Dreams of Spring: Vegetable Garden

Veggies and Small Spaces


It’s particularly warm this week which generally inspires a little spring dreaming. Of course we will be back to ice and snow soon enough, it is only January after all, but in the mean time, let’s roll with it a little. I have wanted a vegetable garden forever. Ai remember one year in Brooklyn, growing tomatoes on my roof. I neglected them somewhat but at the end of the summer I had some amazing tasting tomatoes and of course more than I could eat all at once. Being a single guy, I made tomato sauce and it was incredible! Of course it would have been better if I had peeled the tomatoes first, live and learn.

So I have been researching small vegetable gardens and came across an article on the gardener’s supply website : www.gardeners.com. The whole article is a clever ad with links to gardener’s supply products throughout, but fortunately it’s a great little piece and deals with issues we in the ‘burbs come across all the time.

First is the vertical issue, many of us have small spaces, due to the size of our property, or just difficulty in finding un-shaded space. One tool for growing veggies more vertical is a product they call the “vegetable ladder” this also doubles as the tomato ladder by the way, a three post triangular upright with cross pieces that support foliage and veggies that is really quite simple and clever.

They also note that sub-urban and even urban gardens can be shared with locals like raccoons, skunks, and bunnies and recommend fencing them in. Really aggressive bunnies need buried fencing, but friends who grow veggies in Pelham tell me we don’t have any that hungry…yet. Another recommendation is some kind of weed barrier to reduce weeding, always an excellent recommendation. These can be U-pinned to the soil and mulched over to help hold the mmat down and reduce evaporation.

Studies show that raised beds are more conducive to vegetable production as they tend to be warmer, better aerated, and provide better drainage as well. So if you’re interested in a small plot, even 8’ x 8’, you will want to pick a relatively sunny spot that you can tend regularly. For more information on vegetable gardening, go to the greener by design fan page on facebook. We will be posting links to videos and articles for the next week or two. Just put “greener by design” in your facebook search box and it should come up.

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