Big enough for a productive veg patch?

Hello, I have had a greenhouse for 2 years and grow the usual toms/patty pans /germinate seedlings but I would really like a veg patch. I have a 30ft suburban garden but wondering if this flower bed could be turned into a useful veg patch?  It is approx 12ft x 3ft - east facing- with an apple tree at one end and an Acer Brilliantisimum at the other which I would like to keep. I can move or give away the perennials/shrubs. I’m thinking a raised bed so I can dig in lots of manure/compost.  Is it the plot big enough to grow say 3 types eg pumpkins/maybe some onions and say salad leaves? I tried growing honeyboat squash in my flower border this year but they only had male flowers and only got to about 2ft tall  :/


  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 3,446
    I'm not sure about squash and pumpkins. They take up a lot of room - relatively speaking - and they are very greedy plants so they need lots of space and lots of muck. (which is probably why yours didn't do very well this year). You may be able to train one up the fence, if you pick one of the smaller varieties.

    But that is plenty of space for a productive veg plot - google 'square foot gardening' and you'll find lots of advice on growing lots of veg in a small space
    You just want somebody listening to what you say 
    It doesn't matter who you are 
  • @raisingirl I’ll have a look at that - thank you. Why is it the older I’m getting the smaller my garden feels?  😀 we’ve brought up 3 children and it didnt feel small back then even with bikes/skateboards everywhere! Then again it was just grass and no borders coz I didn’t have much time to do any gardening  :D
  • Kitty 2Kitty 2 ManchesterPosts: 5,064
    Our garden is a little bit smaller than yours at 25x25ft, but we like a challenge 😉. Have a 6ft fence panel with netting for peas every year, has had allsorts growing in front of them. Radishes, salad leaves, carrots, herbs etc. This year it's brussel sprouts 😨.
    I also have raspberry canes growing in a narrow strip at the side of the greenhouse.

    He tried pumpkins this year, in another small patch previously used for annual flowers. Only two plants which went bonkers, they travelled the full length of the garden along the paths. One vine went down the back of the shed, the other climbed a sweetpea wigwam over into nextdoors.
     We've got two two pumpkins off them, one for each of our daughters but he's said "never again!"

    Good luck with your small space growing👍
  • Some pumpkins can be grown upwards - using trellis. You may need to support the fruit, I have seen this done with hammocks
  • herbaceousherbaceous E. BerksPosts: 1,104
    Hi @gardeninglily1 , my garden is a bit bigger than yours but this year I managed to put in 4 1mX1m raised beds (I was fed up with planting on a slant  :) ) one has produced wonderful carrots, the second onions, the third tomatoes and purple broccoli and the last one had Cornichons and now leeks. I don't have a fence behind but would have welcomed the support for the tomatoes and Cornichons.

    I definitely agree with raisingirl and kitty 2, avoid squashes and the like, way too big! But the Cornichons can be trained up (I just love gherkins!) as can peas and beans and they have lovely flowers too.

    Have fun and good luck!
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 16,444
    You need to allow at least a square metre for a pumpkin or squash but you can then, as mentioned above, train it up an obelisk or frame and stop it after just 3 or 4 fruits have formed.   Feed and water generously and you'll get good results.

    As for the, you could try the grid system which means giving one square foot to each type of plant  which could then be filled with 9 Cos lettuces, 4 small caulis/Savoy cabbage etc, 1 broccoli (probably), 1 cordon tomato, 3 rows of spring onions, 9 normal onions, 2 rows of beetroot or carrots.   Growing veg in confined spaces is possible as long as you maintain fertility with regular additions of well-rotted garden compost or manure and a handful of B&B every time you plant something new.  You'll just get smaller veg which is fine for just 2 of you.

    Grow stuff which is good and tasty when small and freshly picked or expensive in the shops.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • madpenguinmadpenguin Isle of WightPosts: 1,449
    My daughter has a garden for the first time and she has put in all sorts of stuff in a small area.She tends to buy something and stuff it in where ever she gets a space.Strawberry plants planted under kale a few inches from a raspberry cane which is tucked behind a flourish of chard.Tomatoes in an old tub,runner beans up the bird feeder pole.She even has a courgette amongst it all!There is no 'order' to it and she lets caterpillars thrive but she has still had the most productive small patch you can imagine!
    “Every day is ordinary, until it isn't.” - Bernard Cornwell-Death of Kings
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 16,444
    The other system to try is Geoff Hamilton's Ornamental Kitchen Garden which has crops growing in amongst the ornamentals which has the added benefit of confusing pests as well as looking good and you can have suitable plants in all 4 aspects.   The DVD is available online in a 3 pack with his Paradise and Cottage Garden series and the book is often to be found in charity shops or can be borrowed from a library.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Ooh thank you everyone - I’m inspired to get in and do it now! Is now the best time to remove the  perennials and build the raised bed (hubby with decking boards - he will be pleased I’ve got a job lined up for him (not) lol or wait until spring? 
  • Kitty 2Kitty 2 ManchesterPosts: 5,064
    Sounds good herbaceous. I have successfully grown courgettes and cucumbers in large pots. The pumpkins were a step too far. I should have said the variety was "Jack o'lantern", for Halloween 🎃.

    This years veg haul from the wilko 10p seed sale.

    Looking forward to growing the mangetout and mini cucumbers for the first time.
    I fear the "minipop" sweetcorn will be 2019's version of the pumpkin. Much too big for our garden 😲.

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