If you’re thinking about starting a small vegetable garden but feel like a total newbie, here are some simple ideas to get you moving towards growing some vegetables on a small and manageable scale!
1) Go Vertical: Going vertical saves on space and is visually pleasing to the eye. Roeshel planted 12 different herbs in her beautiful Pallet Herb Garden (first photo) and Suzanne planted lettuce, radish, swiss chard beets and turnips in her nifty Gutter Garden that she mounted on the siding of her house!
2) Square Foot Gardening: The idea behind square foot gardening is to plant a variety of plants in a small amount of space. You'll have to put a little bit of money into constructing the raised beds and filling them with soil, but once you put in the work, you can get consistent organic vegetables! There is tons information out there about square foot gardening; here's an example of one from Two Brothers Gardening.
Even if you don't do a square foot garden, a raised garden has its benefits: it prevents grass from growing in your garden space, you get easier access to your plants, and there is no wasted space.
3) Container gardening: Another version of a raised garden is to grow vegetables in a container, or in wine crates! Linsey of LLH Designs recommends that you use protective seal, a liner and brackets on the corner for the crates. These are great because they are portable and you can move them around as needed.
4) Inside gardening: If you don't have any outdoor space and you don't have any indoor space that gets sunlight, consider something like the 3-Tier SunLite Garden from Gardener's Supply Company. It's pricey but it may be an option if you're desperate for some indoor greens and can't get any sunlight. Plus, it makes a beautiful display!
5) Windowsill boxes: If you are really tight on space, consider starting as basic and as small as growing some lettuce in your windowsill! This tutorial from HGTV walks you through the steps to putting together a basic planter for your windowsill. Think of how convenient it will be to harvest lettuce from your window; you'll always have the beginnings of a salad.
When deciding what vegetables to grow, ask yourself: 1) Where do I want to start my garden? 2) How much sunlight does that space get? 3) What box or pot will the vegetables grow in? 4) Which produce or herbs will I use most in the kitchen? 5) What season is it?