What to Grow in a Garden with Limited Space

You have been eyeing your friends’ gardens for a while, but you haven’t tried to grow your own because you are afraid you do not have enough space. Neither limited outdoor space, nor a small living space should prevent you from having your own homegrown produce. Many fruits, vegetables, and herbs CAN grow in your limited space! 

Before You Plant

Prior to deciding what you will plant, it is important to evaluate the space you do have available and the elements to which your plants will be exposed. How much sunlight will be on them? What is the temperature of the location? 

Once you have a good idea of the environment, you can then narrow down the vegetables and herbs that will do best in those conditions and make your selections. Keep in mind, herbs need more water so you will need to be able to water them regularly. 

Here are 25 things you can grow, along with an idea of how you can use each one in future culinary adventures.

  1. Basil - Make a pesto pasta sauce, add to salad, or create a margherita pizza.
  2. Thyme - Pairs well with other herbs and is especially loved in Cajun cooking. 
  3. Legumes - Pole beans, bush beans, and fava beans are only a few of the many options. These make great summer sides for your summer BBQs. 
  4. Peas - Peas are a crowd favorite as you can eat them raw or steam them as a side to many dishes. 
  5. Lettuces - Lettuce grows quickly around the base of other plants. This way you will always have the base of a salad at your finger tips. 
  6. Radish - Grill and season your radishes with herbs or garlic, to your taste. 
  7. Beets - On a crust, combine beets with honey and goat cheese. 
  8. Tomatoes - Invest in hanging tomato plants that do not require valuable soil space. Plus, one tomato plant can yield several pounds of produce. Bake with basil and mozzarella cheese, or simply drizzle some vinegar and oil on top of a fresh garden tomato. 
  9. Swiss Chard - Add some layers of swiss chard to your next lasagna recipe for some extra green value.
  10. Turnips - Mash some turnips and wrap them up in America’s favorite food blanket - bacon.
  11. Broccoli - Steam, melt cheese and sprinkle some garlic over the top. Delicious!
  12. Rosemary - Try baking this into bread or pizza dough. You can also dry it and sprinkle it on baked sweet potatoes. 
  13. Garlic - Receiving an honorable mention in many dishes, your own garlic will come in handy. 
  14. Peppers - Throw some red or green bell peppers (or both!) in a great fajita recipe or cut up and dip in hummus for a great midday snack. 
  15. Onions - Add a little extra flavor to your omelets, meat dishes, spaghetti sauce, and many other recipes.  
  16. Zucchini - Make your own homemade zucchini bread or grill them up.  
  17. Blueberries - Sprinkle some blueberries on top of cereal, yogurt, or oatmeal for an anti-oxidant boost. 
  18.  Parsley - Chop up and sprinkle over just about any dish or salad to add a great boost of Vitamin C. 
  19. Bush Cucumbers - Toss with vinegar, sugar, pepper, salt, chopped onions, and lemon juice for a great side.
  20. Strawberries - From salads, to flavoring water, to smoothies, and homemade ice cream, this berry will be in high demand. 
  21. Oregano - Sprinkle this yummy herb over any pasta or salad to for many surprising health benefits like decreased heartburn, improved menstrual cramps, and managing a cough.
  22. Mint - Add to lemonade, tea, or even just plain water to add a little burst of flavor. This herb tends to expand to fill any space you give it, so be careful how much you allow. 
  23. Kale - This popular superfood has many uses including, but not limited to salads, sandwiches, and smoothies.
  24. Cherry tomatoes - Throw some cherry tomatoes into a pasta dish, along with roasted garlic. You can also eat them all by themselves. 
  25. Sage - Mix some sage in with some polenta or even add to your scrambled eggs. 

While you might not be able to have the garden of your dreams just yet, you can still reap the rewards of growing your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs. By taking the time to plant the right ones for your space and situation, you will be able to enjoy your own homegrown produce in no time.