If you want to grow some vegetables but don’t think you have the space, why not look upwards instead? Vertical gardening lets you take advantage of fences, trellises and exterior walls to grow fruits and vegetables in tiny spaces.
Blackberries or raspberries
I grow my berry bushes along a chain link fence which does a great job of camouflaging the alley while keeping my family well supplied with fresh berries. A healthy blackberry bush will produce between 10-20 pounds of fruit a season, a single raspberry bush slightly less.
Grapes are another family favorite at our house though do require full sun to grow. Grape vines can be trained to grown along a fence, over a pergola or on a trellis. I usually harvest about 15-20 clusters of grapes per plant.
I’ve only started growing this unusual vegetable a few years ago and love the compact size of the fruit which makes it ideal for growing along a porch rail or small trellis. Lemon cucumber plants are very prolific and easy to grow. Last year, our average yield was between 20-30 cucumbers per plant.
Certain bean varieties are known as “pole” plants, meaning they can be trained to climb upon a fence or trellis for bountiful yields. Pole beans have 2-3 times the yield of bush varieties and have a much longer growing season. Average yield per plant is about 5-6 pounds.
Our family eats a lot of relish which is why pickling cucumbers are a staple in my garden too. Pickling cucumbers are much smaller than standard market cucumbers which means that they won’t break the vine as they grow. Most pickle and relish recipes call for at least 4-6 pounds of pickles per recipe which is why you’ll need to plant at least 8 plants.
Apples, peaches, plums, and cherries
While we don’t think about growing fruit trees along a fence line, the old art of espalier training makes it possible to grow orchard fruits in tight, compact spaces along a fence or a wall. The yields are fantastic in relation to the space — for instructions for espalier training fruit trees in your yard, check out the Mother Earth News article: How to espalier apple trees.
A lack of yard space doesn’t mean that you can’t have a micro orchard or vegetable garden. Thanks to vining fruits, pole vegetables, and tree varieties that can be espalier trained, it is possible to grow food for your family in hardly any space at all.
More by this contributor:
How to compost without a bin
10 clever ways to cut vegetable gardening costs
Vegetables that are the best value to grow in your garden