Carrots lined up on a white background
Lettuce and carrots arranges in lines on a white background

The 10 Best Vegetables to Grow in a Small Garden

The 10 Best Vegetables to Grow in a Small Garden

If you have a small garden, you may not have considered starting your own vegetable patch. Enjoy the small space that you have available by creating your very own vegetable patch; our handy list of the best vegetables for small spaces will show you how to grow your own vegetables including tomatoes, lettuce, and sweetcorn. As found in Grow Vegetables, the must-have guide to growing your own vegetables no matter what space you have.

1. Lettuce

Close up of lettuce leaves growing in a garden

Lettuces are not difficult to grow, as long as they are kept in partial shade during midsummer to retain their moisture. Easily harvest by picking the outer leaves or cut the whole head near the base, leaving the stump to re-sprout, and you'll have a home-grown supply of fresh salad leaves all summer long. 

2. Sweetcorn

Close up of corn and corn growing in an oil drum

Sun-loving sweetcorn needs a hot summer to do well. Sweetcorn grows tall, so pick a deep and roomy container for planting - an oil drum is ideal - and place it in a warm, sunny spot. Sweetcorn is slow growing and casts little shade, which makes it a great candidate for intercropping, saving you even more space in your garden. Try growing beetroot, lettuce, rocket, parsley, or mustard leaves in the same drum for a bright vegetable medley.

3. Cucumber

Cucumber plants growing with crop

Cucumber is a summer salad essential, and this refreshing vegetable needs little space to produce garlands of globes that taste as good as they look. Cucumbers can be grown in any small garden, with a bumper crop prudocuded when you plant cucumbers in a warm, sheltered spot.

4. Beans

Green beans growing with leaves

Easy-to-grow climbing beans reach dizzy heights. Beans take up little floor space, so are perfect for small gardens. If you're really stuck for room, use beans to frame a doorway with their pretty flowers, and enjoy a non-stop supply of beans all summer. Try growing French, runner and Borlotti beans together for a stunning display. Red, pink, and white flowers are followed by yellow, purple, red, and green beans.

5. Squash

Squash plants growing against a fence, and harvested squash plants on the ground

Beautifully decorative and a great use of vertical space, training squashes up a trellis is a wonderful way to grow this vegetable in confined areas. These weighty vegetables have the added bonus of tasting delicious, and are the perfect additional to your small garden. This vegetable comes in an exciting array of shapes and sizes, and can be easily grown from seed. 

6. Courgettes

Courgette plant growing in a soil bag and harvested courgettes held in a hand

Grow something a little more unusual this year, and make the most of your resources by repurposing woven plastic shopping bags as planters. Bag planters are are strong and durable, and are large enough to grow hungry crops such as courgettes. They are also easy to store in winter. Give your plants room to grow by planting them a few feet apart. 

7. Beetroot

Beetroot plants harvested and in the ground

Beetroot seeds can be sown directly outdoors from mid-spring, and also on modules to plant into any available space. Each seed actually contains up to five individual seeds, so thin out the seedlings to leave one strong plant, or grow them closer together and harvest as baby beetroot. Added bonuses include a splash of pink colour to your garden, and edible foliage that you can lightly pick.

8. Tomatoes

Tomato plants growing vertically and a tomato hanging basket

Tomatoes are a staple of any vegetable garden. Tips on growing tomatoes are to keep all plants very well-watered to prevent the fruits from splitting and, once in flower, feed weekly with tomato fertilizer. Tomatoes lend themselves well to climbing and hanging baskets, taking up little to no floor space in your garden.  

9. Radishes

Harvested radish and radish plants in the ground

Grow your own salad all summer by planting radishes. Summer radishes grow rapidly, producing small roots to eat raw. Early crops can be sown indoors, ready to plant out once the risk of frost has passed. Winter radishes are large and slow growing, and are eaten cooked. Sow them thinly outdoors from mid- to late summer and revel in your foresight by using them in your winter recipes. 

10. Leeks

Tiny leek plants sprouting and a close up of harvested leek

Leeks are a versatile vegetable and do not mind being transplanted. Sow leeks in seedbeds, or indoors, to save space while they develop. Leeks do not need huge amounts of water and are planted in deep, narrow holes, which save on your gardening space all year round. 

Looking for further small garden ideas? Try The Ten Best Fruits to Grow in a Small Garden.

Grow Vegetables shows you how to grow your own vegetables, from juicy tomatoes to crunchy celery. Packed with gardening tips for beginners and green-fingered experts, Grow Vegetables helps you make the most out of your garden to grow your own delicious crop all year round. 

Buy the book

Buy the book

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