Anyone with a super small growing space?

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manxcottageonthehill
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Anyone with a super small growing space?

Post: #285361 manxcottageonthehill
Thu Sep 10, 2015 12:53 pm

Myself and my partner have just bought the most loveliest little Terraced Cottage that is going (even with the issues it has) now the garden is super small. I can walk from one side to the other in 3/4 strides and lengthways it’s around 5 strides at most.

I really am hoping to make the garden as productive as possible, while leaving enough grass for the dog and possibly a pathway for a shed at some point.

Is there anyone who has a productive small garden? Anything I should be doing to make it better and tips on anything I could be doing? I'm also hoping to get some productive window boxes going, possibly with herbs in. The front is abutting a slightly busy road so cannot use that for anything edible.

Thanks for any replys

Nessy

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Green Aura
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Re: Anyone with a super small growing space?

Post: #285362 Green Aura
Thu Sep 10, 2015 1:47 pm

Ooh how exciting. Our first house was a small terraced but it had a communal back yard - it made gardening interesting as we had to leave a path for the bins to be taken out.

I think the main thing to concentrate on, if space is very limited, are the things that are really expensive to buy or difficult to get. e.g. You may only be able to find room for one bucket of spuds. Nice ones like Anya or lovely purple ones are expensive to buy.

If I only had room for one reasonable sized bed I'd base it on the forest garden theme - a dwarf fruit tree of choice (self fertile) and one or two soft fruit bushes underneath, with all the gaps filled in with edible, but hopefully attractive, perennial veg and herbs. That way once established you can have a small but regular crop and it will largely take care of itself other than making sure it doesn't dry out.

For the rest, pots of various shapes and sizes for other perennial plants or annual veg. Vertical gardening is certainly a brilliant way to add space, and great for things like lettuces, which also don't mind shade. Just make sure you waterproof behind if you're using a wall or fence for support. Window boxes are brilliant for mini tomatoes and peppers, if your climate is suitable. Odsox may be able to advise on good varieties of toms.
Maggie

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manxcottageonthehill
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Re: Anyone with a super small growing space?

Post: #285365 manxcottageonthehill
Thu Sep 10, 2015 9:43 pm

Thank you Green Aura, I'm hoping to do a couple of spuds. Will need to look for a decent variety (Hoping for maybe a blue or a purple one).

Never thought of the forest garden idea, off to have a good gander on the interwebs, as I do hope to buy one fruit tree and I'm very lucky that there are two damson trees on the very steep hill behind us (hoping to get a ladder and have a decent look at them!
Nessy x

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Re: Anyone with a super small growing space?

Post: #285366 Green Aura
Fri Sep 11, 2015 6:59 am

Damson jam is my favourite. Are you able to plant anything on the steep hill? More soft fruit and trees would be good.
Maggie

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Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin

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Re: Anyone with a super small growing space?

Post: #285369 manxcottageonthehill
Fri Sep 11, 2015 12:17 pm

@GreenAura Sadly not, it's um not mine! But the coucil's, just that its directly outside my garden (overhangs!) and I know the occupants before me wern't interest in anything other than making a mess, so I'm hoping to get rid of the morning glory which is suffocating it and keep an eye on it then hopefully (fingers crossed) it will give me a lovely yield next year!
Nessy x

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Re: Anyone with a super small growing space?

Post: #285370 Green Aura
Fri Sep 11, 2015 1:12 pm

It might be worth asking the Council if you could look after it for them, if you're interested. Most are so cash-strapped these days they're desperate to off-load any little jobs to locals - at least they are round here.
Maggie

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin

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Re: Anyone with a super small growing space?

Post: #285372 doofaloofa
Fri Sep 11, 2015 5:46 pm

@Manx Cottager

Consider Pink Fir Apple for spuds.

Low yielding but fantastic flavour

They are not that pink though
ina wrote: die dümmsten Bauern haben die dicksten Kartoffeln

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Re: Anyone with a super small growing space?

Post: #285378 diggernotdreamer
Sat Sep 12, 2015 1:38 pm

I had a small demonstration garden in my last house, it was the front of my cottage and it was literally a strip about 5 feet wide and about 20 feet long. Everything there was grown in pots and containers and I think there were 11 different herbs and about 20 sorts of veg growing, it was to show people what could be grown in small spaces in towns. All the pots had saucers underneath to catch the water so no water or feed was wasted. As it was outside my door, I used all the veg peeling water and washing up water to give to the plants. I know you said you wanted a patch of grass for the dog, but if the dog wees and poos on a very small patch of grass it will quickly become not very nice, paving is much more suitable for small areas as it can be cleaned and hosed off. With the right choice of flowers, herbs and veg, you can still have a very vibrant wildlife friendly garden. Early potatoes are a great idea for bags for big planters, Red Duke of York is very early and productive or an early maincrop is Blue Danube which is from the Sarpo people so quite resistant to blight. By tickling the potatoes, you can keep them going for a very long time before having to pull them out.

ina
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Re: Anyone with a super small growing space?

Post: #285380 ina
Sat Sep 12, 2015 4:35 pm

Er - I think a small garden like that isn't really suitable for dogs anyway... Don't think they'll understand the difference of grass (where they can pee) and veg etc (where they shouldn't). If you want dog pee-free produce, I think I would keep the dog out altogether!

(Bad enough with the cats thinking that every area of freshly cultivated ground is their dirt box... but for cats you can just cover the plants - they don't hover above containers and lift their legs!)
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doofaloofa
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Re: Anyone with a super small growing space?

Post: #285382 doofaloofa
Sun Sep 13, 2015 11:34 am

That's a good point ina

I would recommend a dog powered electricity generating tread mill
ina wrote: die dümmsten Bauern haben die dicksten Kartoffeln

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Re: Anyone with a super small growing space?

Post: #285384 Magpie
Sun Sep 13, 2015 8:04 pm

Think vertical too - grow things up trellis and supports, hang things from walls.... grow your pumpkin up a tree...

manxcottageonthehill
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Re: Anyone with a super small growing space?

Post: #285390 manxcottageonthehill
Tue Sep 15, 2015 12:05 pm

Thanks everyone!

@Diggernotdreamer, that sounds amazing, something I will really be looking at in the future as most of my stuff will have to go into pots.

@Magpie, how would you grow a pumkin up a tree (sorry to be dumb!)
Nessy x

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Re: Anyone with a super small growing space?

Post: #285392 diggernotdreamer
Tue Sep 15, 2015 12:59 pm

035.JPG
035.JPG (577.14 KiB) Viewed 1340 times


Picture of a trailing courgette growing in my polytunnel. By attaching strong twine or rope to a branch, or long canes, you can wind trailing plants upwards. There is a cucumber I grow called Crystal apple which grows all female round cucumbers and you can wind those round, I don't know the name of this courgette as I was given it, but I usually grow a trailing one called Tromboncino. French beans come as climbers so you can make very good use of vertical spaces, my whole fence in the demo garden was covered in climbing plants, you can see the cucumber to the left

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Re: Anyone with a super small growing space?

Post: #285394 Magpie
Tue Sep 15, 2015 8:36 pm

Yes, as Diggernotdreamer said, with strings, or I have wrapped trunks and posts in chicken wire, so things can grow up them. The pumpkin vines have tendrils to cling on as they climb up, but require training and persuasion at first. Make sure its a strong tree, as pumpkins are heavy - or grow a small fruiting variety!

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Re: Anyone with a super small growing space?

Post: #285396 doofaloofa
Wed Sep 16, 2015 7:02 pm

^Baby bear is an excellent small fruited variety of pumpkin

As a bonus, the seeds lack a husk, so can be eaten with the flesh and skin
ina wrote: die dümmsten Bauern haben die dicksten Kartoffeln


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