Sustainable Organic Gardening

Small spaces – are never too small!

Layered Planter Box

A layered and raised garden bed full with edibles and companion plants

I recently returned from a lovely holiday in New Zealand. I stayed with my Aunt for some of the time and travelled the glorious East and West coast of the North Island – I was really overcome at times at the amazing beauty of the place. What I wanted to share from my journey was, however, something really simple. You can grow vegetables in the smallest of spaces. While I knew this already, I saw some great examples during my travels.

Planter Box

Mixed small pot of veges you could grow on your balcony

Small Salad Bed

A very small space but all edible

In a 600 mm wide x 2 metre long raised bed at the back of my Aunt’s townhouse, she successfully grows lettuce, rhubarb, silverbeet, tomatoes and her favourite, beans. In the front yard she has various pots of herbs and a prolific lemon tree. Each evening we enjoyed a range of salads from my Aunt’s harvest, including preserved lemons she had prepared herself. Even though the narrow strip which is her backyard doesn’t get any sun in the winter, she grows what she can in the spring and summer without pesticides or any other nasties. Compost is added to the soil from a small compost bin filled with garden and kitchen waste. With a little bit of planning she has also squeezed into this tiny area a small garden shed and two water barrels that hold runoff from the roof to water the garden.

Container Garden

This is not only cute to look at, you can eat the contents as well

Cafe With Edibles

Great café in Palmerston North New Zealand growing veges in small spaces

In Palmerston North I went to a café called Tomato – here I had the best coffee I have ever tasted but what is really great about this café is that outside they have two raised beds where they grew rhubarb, tomatoes and some herbs – so creative and lovely to look at.

Cafe With Edibles

Just goes to show you can grow veges anywhere, even in the middle of a large town

There are so many options to maximise space – vertical, horizontal, pots, old baths, potato sacks – the possibilities are endless. At home we really are starting small with raised galvanised garden beds, our first filled with a salad mix providing us with an incredible range of leafy greens that we use most nights. Our water pot is filled with Pickerel Rush and our flower garden has a mix of herbs. This weekend we’re putting an old enamel bath to good use and will be planting it with more herbs.

It really makes sense to think small, start small and harvest a bounty!

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