Learn how to grow more plants in less space

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Small space gardening tips: Learn how to grow more plants in less space





While the backyard garden isn’t exactly a staple in Las Vegas, the growing popularity of gardening across the country has surely made its way to the Valley. Many homeowners are increasingly experimenting with gardening in their modest (and often less than ideal) backyards or community gardens; even apartment owners are getting involved.












However, keep in mind that all gardening involves regular care, patience, and lots of trial and error. Here are some ideas to consider when planning a garden in a small yard or apartment.

The plant should position the sun

According to Leslie Doyle, head of the Desert Gardening School at the Sweet Tomato Test Garden in Las Vegas, plants need bees, light and water, the first two of which are hard to find indoors. So whether you have a garden, a balcony, or an indoor space, you’ll want to start by locating the areas that receive the most sunlight throughout the day.

According to many experts, fruits and vegetables need six to eight hours of sunlight a day. Doyle adds that this is a minimum requirement for life; a healthy plant requires much lighter. This does not exclude the possibility of growing a fruit or vegetable in a very small space or apartment; you’ll just have to change your expectations of how it will develop.

“You can grow it (with six or eight hours of sunlight), but the plant won’t be all it can be,” Doyle said. “If you grow a 10 ounce tomato, you might get a 3 ounce tomato if you’re lucky.”












Water the plants to cool them down

When you give plants as much light as possible, you need to keep them cool by giving them plenty of water. In this regard, the desert can be of some help. Doyle found that natural groundwater temperatures in the valley fluctuated from 50 degrees in winter to 75 degrees in summer. Use this knowledge to your advantage.

Each year, Doyle’s 10-by-14-foot vegetable bed produces hundreds of tomatoes. She watered her plants nine times a day using a drip system for four to six minutes each time. This prevents the plants from getting too hot. Doyle also stresses the need to read each plant’s instructions before planting to determine how much water it needs.

“Everyone thinks they have to provide shade for their plants, and that’s just not true,” Doyle explained. “They are thought to be too hot…However, the fact that you are probably watering irregularly is what is causing the burn.”

Start with quality soil and establish a nutrition program

Doyle also applies liquid kelp fertilizer to the leaves of the plants three times a year and adds fertilizer to the soil every 30 days. She believes good base soil is essential, and has had success with the Dr. Earth and Arizona’s Best brands.












“I’ve heard the saying, ‘If you only have a dollar, spend it on the floor.’ It’s very precise. I like ViraGrow’s organic and biosolids-free options,” said Jonathan Spears, owner of Sage Design Studios, a landscape design firm in Las Vegas.

Doyle isn’t picky about the type of floor she uses. She claims there are a variety of high-quality options available. However, she advises against using Miracle Grow, as it is designed for plants rather than fruits and vegetables.

“The nitrogen level is excessive. “You will get nice plants, but not nice tomatoes,” she continued.

Use a raised bed if you can

You should avoid planting directly into the ground if you are dealing with a garden space. According to Doyle, cinder blocks are ideal for building borders in tiny garden spaces, and planting only requires about 8 inches above ground.

The “square-foot gardening concept,” which is a raised garden divided into 1-foot squares, is recommended by Sarah Jameson, representative of the Green Building Elements website.

“If you’re not sure where to start when designing your garden, this can help you figure out how many plants will fit in a 2-by-4-foot space,” she added.

Plants that require the same amount of sun and water should be grouped together, according to Jameson.

“This allows you to better monitor their growth and prevents you from overwatering or overexposing them,” she added.












Choose what grows best in the desert

With the right amount of sun and water, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, corn, melons, and kinds of lettuce like kale can all thrive in the desert. Modest garden space will be needed for large fruits and vegetables.

“On the side of my old house, located between two two-story residences with barely 5 feet of yard on either side of the wall, I had good results growing serrano peppers,” Spears continued.

Herbs require less light, making them an ideal choice for apartment windowsills and other light-limited circumstances. Herbs like parsley, chives, lavender, thyme and rosemary, according to Brody Hall, Horticulture with The Indoor Nursery, a website dedicated to indoor growing, can work well in small gardens or pots.

“They can handle drought and add a lot of flavor to home-cooked meals.” Root vegetables such as carrots and radishes would thrive in a sunny location with good soil,” he noted.

Remember to get permission and keep learning from others

Herbs require less light, making them an ideal choice for apartment windowsills and other light-limited situations. Herbs like parsley, chives, lavender, thyme and rosemary, according to Brody Hall, Horticulture with The Indoor Nursery, a website dedicated to indoor growing, can work well in small gardens or pots.

“They can handle drought and add a lot of flavor to home-cooked meals.” Root vegetables such as carrots and radishes would thrive in a sunny location with good soil,” he noted.












There are also educational opportunities in the valley, according to Doyle, and it’s a good idea to connect with other members of the local gardening community so you can learn from their experiences and have some of your questions answered. concerns.

Doyle’s Las Vegas Gardening Club has a Facebook page where you can learn more. She recommends using community gardens for seminars and teaching, such as the San Miguel Community Garden. Other horticultural and educational options include the Cooperative Extension and the Springs Preserve at the University of Nevada.











First published: Jun 05, 2022, 04:31 IST


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