wide by 16′ long

Rows are from North to South OR East to West (Yields are in parentheses):

ROW – LOC – CROP – (No. Plants & Yield)

1 – – – – 0′ 1″ – Tomatoes (2 = 30#), Cucumber (2 = 40#) and Vining Squash (1 = 10#)

2 – – – 2′ 6″ – Zucchini (3 = 45#)

3 – – – 5′ 0″ – Peppers (5 = 15#)

4 – – – 7′ 0″ – Broccoli (5 = 5# + 10# from leaves)

5 – – – 9′ 0″ – Cauliflower (5 = 10# + 10# from leaves)

6 – – – 10′ 6″ – Kale (9 = 30# – keep leaves picked and harvest for 9 months!)

7 – – – 11′ 0″ – Carrots (45 = 15# + 5# from leaves – they’re edible and tasty!)

8 – – – 12′ 6″ – Red leaf lettuce (9 = 18# – Pick outer leaves weekly to increase)

9 – – – 13′ 0″ – Romaine lettuce (9 = 18# – same as above)

10 – – – 14′ 6″ – Green onions (48 = 5# + 8# from 12 bulbs)

11 – – – 15′ 0″ – Italian parsley (16 = 10# – harvest can be season-long)

12 – – – 16′ 0″ – Sweet potatoes (5 = 25# + 10# from leaves) at opposite end of box

TOTAL YIELD – Plants = 164 – – – – Production = 314#

Tomatoes, cucumber, squash, and zucchini all should be grown on 2″ X 2″ stakes and pruned to one stem – tomatoes right at the crotch, cucumber and squash – cut sucker stems after first female blossom. Zucchini – older leaves pruned as they touch the ground or interfere with adjacent plants

Broccoli and cauliflower leaves should be pruned to keep them off the ground and away from adjacent plants (eat them, they’re edible!).

Sweet potatoes will only work in the space described above if you can let them run outside the box. You’ll need to prune and train them so they don’t cover your onions and lettuce. These leaves are also edible – use them.

Get The Mittleider Gardening Course, 6 Steps to Successful Gardening and other great gardening resources at http://www.growfood.com/shop

You can feed your plants everything they need no matter where you live! Use natural mineral nutrients in the Mittleider Micro-Nutrient Mix and follow simple instructions. Get them at http://www.growfood.com/shop

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