Growing your own fruit and veg has once again made a welcome return in the popularity stakes. Especially because of the cost of food, and the wish to eat more healthily being a high priority recently.

The wonderful thing about growing your own is that, with some careful planning, it’s possible to do in small spaces.

Reach for the skies…

Although space may be limited on the ground, the sky above is limitless!

Make use of any fences surrounding the garden to grow climbing veg such as peas and various climbing squash.

These types of veg will need to be tied onto support twine or wire as they start to clamber upwards.

Other climbers such as runner, French, and borlotti beans need canes or hazel sticks for support.

These need to be approximately 1.8m in length, pushed into the ground to support their stems. As their instinct is to wind their stems around supports.

wigwam cane supports

The canes or sticks can be made into wigwams which are great for small spaces and can look ornamental as well. Especially if choosing cultivars with striking colour flowers such as the ‘Scarlet Emperor’ runner bean.

Those same fences can also have thornless blackberries trained up and along them.

For apples and pears, there are varieties that can be grown against a fence and take up little space.  Known as ‘espaliers’, their branches are trained horizontally and hardly intrude into the garden at all!

A cheaper option is to choose cordon fruit trees.  These trees are extremely narrow and again can be planted directly up against a fence.

Living Walls

Living wall

There are lots of modular living wall planters available for attaching to house walls as well as fences.

These are especially good for crops such as lettuce, herbs, and strawberries.

Archways & Pergolas

Archways take up very little space and are a great way of supporting and training squash and pumpkin plants!

They also provide an opportunity to grow more shade-loving veg and herbs at the base.

Such as lettuce, perpetual spinach, and chives.




When planning your layout, remember you can grow fast growing crops like lettuce in between veg that grows more slowly.

Great examples include brussel sprouts and sweetcorn.

Forward Planning

You can hold back on planting out some veg plants, like leeks, which overwinter.

And instead plant them in the space occupied by earlier cropping veg such as potatoes.

Leeks growing

Raised beds

Raised beds

Including a raised bed in your growing space will give you a longer growing season.

This is because the soil in them warms up quicker than the ground and drains better.  Crops like carrots need warmer soil to germinate and grow.

A raised bed would enable you to grow in an area that you otherwise couldn’t use like a steep slope.

Here it could act as a form of terracing, or have heavily compacted soil.

Grow in Pots

There are loads of veg that will grow happily in pots. Examples include salad leaves, chard, tomatoes, chillis and even carrots if you have deep enough pot.

And if not, you can still grow them in shallow pots. There are varieties, such as Parmex, which grow in a rounded ball shape!

Growing in pots solves the problems of a shaded area. Because you can move the pots to follow the sun around during the day!

Potted tomato plant

Mini Orchard

Apples growing on a wall

You can even have a mini orchard in your small space!  There are now many dwarf varieties of apples, pears, apricots and even mulberry trees available.

Step-over apples are trained to grow horizontally at low heights and make a great, attractive edging for the veg plot.

Also, they give you a crop at the end of the growing season.

Combine Veg with Flowers

If you have a small garden, love flowers but want to grow veg too and have limited space, don’t worry.

With a bit of careful planning, you can have the best of both worlds and create a delightful potager/cottage garden space. It will not only be beautiful to look at, but productive too.

Veg such as ruby chard produce colourful deep red stalks that blend in beautifully with flowers.

As do kale plants, particularly Cavalo Nero with its majestic dark, arching stems.

Some varieties of heritage peas like Lancashire Lad have lavender-coloured flowers. These can be grown on wigwam canes along with climbing French beans.

Colourful ruby chard plant

Shorter wigwams can be used to grow mange tout and dwarf French beans.

Choose frilly lettuce cut and come again varieties to grow along border edges. Grow these along with ferny-looking topped carrots, parsley and beetroot.

You can grow your own veg to enjoy at home no matter how small the space available. Make use of those walls, balconies and archways, and get growing today!

Find out how to build and plant your own raised bed:

Or check out my Pinterest board for more ideas: