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How to Grow a lot of Food in a Small Garden – 9 EZ tips

August 7, 2019

We’re always looking for ways to grow more food in our small garden, and over the years, we’ve adopted 9 strategies for maximizing our growing space. Today I thought I’d share these strategies with you in the form of 9 simple tips. The first tip is to grow in garden beds instead of rows. Growing in beds maximizes the amount of growing space relative to walking space. For example, this 4 x 8 potato bed has 32 square feet of growing space, but if it were planted in single rows with walking spaces in between, we’d only have about 16 square feet. Additional space savings can be achieved with keyhole beds, which allow access to all crops but only have a small inlet or keyhole, in the middle, thereby significantly increasing growing space relative to walking space. The second tip is to optimize the spacing between beds and plants. We decided to make the center path in our garden only 25 inches wide, which frees up a lot of growing space, but is still wide enough to carry buckets of compost, mulch, and compost tea around the garden. Of course, if you want to use a wheelbarrow, you’ll have to make your path wider. The paths between the beds on either side of the garden are only 18 inches wide. We find this width to be just right. We can still comfortably navigate between the beds, but any narrower would be awkward. When it comes to plant spacing, we like to plant crops as close as we can without hindering their growth. A great reference for plant spacing is Mel Bartholomew’s book “Square Foot Gardening”. We often follow Mel’s recommendations to the letter. For example, these indeterminate cherry tomatoes each occupy a square foot of space, and we prune the suckers to keep them from getting too crowded. Tip number 3 is to grow vertically. This may be the best space saving tip of all. If you’ve ever seen a squash or pumpkin plant sprawled out on the ground, you’ll know how much space can be saved by growing vertically. We grow a wide variety of crops on trellises, including tomatoes, peas, pole beans, winter squash pumpkins, and malabar spinach. Growing these vining crops vertically frees up a lot of room for other crops. In the future, we hope to grow some non-vining crops vertically as well, using other vertical growing systems. The fourth tip is succession planting, which is a great way to keep a bed continually producing. One example of succession planting is here in our potato bed. As the potato plants are starting to die back and the potato harvest draws near, we’re already planning what will take their place. After the harvest, we’ll plant carrots, rutabagas, beets, kale, collards, and swiss chard for a late summer and fall harvest. it’s important to consider crop rotation and not follow one crop with another related crop. Tip number 5 is interplanting. A recent example of interplanting in our garden was when I planted sunchokes and radishes in the same bed this spring. Even though I had already fully planted the bed with sunchokes, I also planted radishes, hoping they’d mature quickly and be ready to harvest before being completely shaded out by the sunchokes. The plan worked well and the radishes were ready to harvest just as the sunchokes really started to take off. Tip number 6 is to grow in the shade, or at least partial shade. Even if you already have a garden in full sun, you may be able to grow even more by planting leafy greens, herbs, rhubarb, paw paw trees, mushrooms, and more in partially shaded areas of your yard. Tip number 7 is to grow food in the front yard. It’s a shame let all that space go to waste! Even if local ordinances forbid front yard vegetable gardens, you can still usually sneak in some attractive edible plants as part of your landscape. Tip number 8 is to grow microgreens. One of the great things about a lot of leafy greens is that you can plant them much closer together than the recommended spacing on the seed package. As they develop, you can do a cut and come again harvest of microgreens, which gives you a much earlier harvest, as well as a potentially more bountiful one. And, last but not least, tip number 9 is to grow in pots and containers. The great thing about pots and containers is that they allow you to grow where you otherwise could not. So, you can have a garden on your patio, deck, or in our case, our front steps, where we grow peppers and eggplants. So, there you have it – – our 9 easy tips for growing more food in a small garden. If you have more tips along these lines, please let me know in a comment and I’ll include them in a list in the description for everyone to benefit from. Well, that’s all for now. Thank you very much for watching, and until next time remember you can change the world one yard at a time.


  • Reply Blue Lilly May 23, 2018 at 7:21 am

    I know it's a hard n every days work. It's my long times dream to have a fruits and vegitables garden, one day Inshaallah my dreams will come true. Urs came congrats on that's. Go green💚

  • Reply Lea codrelief May 24, 2018 at 8:08 pm

    Lay a bag of topsoil on the flat side. Cut an X in the bag. Plant a tomato plant in it. The roots are shallow, so it's perfect for decks and patio's.

  • Reply freddie naputi May 27, 2018 at 5:44 pm

    Great video I have a ground level front stoop garden it's a splash of green oranges and yellows in a row of 4plexes .

  • Reply Sunrise Gardens May 31, 2018 at 7:44 am

    Cool Garden Brother!!! Just liked and subbed ya!! I made my first video today, and am super excited to share. If ya have time, i hope ya can take a gander.
    peAce from Sunrise Gardens!!! 😀

  • Reply FARM SHOW Magazine June 7, 2018 at 5:25 pm

    Great tips.

  • Reply Joyful Heart June 9, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    Thank you for a quick overview of these useful tips!

  • Reply Chinue June 9, 2018 at 5:36 pm

    Your garden looks nice. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Love Music June 17, 2018 at 5:38 pm

    Another reason for wider paths…wheelchairs, walkers, folks who are a bit unsteady or require a helping hand.

  • Reply Love Music June 17, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    Oh, and those 18" beds! I couldn't kneel down in between to work or harvest. I don't want to do everything standing and bending at the waist.

  • Reply Robin Wilson June 22, 2018 at 11:35 pm

    I like changing the world one garden at a time. I live in a rural area so space is not a limiting factor. Many plant roots will use more space that the raised beds give. I've pulled tomato plants in the fall with roots more than three feet long. We have fields near our garden where we can cut mulch in the spring and in the fall we broadcast winter rye and hairy vetch on top of whats left of the mulch. In the spring if the rye is 70% pollen shedding it will not come back if you cut it. This no till system encourages the soil food web – see "Teaming with Microbes". I find that with winter squash they like to root along the vine so going vertical would preclude this which helps with squash bore and squash bug attacks. Maybe if you gave your potatoes more space they would get a little bit bigger. Thanks for the video. My comments are just to dialogue. I've seen many different garden methods and they all work if the gardener loves their garden.

  • Reply Nova Bleazard June 30, 2018 at 3:48 pm

    Aye this video is almost at 1 million views! Congrats!

  • Reply Duy Nguyen July 2, 2018 at 7:55 am

    Chỉ ước về già có mảnh vườn ntn

  • Reply Shakina Riley July 29, 2018 at 3:11 am

    Loving this video

  • Reply venus viernes July 29, 2018 at 6:39 am

    Great!Good idea..

  • Reply DiY Chat Cuộc Sống Canada July 30, 2018 at 4:44 pm

    Thanks for the tips, loved gardening

  • Reply Dennis Gorman August 10, 2018 at 11:31 am


  • Reply Shonnie Becker August 16, 2018 at 9:10 pm

    Leave a like if u are vegetarian or vegan

  • Reply M August 17, 2018 at 5:18 am

    Concise, to the point, realistic.

  • Reply Soulful Sweat August 27, 2018 at 5:45 pm

    Gardening is the best! Such great info on the effectiveness of garden beds.

  • Reply Vitop garden August 29, 2018 at 12:49 am

    Good idea!
    My web:

  • Reply Laura Page September 22, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    Great tips for a beginner like me. Glad to have found you during my streaming

  • Reply Jamil Gannaban October 8, 2018 at 11:16 am

    This is my strategy in Harvest Moon.

  • Reply Loving Garden October 14, 2018 at 2:18 am


  • Reply Jothimurugan P October 25, 2018 at 12:20 pm

    Hei, it is excellent to note all the tips. I do really appreciate the words you apprehended as " for the benefit of all "….
    It shows your vested interest on public interest, welfare of all and social concern. *THANK YOU*

  • Reply DiY Chat Cuộc Sống Canada October 30, 2018 at 5:44 pm

    Love your garden, try it on my backyard too

  • Reply Ps Ling November 3, 2018 at 3:42 am


  • Reply Andrea Castillo November 3, 2018 at 7:39 am

    Have you ever tried growing carrots in the same plot as say, peppers or eggplants?

  • Reply Kalika Sinha November 8, 2018 at 2:36 pm


  • Reply Virginia Lacar November 20, 2018 at 12:34 pm

    Thank you for your nice tips!!!

  • Reply Earths Mother December 10, 2018 at 10:16 pm

    I really want too make a garden so I can feed my families.

  • Reply TheRickie41 December 11, 2018 at 9:59 pm

    wonderful video.

  • Reply Rukhsar shaikh December 20, 2018 at 9:08 pm

    Great idia 🇮🇳

  • Reply lovepeace29981 December 26, 2018 at 8:38 am

    Thats so inspiring. Can you please help me with the list of" "crop rotation" .

  • Reply Dr Gurmeet Singh, Counsellor & Psychiatrist December 27, 2018 at 7:29 am

    Human diluted fresh urine is mild fertilizer for all purpose

  • Reply Rajasree G January 6, 2019 at 5:19 pm

    You can grow many small leafy vegetables in hanging pots from walls or ladder-shapped pillars.

  • Reply อันดามัน ยิ้มยิ้ม January 8, 2019 at 5:40 am

    Love your gardens 👏

  • Reply flamedenise19 January 11, 2019 at 8:55 am

    "…local ordinance forbid frontyard vegetable garden…" What? But why??

  • Reply Dennis Godaire January 12, 2019 at 9:10 pm

    Thank you.

  • Reply Romin Hawk January 14, 2019 at 6:29 am

    Thank you very much for great ideas; very helpful and very pleasant video to watch and listen to.

  • Reply CLoner -X January 14, 2019 at 10:47 am

    Is the bed connected to the ground?like the soil and the bed soil is connected ?

  • Reply Lynn Lamont January 14, 2019 at 1:00 pm

    I'm going to grow some good king henry this year as well as tree collards and malabar spinach.

  • Reply Maeleigh Moon January 15, 2019 at 6:20 am

    Hi! I have one really cute tip!! I saw once in a magazine; someone built a boxy sort of garden bench out of leftover pallets and included planters around the back & arms of the bench. They also used wooden supports to build a planting box overhead of the bench almost like an awning where they were able to then grow both shady and full-sun plants. It was especially magical because they planted vine-y crawling plants on the awning which cascaded down the back and both sides for a shady private spot to read a book or relax in your garden swoon
    Also; Rooftop Gardening!? Can anything edible be grown in one of those?

  • Reply Adrian Barreto January 18, 2019 at 6:50 am

    This was really an eyeopener for me to optimise the use of land

  • Reply SETo研究所石川 January 24, 2019 at 2:22 am

    Making better use of sunlight leads to better harvest.

    It was a good learning.

    Thank you.

  • Reply Franky Salazar January 25, 2019 at 5:16 pm

    Here's a tip beware of pesky wabbits😂

  • Reply rasbijal Patel January 30, 2019 at 11:53 am

    Plant red Chori slender beans,harvest when 4-5”,will love it.Very effective measures undertaken.Changing the world! this way is the best.I hv huge trees,so constantly making teas for garden.

  • Reply Prudent Knights January 30, 2019 at 7:56 pm

    Good one..

  • Reply Josh Lawson February 1, 2019 at 3:10 am

    What pepper plant was that? So many peppers on one plant!!

  • Reply محمود صلاح الدين February 1, 2019 at 8:11 pm

    Very useful vidio, thank you alot.

  • Reply Rosalind Catunao February 2, 2019 at 8:23 am

    This is amazing

  • Reply Daniel 4774 February 8, 2019 at 2:16 am

    Nice video. A little question.
    Do you have any issues with pest and diseases? Because of crowding or high density planting. Is lack of air circulation a problem? Thanks. ✌

  • Reply Jennifer Piper February 9, 2019 at 10:16 am

    That is not a small garden. Medium maybe, but not small.

  • Reply L O F E N O I A L O F February 9, 2019 at 12:08 pm

    For cattle panel arches would t posts in open grass areas work well ? Would that be enough support ?

    Also do you recommend planting from seed or seedlings ?

    Thanks !

  • Reply Rami P February 9, 2019 at 11:56 pm

    Brilliant! Thank you, Patrick! 🙏

  • Reply shalom patahilah February 10, 2019 at 11:31 pm

    Excellent tips thank you

  • Reply CHECK MATE February 14, 2019 at 6:20 pm

    Wow!! As a beginner, I'm simply in awe!!!Great info! Great video!🐺🐺🐺

  • Reply Tracy Williams February 16, 2019 at 9:07 am


  • Reply soisitimpossible February 19, 2019 at 11:19 pm

    I can't understand why anyone would want a lawn when they can plant a garden. Your garden looks great.

  • Reply Iridescence Elarinya February 27, 2019 at 9:23 am

    I try find space between my walk ways to grow some root veges like beets and radishes and greens like chinese kale. They all do very well in these spaces…kinda like random spaces I can find in between garden plots and pavement.

  • Reply Vince Berardini March 5, 2019 at 2:07 pm

    "Gardening With Vincenzo" here…Being an Avid Raised Bed/Container "Farmer:"…Great Video…My slogan is
    "We CAN save This Planet…One "YARD" At A Time…Beginning With Your Own" !
    Found the video entertaining, educational, reflective and visually expressive…Thanks for Sharing !

  • Reply Homestead Odyssey March 6, 2019 at 4:42 pm

    Your videos are so helpful, you have really inspired us to do more this year!

  • Reply Sangria sparkle spritz mule barrel March 9, 2019 at 1:56 am

    Malabar-Spinach Star+of+David+Okra trip-l-crop-tomato- yellow-golden-california-wonder-bell-pepper- cucumber-straight-8-60- seed scrape spiral amb diag left right delegate realize seed crop raise floor evap scrape amb

  • Reply Harsini Harsini March 12, 2019 at 12:16 am

    the weather is verry good in your country … not mine .. in jkt but Ican do it event .. not so perfect .., thank.s .. hope you succesfull in every ways … good done

  • Reply happyhound13 March 14, 2019 at 9:06 am

    Such great ideas and your garden is proof!

  • Reply Clean Living in Crete March 15, 2019 at 6:37 pm

    great advice thanks. I have a LOT of pumpkin seedlings getting ready to plant out. You mentioned growing them vertically…but wont the pumpkins be too heavy? thanks.

  • Reply Marie Flint March 22, 2019 at 1:32 am

    Another word for interplanting might be companion planting, only the latter has the plants growing simultaneously in a symbiotic relationship. One example is corn and pumpkins (someone mentioned the three sisters). Consider planting herbs and certain wild flowers between or to border your crops, too. These help repel pests. In addition, you'll have culinary herbs and flowers for bouquets or crafting.

  • Reply LIeb Lee March 25, 2019 at 3:28 pm

    I wish I have a garden buddy. I can spend all day in a garden. Just love to grow things

  • Reply applejack hope March 25, 2019 at 11:36 pm

    … this is for zakaos breedlove
    king of heartsong💞 mountain

  • Reply Tom Mallard March 31, 2019 at 2:53 pm

    The Zapotec home garden today is usually about 2sq.m/20sf and they grow about 50 species of herbs, food, medicinals, flowers and dry display, to do this they keep track of root and species relationships, a legacy the Europeans didn't destroy; from the book Zapotec Science that also describes their tool-making system all tools custom fit to the person worth reading.

  • Reply NIGHT2PWN April 11, 2019 at 8:30 am

    do i need the wood for the beds or can i do it without? i don't know carpentry, also i can't afford the wood

  • Reply KIM ASMR April 11, 2019 at 9:58 am

    Thanks u

  • Reply Vms Global April 13, 2019 at 2:06 pm

    Thanks a lot I learned a lot

  • Reply Divo Galindra April 19, 2019 at 4:14 pm

    Its so relaxing to watch

  • Reply The Home Plate Special April 22, 2019 at 3:03 pm

    great video!

  • Reply Diane Prostko April 27, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    Great video! Learned about keyhole beds.

  • Reply Diego Alejandro May 1, 2019 at 5:49 pm

    Thats big for me ;(

  • Reply Monstor Garden May 3, 2019 at 5:16 pm

    french intensive gardening for asparagus? If I go 2ft wide trench and plant on opposite and offset, can i then go to a 6" spacing instead of 12"?

  • Reply Sonja Veda May 15, 2019 at 3:44 am

    Great video! Thanks

  • Reply Craft Farms May 16, 2019 at 7:02 pm

    I'm trying beds for the first time this year. It seems to be going well.

  • Reply Micheal Kors May 18, 2019 at 7:03 am

    wow, so many food 😍😍😍

  • Reply J Kl May 20, 2019 at 5:10 am

    I have neighbors with 7 kids (they're from Mexico), they let their kids out w/o supervision and as a result that only 1 dad works, kids are hunry. Growing in the front is free food for them. Even when you put a fence, the climb over it at night and throw a lot of garbage on a property. So front yard only grass.

  • Reply J Kl May 20, 2019 at 5:11 am

    any ti[ps on planting fruit bushes, trees as close to each other as possible and avoid powdery mildew?

  • Reply Radha sweet home May 23, 2019 at 2:57 pm


  • Reply Laura Ortiz May 24, 2019 at 4:54 pm

    You don’t need crop rotations in a small garden setting as soil depletion isn’t an issue, seeing as the soil is continually replenished with fresh compost and other soil amendments to keep the soil healthy

  • Reply Brent G May 25, 2019 at 5:32 pm

    Thanks for everything, continuity in community through gardening

  • Reply Sunny Deise May 27, 2019 at 9:22 pm

    Are you familiar with Charles Dowding?

  • Reply Barbara Lyman May 30, 2019 at 8:59 pm

    Thanks for your great videos. They're very informative. You have a nice voice that's easy to understand.

  • Reply ashemee June 3, 2019 at 9:25 pm

    now I think gardening is ez

  • Reply Alfredo Moreno June 4, 2019 at 3:59 am

    Nice video and how often do you fertilize your garden and potato?

  • Reply Seeker June 6, 2019 at 10:56 am

    Thats a shit ton of FOOD you got there!!!

  • Reply DR Dan June 7, 2019 at 11:58 am

    That looks like non treated lumber sitting on the ground.  Even treated structural lumber is not designed for direct contact.  Termites will destroy these beds inside two years.  I came across some salvage very heavy cinder blocks and am going to use them for my garlic and asparagus.  The blocks will never rot and if you want a deeper bed just add a second row.  Im planning on using treated 2x12s for the ends so I can run the tiller through if I plant the asparagus elsewhere.  The rest of the veg go into a traditional row garden, until I find more cheap/free blocks.

  • Reply DR Dan June 7, 2019 at 12:09 pm

    I cant crowd my plants in square beds due to high humidity issues.  Gotta have room for the wind to blow through.

  • Reply Dr Gurmeet Singh, Counsellor & Psychiatrist June 11, 2019 at 3:52 pm

    Human urine is good fertilizer

  • Reply Chinch Das June 19, 2019 at 2:18 pm

    Can you tell me the name of that spinach…pls…

  • Reply Jim Willeford June 23, 2019 at 2:53 am

    Many glorious ground covers. Some drought tolerant. My faves are Hacienda Creeper or Virginia Creeper.

  • Reply lusiana waode June 24, 2019 at 11:07 am

    Thanks for your video

  • Reply Soil and Margaritas June 27, 2019 at 9:27 pm

    Do you have any resources on how to design the beds in your backyard? We will have a good sunny area this fall where we are planning to build a few beds, I plan to do some growing vertically and utilize the space to the max, but deciding which way the beds should be facing is my biggest struggle right now.

  • Reply Deez Nuts July 11, 2019 at 10:33 pm

    Great video thanks for sharing

  • Reply Planter GardenTV July 17, 2019 at 4:45 am

    I use my back yard every year to plant vegetables i also have some videos on YouTube I enjoy planting fresh organic vegetables

  • Reply Pinchanseyha Technology August 4, 2019 at 1:24 am

    I will grow plant 🌱 like this someday

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