ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Grow Lots of Food in a Small Yard

Updated on July 6, 2024
I love my little "farm"!
I love my little "farm"! | Source

My Suburban Farm

We live in a smallish town in South Georgia. If my neighborhood were near a larger city, it would probably be described as “suburban.” Our yard is on the small side, measuring 1/3 acre. Of course, all that isn’t growing area. The house takes up part of the yard, and the east side yard gets very little sunlight. The back yard is completely taken up by the doggie play yard, the pool, and a huge deck. The west side yard isn’t ideal for growing veggies because it doesn’t get a lot of sunlight, so that pretty much leaves me with the front yard for my vegetable garden. You’d be surprised by how much food I grow in such a small area!

We grow a lot of food in our container garden!
We grow a lot of food in our container garden! | Source

What I Grow

I always have a spring garden and a fall garden. Because of our long growing season and mild winters, there’s always something growing in my garden. In the spring and summer, we usually grow:

Bell peppers

Bush green beans

Cherry tomatoes

Cucumbers

Eggplants

Jalapeno peppers

Okra

Pole beans

Potatoes

Pumpkins

Summer squash

Sweet potatoes

Tomatoes

Zucchini


In the fall, I usually grow:

Broccoli

Cabbage

Carrots

Collard greens

Lettuces (different types)

Mustard greens

Onions

Spinach

Swiss chard

One of my apple trees.
One of my apple trees. | Source

Fruits I Grow

In addition to vegetables, I also have fruit trees, bushes, vines, and plants. I have four apple trees, four peach trees, two satsuma orange trees, blueberry bushes, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, three dwarf banana trees, and grapes. I plan to add two cherry trees in the fall.

Remember that some fruit trees and plants are a longterm investment. It might be several years before you get any fruit. On the other hand, we've picked strawberries and blueberries from newly planted plants, and we harvested two varieties of apples, blackberries, and raspberries from plants and trees that were planted the previous year.

Don’t Forget the Herbs!

I always make room for herbs. In fact, some come back every year! I grow rosemary, sage, dill, oregano, chives, garlic chives, basil, and mint. Fresh herbs impart incredible flavor to the foods I cook! Best of all, most herbs are super easy to grow and maintain. Growing herbs is a great way for you to sample container gardening.

Where we once had boxwood shrubs, we now grow delicious blueberries!
Where we once had boxwood shrubs, we now grow delicious blueberries! | Source

Take Advantage of the Space You Have

I don’t plow up the yard in order to grow food. Instead, I use containers for vegetables, herbs, root crops, and strawberries. Not only is this a great way to maximize space, but it’s also much easier on my back. I have spinal stenosis, so there’s no way I could tend an inground garden. With my container garden, I can take my chair from plant to plant.

Another way to maximize your garden space is to grow up instead of out. To do this, we use stakes, cages, and trellises. Last year my husband built me a large trellis, and I supplied it with grow bags from Amazon. First, I grew sweet potatoes on the trellis and in the grow bags. They worked great! Now I’m growing pole beans in the bags, and they’re happily climbing up the trellis.

I have strawberries growing on the deck around the swimming pool, and I grow blueberry bushes in shrubbery beds in the front yard. We used to have boxwood shrubs

there, but now we have blueberries! We made long wooden planters for the blackberries and raspberries.

Make sure wherever you decide to plant that your plants get a good amount of sun, with a minimum of six hours a day.

One of my berry beds.
One of my berry beds. | Source

The Containers I Use

I use a variety of containers for my garden. I’ve already mentioned grow bags, but I also use flower pots, plastic Walmart storage containers, and 5 gallon buckets. Actually, one of my favorite types of containers was free. A friend who raises cattle gave me his empty feed supplement buckets, which are big!

You can use most any type of container for growing plants, as long as it insures proper drainage. The biggest problem I hear from container gardeners is plants’ retaining too much water. We use a drill to make numerous drainage holes in the bottoms of the containers.

I love grow bags!
I love grow bags! | Source

Why I Love Grow Bags

I’d read some great reviews from other container gardeners about grow bags. To be honest, I was a little skeptical, but I ordered some, anyway. I’ve been very pleased with them! They come in a variety of sizes, and they’re made of semi-permeable fabric, which means they don’t hold too much water, nor do they allow the plants to dry out too quickly. I was worried the bags wouldn’t be sturdy enough, but they’ve proven to be very sturdy. My plastic containers often get brittle and break after months of exposure to harsh sunlight, but I don’t have to worry about that with grow bags. Another thing I like is that they have strong handles attached, so moving plants around is easy.

A Note About Fruit Trees

If you’re not familiar with different types and species of fruit trees, ask for advice. Talk to growers who live in your area to find out what they grow and which varieties they recommend. Otherwise, it’s probably best to purchase trees from a local nursery. First, decide if you want dwarf trees, semi dwarf trees, or standard trees. Remember that in most cases, even the growth of standard size trees can be somewhat controlled by pruning.

Two of my apple trees bore fruit just one year after being planted.
Two of my apple trees bore fruit just one year after being planted. | Source

How Much Food Can You Really Grow in a Small Space?

I grow a lot of food in our little yard! I usually have plenty for us to eat fresh, to preserve, and to share with family and friends. When you take excellent care of your plants, shrubs, and trees, you’ll get a bigger harvest. We enjoy fresh fruits from April through December, and we usually harvest fresh veggies and herbs all year.

To preserve foods I grow, I make jellies, jams, pickles, and relishes. I also freeze a lot of vegetables and herbs. I freeze sweet potatoes and pumpkins, too. If you have a good place for dry storage, you can store apples, onions, sweet potatoes, and white potatoes for several months. Furthermore, it’s easy to dry herbs.

Growing your own food is satisfying, enjoyable, and healthy.
Growing your own food is satisfying, enjoyable, and healthy. | Source

A Final Word

Growing your own food is one of the most fulfilling activities you’ll ever do! I realize it’s not for everyone. Some homeowners prefer to have a manicured lawn, which is nice to look at but doesn’t really serve much of a purpose. My motto is “groceries over grass!” Stepping into your yard and harvesting fruits and vegetables you grew yourself is very rewarding, and it’s also healthy. You know exactly where the food came from, how it was grown, and when it was harvested. You won’t have to run to the store every time you need a few sprigs of rosemary, a tomato, or a bell pepper, either. If, like me, you prefer food over a perfect lawn, get busy growing your own food!

© 2024 Holle Abee

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://corp.maven.io/privacy-policy

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)