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Small Garden Ideas: Different Types and Kinds of Plants

Updated on June 19, 2013

Small Gardening

Building your own small garden using a kiddie swimming pool
Building your own small garden using a kiddie swimming pool | Source

Home Gardener

Having a home garden can provide you with a good supply of vegetables all year round. Growing your own garden isn’t easy, and it will require some manual labor, but the rewards are great when the plants start to produce.

The initial challenge for prospective gardeners is how big to make your garden. If you have a good sized yard you will probably make the garden whatever size you want it to be based on what you want to grow, and want to take care of. If you have a smaller yard you are limited to what space that you have available.

Gardening Plants

The key to creating a bountiful small garden is being smart in what you plant. If space is restricted there are a few things that you can do to maximize the space you have.

The first thing to do is stick with plants that do not span out and take a bunch of space. Melons, cucumbers, squash, etc. are all major space consumers. Don’t let their small plant size fool you when you see them at the store, these plants will spread out and create a carpet of green in your garden. Not only is this spreading out inconvenient to walking around in the garden it is also difficult to actually locate the veggies because of all the undergrowth.

When selecting your vegetables to plant in a small garden pay close attention to the required plant spacing. Some plants can be planted around a foot away from something else while others require two or even three feet. Plants that can be closely planted together are good options when your overall garden area is smaller.

A solid option, when space is at a premium, is to get plants that grow up. Large cities already deploy this method when they erect tall skyscrapers because they cannot build anywhere else; going skyward (or vertical) is their only opportunity for growth.


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Grow Tomato Plants

Who doesn’t love the taste of a fresh, home grown, tomato? Fortunately growing your own tomatoes at home isn’t too difficult, even if you don’t think you have a green thumb. Another great thing about tomato plants is they don’t take up too much space and can be grown close to each other. The key to growing a successful tomato plant is getting a metal cage in early, right after you plant. If you wait too long to get the cages in you run the risk of the plant getting in the way.

Installing cage will help support and restrain the tomato plant. Without a cage the plant will actually struggle to support itself, especially when the tomatoes get near full maturity.

Since tomatoes are so popular many stores feature a wide variety of plants to choose from. The variety will go from big to small tomatoes, different colors and even different maturity durations. Feel free to mix and match them to give you the kinds of tomatoes you are interested in.

Green Tomato Plants

Green tomatoes still on the vine
Green tomatoes still on the vine | Source

Grow Pepper

Even though pepper plants don’t get too tall they are a great option for smaller gardens, as long as your climate is conducive for them. Many pepper plants only get a foot or two tall but they can be planted one foot away from other plants.

The variety of pepper plants is probably only second to tomato plants. Some plants will be sweet while others are spicier. The size of peppers will also fluctuate, my kids love picking out what they want to get every spring.

Growing Peppers

Some of our pepper plants, evenly spaced with room to grow
Some of our pepper plants, evenly spaced with room to grow | Source

Planting Corn

You might not think corn is a viable option for a small garden but it really is. Sure corn grows tall but that is where you want plants to grow when your garden isn’t very big. Corn can also be planted very close to each other, usually around six inches away or so.

Our corn usually provides around eight ears of corn, per stalk. If you eat the corn, right after plucking it from the stalk, you will experience something that you simply cannot from grocery store corn. Corn has so much moisture in it, the longer it is removed from the stalk the more moisture is lost. Be prepared to hold some of the heaviest ears of corn that you ever have before, if you grow your own at home.

Below is a photo of corn we have planted in a four foot by four foot square area of our garden. In this area we have approximately forty corn stalks growing; obviously we are in for a bunch of corn this summer!

Growing Corn

A patch of corn growing in our garden
A patch of corn growing in our garden | Source

Small Garden Tips


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