Nursery owner

Laurie Garretson is a Victoria gardener and nursery owner.

If you have the desire to grow your own vegetables or other plants but are limited on space, small-space gardens are for you.

You don’t need huge plots of land to grow plants. You do need good soil that’s rich in organic matter and usually at least six hours of sunshine.

In today’s world, many of us don’t have time to tend to large gardens. Don’t let limited space stop you from gardening.

Gardening rules are changing. Today’s gardeners grow vegetables in containers, in flower beds and use vertical space to grow all types of vegetables, herbs and flowers. Vertical gardening not only takes up less space but can also make harvesting crops easier. They are also easy to maintain.

Vertically grown plants can be less prone to snail and slug problems.

Cucumbers and squash plants that are grown vertically will naturally hang down and grow straighter and longer from the pull of gravity.

Adding a trellis or a teepee to a small, raised garden bed can add interest to the small garden and won’t take up much space. When limited on space, try growing your plants closer together, as in intensive gardening.

When growing plants closer together, follow the minimum spacing instruction on the seed packets. Close planting can also help to block out weeds.

There are many intensive gardening plans for all types of planting situations.

Square foot gardening, first promoted by Mel Bartholomew, was one of the original plans for small intensive gardens. His method divides the garden bed into 1-foot squares. Plants are then selected for each square.

The number of plants used depends on the size and spacing requirements of each plant.

Thoughtful planning can be the key to a successful intensive garden space.

Until next time, let’s try to garden with nature, not against it, and maybe all our weeds will become wildflowers.

Laurie Garretson is a Victoria gardener and nursery owner. Send your gardening questions to or in care of the Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77902.

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