7 Tips for Planning a Postage Stamp Garden

Grow abundant amounts of fresh produce with these tips for planting in the smallest of spaces.

| February 2016

  • Postage stamp garden along the border of a flower bed.
    Illustration courtesy Ten Speed Press
  • Design and plant a high-yield garden with minimal effort with “The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden” by Karen Newcomb.
    Cover courtesy Ten Speed Press
  • Postage stamp gardens can be any size and accommodate a variety of seasonal produce.
    Photo by Fotolia

Fully revised and updated, The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden (Ten Speed Press, 2015) will inspire a new generation of gardeners. Author Karen Newcomb offers proven approaches for growing a tremendous amount of veggies in a tiny space. The following excerpt shares several tips on how to design your postage stamp garden for the best results.

You can purchase this book from the Mother Earth Living store: Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden.

By proper placement of individual vegetables in your postage stamp garden, you can produce extremely large quantities of vegetables in an extremely small space. The following are postage stamp planning guidelines that will help you obtain maximum results.

1. If your plot is large—say 10 by 10 feet or even 8 by 8 feet—you can plant different types of vegetables in separate squares or rectangles. In plots more than 5 or 6 feet wide, you’ll need pathways in order to reach all your plants. However, if the plot is narrow or small, simply block out irregular groups of vegetables and fill in the spaces any way you wish.

2. Plant tall vegetables on the north end of your garden to avoid shading the smaller crops, and plant the other vegetables in descending order of size down toward the south end of the garden.

3. Plant vines (cucumbers, melons, peas, squash) against a fence or sup­port at the north end of your garden. Smaller vertical supports can be used within the interior of the garden. Use the air space above your garden as much as possible. That is, train tomatoes, cucumbers, and other vines and trailing plants to grow up trellises, fences, or poles, so that they won’t run all over your garden bed, crowding out the other plants. The better you get at vertical growing, the more things you’ll be able to pack into your postage stamp garden. (Several methods of vertical growing are discussed in the detailed sections on each vining vegetable later in the book.)

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