Q: Our old terraced cottage has a small back yard (about 10ft by 20ft at its longest and widest points) which faces south and gets lots of sun. I would like to grow at least some of my own vegetables as well as have room for a chair to sit out and enjoy watching the plants grow. What do you suggest?
A: Growing vegetables in small gardens and yards is becoming more and more popular and there are. all kinds of containers and bags available for growing vegetables. You will find all kinds of wood or plastic raised beds (they don’t tend to have a base so you will need to sit them on heavy duty weed control fabric in your yard, or go for large planters with plenty of small stones for drainage). Even if your yard faces south there will be areas that don’t have the sun for long before it moves past, so check where the sunniest patches are, and leave a space for your deckchair. My advice is to start with a few things and build on your success.
1) Use a raised bed for salad vegetables such as lettuces or tasty cooking treats such as xx which are really easy to grow.
2) You can use growbags for potatoes though you only need 4-5 tubers per bag it’s a bit wasteful unless you can buy a small quantity or share with a neighbour. Or use them for tomatoes (start these off indoors) or strawberries.
3) A long thin raised bed (or build one against a wall with bricks) is good for planting things that can grow against the wall – you can espalier small fruit trees or train a boysenberry against a trellis.