Top 1o Easy Fruit & Veg For Small Spaces

Becoming self-sustainable involves a plethora of different skills and talents. One of the most important and daunting is providing food for yourself and your family to eat. As someone who doesn’t eat meat food for me means fruit and veg! Even if you do eat meat you can’t deny the importance of some fresh leafy greens on your plate.

Although our dream is to one day have enough land for a complete permaculture forest garden (see some of my favourites I use for inspiration here and here) right now we have to settle with our less than ideal terraced back garden. This means that space is very important. Also time. In an ideal world, I would be able to spend hours outside perfecting our garden and exploring all different kinds of weird and wonderful plants. Working full time means that just isn’t going to happen.

So if you are like us and are short on time and space but want to start down the hectic and wonderful road of growing your own delicious and organic fruit and veg read on for our top 10 fruit and veg for small spaces.

All these plants are relatively quick and easy to grow and some will do well even if all you have to offer in terms of space is a windowsill (some will actually do better inside). This is about starting out, testing the water and making mistakes. Not about growing every single edible plant you eat, that’s going to get very overwhelming very quickly. Start small and you will be surprised just how easy it can be.

As I live in the UK the advice below will be based around our climate but as long as you live somewhere mild (although it definitely doesn’t feel that way sometimes) and rainy you should be along the right lines if you follow planting times detailed here. Planting times are more important if you’re planning on always keeping your plants outside and unprotected if you’re keeping your plants inside you can easily bend the rules.

I am a permaculture junkie and try to apply practices wherever possible. As stated above having a full-blown forest garden just isn’t possible for everyone but there are a few things we can all do to make our gardening practices as natural and productive as possible. So first things first, check out our top ten tips for any new gardener 

Plants

Pssst Click On Each One To Learn More

A British classic and one of my all-time favourites strawberries are a crazy little plant that requires a little TLC but will provide a bounty of tasty red gems to enjoy year after year. Different varieties will fruit from spring till late autumn so if you plant a few different types you will have almost endless strawberries all year round which can only be a good thing. 

You can plant in medium sized pots and allow to grow up or can get clever with your planting and stack vertically to really save space. You can even plant in hanging baskets. They like sunny spots with well-drained soil so be cautious not to overwater and make sure they are getting enough sun to help ripen the fruit.

As with most members of the onion family, garlic is great! I use it all the time in all kinds of food, you can even grow a couple of plants for their leaves which are very good in a salad. It can also be grown pretty much anywhere (bed, patio pot, window sill the choice is yours) and is hardy enough to spend its entire life outside.

Plant from autumn through till spring depending on the variety and pick when the leaves start to yellow. Apart from making sure the soil is damp but not waterlogged just leave it alone and you’ll soon have cloves a-plenty to dry out and enjoy for months to come.

Lettuce is a British garden staple and it is so easy to grow there isn’t an excuse to not try it out. Growing inside is actually better as it lets you start your crops much earlier but as lettuce’s don’t need a particularly deep pot (6 to 12 inches will do) you can grow them in pots or window boxes right up until harvest. 

There are hundreds of different varieties in a rainbow of colours so you can go wild and experiment and be rest assured they will look pretty while growing. As their roots are shallow they can also be planted among other vegetables to provide ground cover. Start growing inside late winter and if planting on outside wait until the last frost to move your seedlings. Keep damp but not waterlogged and keep in a cool but light place and you’re good to go.

I know you associate lemons with sunny and dry weather but when grown inside in pots the dwarf varieties of lemons can produce beautiful fruits perfect for making homemade lemonade. You should not let the temperature go below 10°C or the plant will become dormant but during the warmth of summer, it’s good to put your lemon tree outside and let it get some fresh air.

You need a pot at least 1ft deep to allow your lemon tree room to breathe and well-drained soil is really important (these guys really hate too much water) so make sure to put stones or broken crockery in the bottom of the pot for drainage. It will take up to five years before you get lemons if you grow from seed but could always buy a 3-4-year-old lemon tree from your local nursery.

Po-ta-toes, boil them, mash them, stick them in a stew. Sam really hit the nail on the head! I am an avid fan of growing potatoes in buckets, it is just so much easier to make sure you harvest your entire crop when it is ready and not before. Although I try to recycle old buckets and plastic planters you can even buy grow bags designed for potatoes.

Once you have your planters set up you simply plant, make sure to water well and add soil when the plant grows to encourage more tubers (the actual edible potatoes) to form under the soil. The amount of different varieties lets you plant and harvest pretty much throughout the year.

Another classic fruit and although I also love to forage for raspberries in autumn growing your own at home is easy enough and makes sure you have a reliable source for all that lovely jam. Although happier in raised beds they can be grown in fairly deep and long containers. The majority of the plant will be trained using canes or a trellis so the containers or beds are better being long and narrow than round.

Most varieties are hardy to British weather being a native species so you are good to keep them outside all year round. Simply remove the branches that produced fruit a few weeks after harvesting and the remaining ones will supply next years bounty. As with strawberries, there is a whole host of different varieties that fruit at different times so I would recommend getting a few and trying them out.

These guys are fantastically quick growers when they get going. When they are in full fruiting season you could be harvesting as often as 2 or 3 times a week over summer. As with lettuce starting your seedlings off inside allows you to start early and avoid the risk of a late frost ruining all your hard work.

Once your seedlings are a bit more robust and the frost has passed you can either pot up outside in a bed or simply move to a larger pot. Only have one courgette plant per pot but given the amount, they produce two plants would be more than enough for the average household. Keep the soil moist and don’t forget the flowers can also be thrown into salads or fried.

Although not a native fruit (commonly mistaken for a vegetable) growing tomatoes in a greenhouse or indoors is relatively easy. There are loads of different varieties so you can choose one that is perfect for the space you have and will produce the right amount of fruits for your family.

They are climbing plants so will require some support and need to be kept above 20°C so a sunny window space where they can really soak up those rays is perfect. Depending on variety they can take between 2-4 months to produce fruit so sow from mid to late spring

 

I love these little guys (or girls) they are generally trouble free and enjoy cooler weather. Sow them directly into the ground or a medium sized long pot from March to June (or start a bit earlier if inside) and enjoy their incredibly sweet flavour from June to August.

All they need is support for their stems and they even come in dwarf varieties if you’re really short on space. Once you start to harvest more will grow so keep on top of picking and you should have enough to ap’pea’se your desires. Keep well watered and if outside give them a good mulch about halfway through the growing season.

All they need is support for their stems and they even come in dwarf varieties if you’re really short on space. Once you start to harvest more will grow so keep on top of picking and you should have enough to ap’pea’se your desires. Keep well watered and if outside give them a good mulch about halfway through the growing season.

As with lemons, you will probably be better off getting a young plant around 3-4 years old so you don’t have to wait too long for fruit. Make sure they get lots of sunlight with well-drained soil and you will be up to your elbows in apricots soon enough.

We hope that you’ve enjoyed our article and that it has inspired you to turn your green hands to a new challenge. 

We’ll keep updating our site with more information, ideas and tips to grow the blog into a truly great resource and we need you to grow with us! Send us a photo of your small garden, or of any of your favourite plots; we’d love to feature you on our site. You can either comment below, email us, or you could subscribe to any of our social media channels for updates (or to updates us)!

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