The 5 Best Vegetables to Grow in Small Spaces

tomato

Don’t let limited space stop you from planting a vegetable garden this year. You don’t need a farm to eat farm-fresh, you just need to get a little strategic with plant selection. Choose varieties of vegetable plants that are compact, but still highly productive. These will be perfect for your small backyard garden, raised beds, or containers on your porch or deck. These are the 5 best vegetables to grow in small spaces. They are easy to grow, ideal for limited space, and will provide you with the makings of a delicious farm-fresh summer salad.

Leaf Lettuce - Leaf lettuce is pretty hardy and very easy to grow. It prefers sun to partial shade. Leaf lettuce will grow well in containers, or tuck them in between and under taller plants in your garden. These plants are perfect for getting a big return for your efforts. Leaf lettuce matures fast and you can harvest it again and again since harvesting the leaves encourages more to grow. You can sow more lettuce seeds in the summer to keep reaping the benefits all the way through the fall. Your harvested lettuce will keep in the fridge for about 10 days in plastic bag. 

Tomatoes - There is a world of difference in flavor between store-bought and homegrown tomatoes which is probably why they are one of the most popular vegetables to grow at home. Tomatoes are incredibly versatile and don't require much space since they can be grown in hanging baskets or in containers vertically. Cherry or grape tomatoes grow very well in containers and produce A LOT of fruit per plant. Choose a nice sunny spot for your tomatoes and make sure they have good drainage. Leave them on the vine for as long as possible and harvest when firm and very red. 

Bell Peppers - Even though I’m definitely lacking in the green thumb department, bell peppers have always been a success for me. Peppers require little space and with an assortment of bright colors, they look really pretty in decorative containers. Peppers are a great choice for indoor seed starting since they require a fairly long growing season. You may need to use stakes to support your plant to prevent the stocks from bending with heavy fruit. I like to use Epsom salt with both my tomatoes and peppers because they are prone to magnesium deficiency. I find it helps produce a larger, more flavorful fruit. You can make a spray solution by dissolving 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt per one gallon of water. Once you see blossoms appear, use this solution in place of a regular watering once per month.

Cucumbers - To grow vertically and maximize use of your space, opt for vining cucumbers. Be sure to give them something to grab onto like a fence, trellis or netting. Cucumbers can be especially susceptible to frost so hold off on planting until at least 2 weeks after the last frost date. You’ll want to harvest your cucumbers when they are firm and bright green. If you let them go too long, the skin will turn thick and they will taste bitter. When harvesting, snip the stem right above the fruit instead of pulling as this can damage the vine. 

Pole beans - In case you haven’t noticed, allowing your vegetables to grow vertically instead of spreading out is a common theme here with space-saving gardening. This is why choosing pole beans over bush beans is going to allow you to make the most of your available space (they also have a greater yield). Pole beans prefer full sun and well drained soil. Provide them with a support to climb. I personally like using this bamboo teepee trellis to provide support because it also serves as a nice decorative element to the garden. Pole beans keep producing the more that you pick them, allowing you to harvest all summer long. 

So there you have it. Limited space is no excuse for not growing your own veggies this summer. Homesteading is all about doing what you can with what you have, and with these 5 plants, you can do a lot! What are some of your favorite vegetables for growing in tight spaces? Leave me a comment, I’d love to know!