Tall, sturdy wire can be used to create space-saving aids. For example, in a plot of around 1.2 by 2.4 metres, if you set up a 2.7-metre length of arced wire at one long edge, you could grow sweet peas up the outside of the wire and cucumbers with climbing courgettes up the inside, alyssum and calendula at the two triangles created by the bends in the wire, beans in a row along the outside edge of the plot and potatoes in the inner space – obviously this is just one combination, but the idea is very flexible depending on what you want to grow.
Likewise, by bending a longer length of wire into a U-shape you could create an easy, space-saving way to support up to 17 staking tomato plants, or peas, with beans in the middle and flowers around the perimeter – or whatever you like. Obviously, you can scale up or down, depending on the size of your space.
If you want to store fruit or veg. in a limited space, arrange it in shallow boxes at varying degrees of ripeness. This way you could stack boxes with the ripest at the top and increasingly unripe produce in the lower boxes. This means that you automatically use the ripest, next.
The colour and degree of softening usually indicates the state of ripeness. With a little bit of effort and experience you’ll soon get to know in which order to stack things for optimum storage.
Another way to maximise a small space is to do ‘follow-up planting’. Take lettuce, for example. At the start of the lettuce season, bought or home-grown transplants are set out early in the spring, providing a lovely glut of greens – and then they’re gone.
For a continuing supply of lettuce, you need to do follow-up plantings. So, while you are enjoying the reward of your early lettuce bonanza, make sure that you have follow-up indoor seedings on the go, made at the time of each transplanting of previously sown lettuces, ready to transplant outside so that you have an ongoing supply throughout the season.
With a little bit of ingenuity and forethought – and of course, trusty garden wire – a small garden space doesn’t have to mean a small crop of garden produce.