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Limited Space


Growing with limited space

If space is limited it doesn't have to stop you Growing Your Own - even just a sunny windowsill can be ideal for growing salad leaves and herbs.

If space is very tight, grow some basil indoors on a sunny sill, and a pot or two of salad leaves outside. Basil will appreciate the warmth, while the salad is a bit tougher. A small, shallow windowbox is also fine for salad leaves.

Use compost specially designed for containers, as it will hold onto water better and have extra nutrients to get your plants off to a good start. Things to look out for on packaging are; soil or loam-based composts; extra nutrients or plant food; and water-retaining granules.

Water can be a big problem on windowsills - containers dry out very quickly, and often rain can't reach them because of roof overhangs. Water often, but don't overwater - that'll kill plants too. Test if you've got it right by poking a finger into the compost. If it's slightly moist just below the surface, that's perfect.

Windowsill Growing

Choose windowsills that get plenty of sun - five hours a day or more during summer preferably.
The wider the sill the better, as you'll be able to get bigger containers onto it. If it catches the rain as well, that's even better - it'll save on watering later.
The deeper your window box, the greater the variety of vegetables you can grow. Make sure it's properly fixed and supported, as it'll be very heavy once it's full.
Plant pots and window boxes are easy and cheap, but you can use your imagination and recycle - how about using decorative tins for salad leaves, or wooden boxes for basil?
Don't be too ambitious - plants hate being crowded and will be weak and small if they haven't got enough space. Containers need to be at least 15cm across for basil, while a couple of beans, a handful of carrots or a scattering of salad leaves would each suit a 25cm pot.

Vertical Growing

For those short on space, especially urban gardeners with back yards and small gardens, vertical gardening has emerged as an ideal solution. There are a number of wall hanging and fixed wall planters that provide a great way to grow your own, and they make the wall look good too! There are a number of vertical planters available:-

Meet the Author: Jo Blackwell
Jo  Blackwell

Jo Blackwell is new on the Harrod Horticultural block and has recently taken over her post as Horticultural Advisor and Kitchen Gardener in Stephanie's Kitchen Garden. She caught the gardening bug when she bought her first home 18 years ago.  Her first greenhouse soon followed and she later gained an allotment, where she grows her own organic fruit and vegetables.

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