COLUMN: There is always room for vegetables


Growing your own food is extremely rewarding. Even if space is limited, you can grow your own vegetables and fruit. These space-saving ideas pack tons of delicious edibles into a small space.

raised beds

Control your soil with raised beds. These are a must if the quality of your garden soil is poor and difficult to change. It’s also a wonderful way to garden if you have physical limitations, as you can build the raised beds to a comfortable height. You can build your own raised beds out of rot-resistant wood like cedar, or you can purchase precut or prefabricated raised bed kits. You can also consider materials like cement blocks or even straw bales. Raised beds make weeding easier and quickly warm up; So you can start planting earlier in the season.

Edible Landscaping

Who says you can’t grow vegetables or fruits with your ornamental plants and landscaping? Mixing edible plants with flowers is easy and beautiful. You can even mix flowers with food plants in containers.

Grow up

If your existing garden has space issues, grow vine plants on trellises. Using trellis, posts, or other structures saves space; Also, vegetables are off the ground, making them less susceptible to diseases and insects. You can apply the same concept when growing your edibles in containers. Just make sure the support you choose is secured to prevent it from being blown over in the wind and that the support is sufficient enough to support the weight of the fruit at harvest time.


This technique follows a culture with another in the same space. For example, grow cool-season vegetables first, like lettuce; When that crop is complete, change the soil and plant a warm season crop like a tomato in the same spot.

crop selection

Look for words like “bush,” “dwarf,” or “terrace.” These types of plants are bred for smaller areas. Choose determinate versus indeterminate tomatoes as they are smaller plants.


With the right selection, any plant can be grown in a container. You don’t have to be fancy either; Five gallon buckets with added drainage holes are large enough to grow most vegetables. Smaller plants like lettuce or spinach can be grown in a balcony box.

You can grow your own vegetables and fruits no matter the size of your space. With a little thought, a plan, and the right choices, you can grow your own food this year.

For more vegetable growing tips and getting started, visit our Cornell CCE website at Happy gardening!

If you missed registering for the current Master Gardener Volunteer Training, we may put you on our list for the next upcoming training. For more information call us or visit and click on the Facebook and YouTube icons at the bottom of the page for great research and garden information. Or call 315-736-3394, extension 100.


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