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What Not to Grow in a Small Garden

Melissa is the assignment editor and contributing writer for SheKnows Home and Living. While other little girls were playing dress up with Barbie, Melissa was busy remodeling Barbie's house. She now lives out her dream covering design an...

Avoid certain veggies to make the most of your small garden space.

If you have plenty of space, there's no limit to the variety and quantity of vegetables that you can grow. In smaller gardens, however, you need to be more selective to use your limited space wisely.


If you have plenty of space, there's no limit to the variety and quantity of vegetables that you can grow. In smaller gardens, however, you need to be more selective to use your limited space wisely.

Here are a few tips on what vegetables to avoid in a small garden (less than 100 square feet) and why:

  • Peas--Although they make a beautiful addition the the garden and don't take up much space, you need to plant a lot of peas in order to harvest enough to eat or store. while a single plant may produce 20 pods, this is over the course of months, so you can't harvest them all at once. Each pod contains four or five peas, so you'd need a few dozen pods to prepare enough peas for one meal.

  • Potatoes--Like peas, potatoes have a space vs. production consideration. Planting potatoes is fine if they're your favorite vegetable and you don't plant to grow much of anything else.

  • Onions--They don't take up much space individually, but they take a long time to mature---around 6 months. Considering the timeline to harvest, and how cheap onions are in grocery stores, it's okay to leave this veggie out of your small garden.

  • Corn--In order to pollinate and produce ears, corn should be planted in rows. This can take up lots of space in a small garden.

  • Greens--Unless you don't mind giving up space for the health benefits of collard or  mustard greens, just plant spinach instead.

  • Vine plants--Squashes, cucumbers and melons take up lots of space. You can get away with planting one or two of them in a small garden if you go vertical.


Choosing to plant vegetables that you'll get the most out of is a smart way to use space in a small garden.
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