Here are some quick tips for all of you lovely people with small gardens, whether it is a small allotment space or a balcony delight. We appreciate the complications that come with this and want to help more than just providing the space-saving gear!
Plant fast-maturing crops in among ones that mature more slowly. Try planting lettuce between your tomato plants or radishes in with your cabbages. You’ll have harvested the faster-growing lettuce and radishes by the time the slower growing tomatoes and cabbages need more growing room.
Most vegetables need at least 6-8 hours of direct sun if you don’t have a space that is in full view for that long you can still grow many leafy vegetables such as lettuce and spinach. And if you’re in a hot-summer climate, cool-season varieties such as peas may do better in part shade.
It is inevitable that you will come across the summer insects and bugs trying to steal a tasty treat from you. Pick larger insects and caterpillars by hand. Once you get over the “yuck!” factor, this is a safe and effective way to deal with limited infestations.
Use insecticidal soap sprays to control harmful bugs. Most garden centres carry these products. Whatever pest control chemicals you use, read the label carefully and follow the directions to the letter.
Reduce fungal diseases by watering the soil, not the leaves of plants. If you use a sprinkler, do it early in the day so the leaves will dry by nightfall. If a plant falls prey to a disease, remove it promptly and throw it in the trash; don’t add sick plants to your compost pile. Try to make it a habit to change the location of your plants each year. In other words, if you grew tomatoes in the northwest corner of your garden/balcony this year, put them in the northeast corner next year. This reduces the chances that pests will gain a permanent foothold in your garden.