carrots - Illustration by Helen KrayenhoffHigh Diversity in Small Spaces

Small vegetable gardens are common in Berkeley. For many residents, a full time job and property costs make maintaining a half acre vegetable plot simply impractical. Small space does not however, mean we must limit ourselves in the diversity of our garden produce.

There are several ways in which we can capitalize on every square inch of our garden space. Make it a point to select compact varieties. Interplant compatible varieties of vegetables such as corn, squash, and beans. Native American Farmers have long used this sustainable space-saving form of agriculture.

Also, use the vertical space in your vegetable bed. Many bulky plants like squash, cucumbers, and beans can be grown up trellises. You can reduce shading effects by placing the trellis on a north or eastern edge.

Seeds for the Season

Get a head start on your summer vegetable garden by starting your seeds in March. The following are just a few small-space varieties BHN is carrying this spring.

Carrot ‘Paris Market’
This nineteenth-century French carrot has a stout habit and wide soil tolerance that helps it grow just about anywhere! Its flavor is revered and it’s organic too! It is available in the Seed Savers Exchange seed section.

Cucumber ‘Spacemaster 80’
This full-sized cucumber grows on a half-sized vine! Vines grow 2’-3’ and are heavy producers. It’s a flavorful fruit for versatile use. Available in the Botanical Interests seed section.

Bush Bean ‘Dragon Tongue’
This is a juicy, purple-speckled yellow bean that is great for raw snacking or for added exquisite color to cooked dishes. Prolific yielder. Available in the Redwood Seeds seed section.

Cherry Tomato ‘Litt’l Bites’
Referred to as a “window box” variety by the vendor and for good reason; this cage-free tomato mounds to a foot tall and roughly 20” wide and cascades with fruit in abundance. Available in the Renee’s Garden seed section.