It’s not just what you’re given
But what you do with what you’ve got
Many of us labor under the false notion that in order to grow a successful vegetable garden, we must have a large backyard – or even a large front yard. Those who don’t possess one many times often believe that they cannot grow any kind of garden. Well, I’m here to tell you that that is not so. One can grow a garden anywhere as long as one has access to a growing medium (soil, potting mixes, hydroponic chemicals, etc.), water, and light.
Have you been given (or purchased) a home with a small backyard? If so, you can build a raised bed or two, fill it with a commercially bagged potting mix (or mix one up yourself), and grow your vegetables there. If you use techniques such as square foot gardening, vertical gardening, succession planting, etc. you can maximize the yield you get out of that raised bed. You may even get a larger yield than your arrogant brother-in-law with his big backyard!
Do you have a deck, balcony, or patio? You can purchase containers, fill them with growing media, and grow your vegetables there. I once saw a video of someone who was growing a variety of vegetables and herbs in planters, bottles hung upside down, etc. on the balcony of his downtown Manhattan apartment. And I, myself, grow vegetables in grow bags and self-watering planters on the patio of my townhouse.
Do you have an outside wall that isn’t doing anything? You can set up hanging wall planters and grow your vegetables there. And how about your roof? You may even be able to grow something there. And as a last resort, you might even be able to use Other People’s Space (OPS). Perhaps you may have a friend or family member with a large backyard who might be willing to let you set up a garden on part of it. Sound farfetched? Well, I, myself, make use of OPS. My friend and musical partner Jean and her husband Dan have let me grow a garden in their backyard for years. So it can be done. The whole point is that, like in the words of Si Kahn’s wonderful song, it’s not what you’ve been given in terms of space that determines whether or not you can grow a garden and how successful it can be. It’s what you do with that space you’ve got. With a little creativity, you can turn a brick wall into a bountiful source of fresh fruits and vegetables for you and your family.