One of the best solutions to a tiny garden is a trellis. My little garden is only 12 ft x 12 ft, but I’m able to produce a fairly big crop by growing vertically (it may only be 12 ft square, but its nearly 12 ft tall). For many plants this is the preferred method of growing too – so it’s a win-win. Certain vine-like veggies will rot on the ground, so the added height gives them a chance to keep their leaves dry, and reach better sun. My little garden is almost entirely on giant trellis. If you have limited space I recommend trying these vertical plants:
Pole Bean: If you’re growing beans, I recommend a pole bean over a bush bean. You’ll get the same yield, but use a fraction of the space (fresh beans off the vine are unlike any store bought bean). Just plant near a trellis or bamboo pole – they won’t need much guidance. They will grow in spirals around the support.
Snap Pea: These spring treats need no help. Give them a net to climb on and they’ll find their own way. When they’re finish blooming you can grow beans on the same trellis.
Cucumber: The fruit stays cleaner and is less prone to bugs and rot when elevated on a trellis. Cucumber vines need little guidance, they have plenty of curly feelers seeking out a pole to grow on. Netting may not be strong enough – they can get heavy. I recommend a more solid structure with bamboo poles.
Squash: Like cucumbers, squash do better growing vertical, but they may need a little guidance. Keep a spool of garden twine handy and you can tie new growth to the trellis as the plant matures. If the fruits get big you may want to provide additional cradle support by tying the fruit itself to the trellis.
Tomato: Most people use round tiered cages to support tomato plants. They will also do just fine on a more traditional wall-like trellis, but they will need additional guidance. Get out that twine.
Pepper: Some pepper plants can get quite tall, and with guidance (twine) they will grow right up a trellis. The added support is helpful as pepper plants can get weighed down by their own fruits.
Melon: Like squash and cucumbers, melons are a vine, and do best on a trellis. They will need little guidance, as they seek out poles with their little curly feelers. As the fruits develop they may need additional support to keep from weighing down the plant. Use your twine to cradle the melon to a support post.