While all of us would love to have a sprawling yard with room for a large abundant garden, and perhaps even your very own greenhouse, that just isn’t the case for many people. But who needs the extra work of all that clean-up and maintenance, anyway?
Even if you’re living in an apartment building and only have a small balcony to content yourself with, don’t let it deter you! If you select the right vegetables, you can garden successfully even in the smallest of spaces.
1. Sweetheart of the Patio Tomato
The sweetheart of the patio tomato accurately lives up to its name because it’s just so easy to grow—a real sweetheart if you will. These baby cherry tomatoes are also sweet in flavor, making them a perfect snack to pick straight off the vine while you soak up the summer sunshine. You can either grow them in a small container or, if you really want to utilize your space, from a hanging basket.
2. BushSteak Tomato
These tomatoes are also commonly known as beefsteak tomatoes for their big and meaty size. Unlike the dainty sweetheart tomatoes, these ones are hefty but still grow compactly enough that they’re easy contenders for small space gardening. Depending on your space, you can grow these in a small garden or even in a container. BushSteaks offer a classic tomato flavor but don’t let their big and burly stature fool you; they’re still known to be a bit on the sweet side!
3. Sweet Golden Baby Belle Peppers
These lovely peppers grow in tight bunches of vibrant yellow, making them an ornamental addition to your gardening space, as well as a nutritional one. This particular variety only grows up to three or four inches. But, what they lack in stature, they make up for with big and sweet flavor. They grow in a bush-like pattern, so they are ideal for containers.
4. Spacemaster Cucumber
This is one versatile variety of cucumbers, which is why we consider them to be a gardening must! Grow them in small gardens, containers, and even hanging baskets; no matter the size of your gardening space, these cucumbers won’t disappoint. If you pick these vegetables while they’re still small, they’re excellent for pickling. Or, you can let them grow fully and enjoy their sweet and crisp flavor—perfect for a light summer salad.
Danvers carrots are a gardening favorite of veggie lovers for their sweet flavor and higher fiber content. They are easy to grow in containers, small garden spaces, or raised beds.
Nantes carrots are another contender and offer just as sweet of a flavor. When growing either of these vegetable varieties from seed, it’s important to plant them in loose soil and keep them consistently moist.
If your space is a small garden, carrots are also happy to be planted with friends! Tomatoes, peas, onions, and lettuce can all be grown in the same gardening space as carrots.
6. Tom Thumb Dwarf Peas
These peas are the ultimate container vegetable and a must-have for any gardening space, big or small. They are so incredibly sweet and only grow up to 18 inches at full height, so you can even grow them in a cute decorative pot. The Tom Thumb variety is also a heavy producer, which means you’ll get to snack on this tasty vegetable all summer long.
7. Tom Thumb Lettuce
Incredibly, the Tom Thumb lettuce variety reaches full maturity at only 4-5 inches. This, of course, makes it an ideal vegetable to grow in small spaces like containers. As lettuce is a common staple vegetable, this one, in particular, is popular because an entire head can be used as a convenient single-serving salad. No worries about it wilting and going to waste in the fridge!
It may surprise you to learn that radishes are actually fantastic container vegetables. These fast-growing root vegetables range in flavors from spicy to sweet, so simply choose the one that appeals to you!
9. Pole Beans
Pole beans are pretty self-explanatory. Because the plant grows long vines, you’ll have no choice but to stake them on poles so that they can bear the vegetables. This actually works in your favor, though, if your gardening space is a small balcony or patio —the vertical growth pattern will allow you to tactfully utilize your space! Your ideal container is long, about two or three feet, and at least 10 inches in width.
10. Green Onions
This is such a versatile vegetable and another one that is small yet packs a big punch of flavor. Being a bulb vegetable, the best way to grow green onion is in a container. A pot that’s at least eight inches deep and wide enough to allow up to two inches of space between the bulbs is all you need!
With all these vegetables you’re growing, why not also grow some herbs to season them with? It’s always handy to have fresh herbs, and they don’t take up much room at all. Some of our favorite herbs to plant in containers are basil, parsley, oregano, rosemary, mint, and thyme.
Check the growth requirements of each before planting if you want to plant them together, as some may have different requirements than others. For example, parsley and rosemary can’t be planted together because parsley needs to be watered more frequently.
So, now that we’ve filled you in on all different kinds of vegetables you can plant in small gardening spaces here in Iowa, which ones are you going to choose? Let us know in the comments below, and if you have any further questions, feel free to stop in or contact us! We’d be happy to help you.