| by Kenneth Chase | 100 comments

How to Grow Garden Vegetables In Small Spaces

Hello! I’m Katherine Crouch, BBC Gardener of The Decade. Today I’m going to show you how to make a small vegetable patio planter. 20 years ago I used to grow all sorts of vegetables in a lovely vegetable garden much like this one, but now I only live in a tiny house with not much space. I’m going to show you just how mucg you can grow in one square metre. Right we have got our tools ready, our plants, compost and patio planter bag, let’s get started! I’ve chosen this location because it faces South-East and is going to get the sun nearly all day. It just goes behind this garage gable end at about 3 O’clock. What do I need? Let’s grab some scissors and get the compost in. Pack the corners first so it helps the whole thing to stand up properly. I’m just going to put this log here to give the sides extra support so I can use a couple of extra inches of compost. The more compost, the bigger the root system, the bigger the plant, the more there is to eat! It is worth spending a little time at this stage getting your compost nicely compacted and absolutely level. When you water you are not going to find that the watering can tips all of the water into one corner of the planter. Also if you start off level and you plant all of your seeds the same depth then they will all come up at the same time. I’ve got these Hazel canes that I took from someones hedge in the winter, I’m going to make a rustic support for Runner Beans and some French Beans. Although we only have an area 800mm by 800mm to grow our salads, actually there is no limit to how far we can go up. So we are going to have some verticle gardening aswell as horizontal. Ok, we are ready to start planting our planter bag. I’m going to start off at the back and work forwards. I’m going to put some Runner Beans behind the sticks because there is a few inches of planting space there. Firm them in. That one is a bit of a scrawny one, I’ll put it to one side. These plants look much nicer. Don’t worry about having to tie them into the canes, they will sort themselves out and twine up the canes. If you end up with two going up one cane just unwrap it and persuade it in the right direction. Now for some herbs, I’ve got here a Bronze Fennel plant. This plant, if left to its own devices in the garden would grow to a four foot giant amd really take over. In a planter I think it will be a little less vigorous. This is a lovely anissed flavoured herb. Lovely in salads and lovely with fish. Lets plant some Oregano. This is a nice spicey perrenial herb. It is OK in a salad but even better as an addition to marinade for barbequeing meat or fish. It is also nice in soups and stews. It doesn’t grow too tall, so I am going to have this nearer to the front. I’ve got a little Golden Thyme. This is fairly low growning, also good for barbeque marinades. It is decorative aswell and doesn’t grow very tall so we are going to put it nearer the front. I’m not planting to any particular pattern, these things will sort themselves out quite nicely. Now for some Garlic Chives, just to add a little bit of garlic taste if you snip a few leaves into a salad. No herb patch is complete without some Parsley, it is the most versatile herb. Let’s take these old yellow leaves off. This is good for salads, for garnishes, bbq’s, put some on garlic bread, I just could not be without this herb. If you have a root ball like this that is a little bit congested, don’t be afraid to break it up with your fingers to persuade the roots to get out into the compost. Lets put it over here. I’m packing them in fairly closely, and there is a good reason for that. You are going to be picking them regularly, so they are not going to get too congested. It also means the area will get covered with foliage like an umbrella.That will stop the soil drying out. Basil is a hot season plant, very spicey and is traditionally used in Italian cooking, good with pasta, in marinades and with salads. I’ve got some lettuce here, you can plant these and either eat them one leaf at a time or wait until the hole thing is firm to the touch and cut the whole lot off. Lets put a few of these in. Plant these a little bit deeper that they were in the containers otherwise when the soil settles they might be left high and dry. The soil will settle after you water them in. I’ve also got some really lovely Loose Leaf Lettuce, this is a frilly variety that is a lovely addition to salads for the look aswell as the taste. We’ll put some of those in the other side. I’ve also got some Rainbow Chard, this is a big version of Spinach and it is a dual purpose vegetable. You can cut the leaves and use them like Spinach. Ordinary Spich tends to go to seed quickly when grown in a container, this doesn’t. The leaves of these are all different colours, I’m going to pick out these nice red ones. I’ll put them near the back as they do tend to get to quite a big size. They can cuddle up next to the beans. I have got a mixture of salad leaves, lettuces, mustards and rocket. We can grow this from seed but it’s nice to have a head start. I think I am going to break that up into about four pieces and put them over on this side. Gently pull the root ball apart, gently persuade the leaves apart. I’m going to put these right round the back of the canes. By the time these have gone to seed the beans will be covering them. As the beans haven’t really got going there is no reason we can’t take advantage of these last back 6 inches of space. That way we are going to be using every square inch of our planter. I’ve also got an ordinary Chive plant, very similar to the Garlic Chives but without that garlicky whiff, just a little bit of onion kick. Not a lot of people know that the Chive flower heads are edible aswell. They look as if the would be quite papery, but actually they are very juicey. They are a lovely shade of purple and make a really nice garnish to salads. Press them in firmly.So that the roots have a good firm contact. French Beans can get to a good foot high and if we put them to the edge of the container then there is every chance that they will fall out over the side for want of space. We have a lovely root system here, there are several plants here. Again, like the salad I will gently break them apart. These are the dwarf beans, they won’t climb. There is nothing nicer than a bean that has been freshly picked and nothing worse than one that has gone over and been picked too late. I’m going to open that out so that it makes a row of beans. Let’s tuck them in along the side here. Don’t worry if you get some compost onto the plants you have planted already because that will wash off when we water. You know we are going to wash the salad anyway. Firm them in nicely. I’m going to see if we can get these Yellow BEans to cohabit with the Runner Beans. We’ve only got 5 Runner Beans in there, but there is every chance we could possibly persuade two beans up one pole. I’m going to put two of these Runner Beans seeds by each pole in case one gets muched I’ll still have another one. I’ve only got to push them down with my thumb, you could use a dibber but I find that for beans it is best just to push them in with your thumb. Let’s have some…radishes for a quick crop! Radishes are one of the easiest things to grow, but not neccessarily the favourites of children to eat. This is a mixed lot of radishes, long ones, short ones, round ones, pink ones, white ones. The trick with radishes is that you must grow them on fairly fast and keep them watered. If you let them dry out they will go pithy and very hot tasting. Let’s use our little dibber. I’m just going to press a couple of rows here, very roughly. Just lay a little shallow trench. The reason I put them in rows is because if we get any weeds, the weeds don’t come up in rows so you tell which is which. Sprinkle them in not very far apart, about an inch apart is plenty. You don’t need to but tonnes in. What I’m also going to do is also plant some carrots in the same drill. What will happen in 6 weeks these raddishes will be ready to eat, but the carrots will take a little bit longer. We will put in the resistor fly, they are a stump rooted carrot so it shouldn’t hit the deck. Plant these very very sparse, because if you plamt them very close togther you will just have to thin them. You want them atleast an inch apart otherwise you get some very scrawny roots. When you pull them out, the scent of the foliage being disturbed is what attracts the carrot root fly. So if you can avoid thinning them you will have less problems. Hello cat, are you coming to help? Do you like carrots? Again, just a very very gentle trickle of just one or two. What will happen is that your raddishes will mature much faster than the carrots. So gentle take the radishes out and let the carrots grow on. This way you get two crops in one space. Just cover these seeds over. You only need to plant them fairly shallow, no more than half an inch deep. And now I’m just going to press them down. Fold the top over your packet, so that they don’t escape. Later in the season when these lettuces have matured, let’s say in July, you will be able to plant more of these and have successions of delicous crops. In the corners I am going to plant strawberries. Admittedly you are not going to get much of a crop out of four plants. You can see here these are already flowered and pollinated. But it is so lovely to pop out and pick a fresh strawberry, warm in the sun, it won’t even make it to the kitchen for a garnish, I promise you! You will just want to eat it staight away, you will never taste anything so delicous. We are going to put those in the front corners, so I’ll take out a little bit of compost there. They will have a tendancy to flop over, but that’s fine because then they are not taking up the room inside my planter. This is a tough and vigorous variety that stays desease free. Lets grow some red salad bowl lettuce, this is a cut and come again form. The leaf is almost like a bronze tipped Oak leaf. Shake your seed down to the bottom of the packet and tear accross the top. Again, we’ll use our diibber. We’ll make a couple of lines, we’ll keep them shallow. The smaller the seed the shallower they need to be. We really don’t need to use that many, we only want to end up with half a dozen plants so there is no point using 100 seeds. It’s May now, the compost will warm up in no time atall. With warmth and light and moisture they will grow like anything. I think we still have room for the odd betroot. Not everybody likes betroot but I absolutely love it, raw grated into a salad is very nice and boiled is equally nice. This is an F1 variety, very even very round roots. We can harvest these when they are only the size of a golf ball. They are a relative of spinch and are very similar to the chard that we planted at the back, and you can eat the leaves in salad aswell. I’m going to put them in just a little row here, and again only a few seeds. I’m putting them in about an inch apart, and I’ll probably thin them out to every two inches. We’ve also got a few spaces inbetween our herbs, and I dare say we can intercrop with a few more. When they come up they will come up with quite a distinctive red vained leaf so you know what it is, it’s not actually a weed. Ok, even though the compost is damp I’m going to water the plants in to make sure that we haven’t got any air pocketsthat the poor roots are hanging up in. It ensures the soil is settled down, washes the muck off the leaves and gets our new planting off to a really good start. So here is our completed planter bag, with herbs and vegetables for your pleasure all summer long. For more gardening tips and gardening videos and garden tools, go to silverlinetools.com


Sam Murray

May 5, 2015, 1:14 am Reply

And when those plants actually grow? It'll be like a Vietnamese traffic jam in there.

nery colon 1

May 5, 2015, 4:38 am Reply

Really nice. Loved and Subbed

Teresa Berry

Jun 6, 2015, 8:37 pm Reply

Make a fruit garden video like this

You Can Only Spend It Once

Jun 6, 2015, 3:02 pm Reply

I used some weed barrier fabric and sewed my own planter bags for this season, but haven't planted anything in them yet. Maybe a good project for today. 🙂


Jun 6, 2015, 1:25 am Reply

encouraging! an after video with the vegi's grown would've been a nice addition.

Lenore Watts

Aug 8, 2015, 6:49 am Reply

Great use of a small space! 🙂 Thanks for this video

Louisa Agate

Aug 8, 2015, 6:30 pm Reply

You know that's way to much once that all grows. Would love to see how that looks in about 2-3 months.

angela sheppard

Aug 8, 2015, 6:45 am Reply

WOW…you really can plant a lot in a tiny space. i guess use another patch for veg like tomato,pepper, maybe okra?

Glenda’s Kawaii World & Travels

Sep 9, 2015, 6:09 am Reply

Hi new subscriber here, I love this video, I have started my own organic garden a week ago and I am very excited with the project. Please visit my channel (and subscribe, if you like) Thanks

Shi Cruisin’

Oct 10, 2015, 1:03 pm Reply

Would have loved to see the matured plants in this little garden

Rainbow Gardens

Dec 12, 2015, 8:41 pm Reply

It is always nice to grow in small spaces.


Jan 1, 2016, 1:35 pm Reply


Rickalls Outdoors

Jan 1, 2016, 8:00 pm Reply

Great stuff. Check out my videos and subscribe! 🙂

Lex Nuss

Feb 2, 2016, 1:54 pm Reply

I not only love your intensive practicality in a postage stamp planting sense , but also that your trellis resembles the Nordic rune for brotherhood.

Home Chef Art

Feb 2, 2016, 6:09 pm Reply

Great job thanks!

Elsbeth Steele

Mar 3, 2016, 5:10 pm Reply

Not helpful.

Dragon Mountain Films

Mar 3, 2016, 1:18 am Reply

When you say "compost" do you mean straight compost or a garden/potting soil?


Mar 3, 2016, 5:31 pm Reply

good cat bathroom


Mar 3, 2016, 7:38 pm Reply

14:34 Afro Anglo cat with a THICK British meowing accent comes over ""to offer his labour and knowledge on gardening" for FREE…Free he does not ask for a single pence let alone a pound… This is how generous cats are towards the world at large… This Brit Kit will constantly both fertilize and water these plants from his body FOR FREE… THANK YOU FOR YOU KIND CONTRIBUTIONS AFRO ANGLO BRIT CAT :O) You ROCK AND ARE THE BOMB DIGITY BOMB :O)

Seedaholic Gardens

Mar 3, 2016, 9:13 pm Reply

Clever use of space would  be great for a friend of mine whom is afraid of worms! lol

Asian Goddess

Mar 3, 2016, 12:23 am Reply

you should try 5 Gallon Vertical Gardening maximize your space

Jan Pocai

Apr 4, 2016, 6:13 pm Reply

Very nice vid. I subscribed because of this yours gardening videos


Apr 4, 2016, 11:24 pm Reply

I've made a small raised bed from an old pine drawer with the bottom cut out and filled with compost, I don't have much space and whilst being realistic I'm hoping to grow a few different herbs and veg so this video is very encouraging.


May 5, 2016, 6:25 pm Reply

This is right up my street – small scale, to see how i do. Love the cat (made me giggle as our old cat would be with us in the garden all day long). Read other posts re: cat loo – lets hope not!!

Teresa Keplinger

May 5, 2016, 3:59 am Reply

very good…love her


May 5, 2016, 2:27 pm Reply

Great video, I have a garden but I was thinking of growing some more veg somewhere else so this is awesome! Subscribed and looking forward to more videos 🙂


May 5, 2016, 3:21 pm Reply

What a great idea.??


May 5, 2016, 4:17 pm Reply

10:07 😀

Saifullah Afridi

Jun 6, 2016, 3:11 pm Reply

And how would you protect this from foxes ??


Jun 6, 2016, 12:12 am Reply

I love it! I just added a 16×4.5 ft raised bed to my little garden and it will double my growing area!!

Sunil Keshari

Jun 6, 2016, 3:05 am Reply

ॐ unity of all

Siham Noor

Jul 7, 2016, 10:00 am Reply

any army here?

Alexis Cardoza

Jul 7, 2016, 8:52 pm Reply

good stuff keep it up. just began my videos again getting some motivation. hope you like, if you do hit up a sub 🙂

bite size philosophy

Jul 7, 2016, 3:32 am Reply

how would you protect from your pet cat digging and soiling in the compost?

Brisa Rodriguez

Jul 7, 2016, 11:01 pm Reply

this is a great idea thank you for the video very encouraging would love to try this soon…lol

E.R. Long

Aug 8, 2016, 10:29 pm Reply

Nice. Here's my garden for the summer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oReV1nZASP8

Fred Polster

Sep 9, 2016, 2:46 am Reply

Hi. If you want to build it yourself just google for 'woodprix' . I know you'll find good solutions for your idea.

jayash4arav garden

Oct 10, 2016, 3:44 am Reply

nice sir

green india gardening

Nov 11, 2016, 5:12 pm Reply



Nov 11, 2016, 1:13 pm Reply

What do you with spend campus after uses.


Mar 3, 2017, 2:44 pm Reply

Thanks for sharing some great garden ideas & techniques 😀 i love it madam 🙂

Carolyn Campbell

Apr 4, 2017, 8:59 am Reply

Thank you for a very informative video. I may not choose to design as shown but the added nutritional information, a good selection of options to suit many tastes is well appreciated!?

M mangla

Apr 4, 2017, 4:59 pm Reply

Thanks for the information

Veronica Silva

Apr 4, 2017, 3:50 pm Reply

Awesome I will do mine like like hers now

Steve x

Apr 4, 2017, 11:08 pm Reply

bbc gardener of the year? I've never seen her before in my life

Nevena Dorova

May 5, 2017, 8:21 pm Reply

I watched this video yesterday and got so inspired that I went to the nursery today and bought some seeds and 4 wooden panels and my husband made me a raised bed with the same dimensions 80 by 80 cm and tomorrow I'll be ready to plant. Thank you so much for the idea! I'll watch now some other videos from the channel.


May 5, 2017, 1:56 am Reply

This is not quite what Im imagining when someone say small speces 😀 also the space is poorly used, as there is too much unused space above the garden


May 5, 2017, 6:36 am Reply

Just my opinion:
As much as I wish for this garden bed to thrive and stay healthy, I HIGHLY DOUBT that it will… herbs have sightly different watering requirement, chards need room to grow, watering at the base to prevent spread of diseases.

It will work. Harvest all leafy greens and herbs at baby green stage and prevent disease protectively.

Natasha Lindner

May 5, 2017, 4:09 pm Reply

I agree that the finish is a little disappointing -at  the end of summer, the glorious garden would have looked fabulous.  This would further inspire those who are new to this to go out and do it, as it is not a cheap investment until you start to see and eat all the vegetables you can harvest.  Condensed gardening is also known as the Square Foot Gardening Method for those who think these were planted too closely together.

Binyameen Attari

May 5, 2017, 10:58 am Reply


Diana Moody

May 5, 2017, 8:01 pm Reply

Why didn't you start with seeds? Too busy.

j k

May 5, 2017, 11:47 am Reply

waio lovely and I really want to see how it becomes during harvest time…


Jun 6, 2017, 9:43 pm Reply

She stole the canes !

Ingrid Rodriguez

Jun 6, 2017, 6:20 am Reply

where is the cilantro.

r a

Jun 6, 2017, 12:17 pm Reply

What do you do about cats and fox?


Jul 7, 2017, 10:29 pm Reply

this lady is adorable, good video ^^


Aug 8, 2017, 9:44 am Reply

vegetables garden. very good tips!!

sam far

Aug 8, 2017, 4:19 pm Reply

Hello mrs katherine i want to ask u how to grow green chilly n gourd plants in small space it would really be helpful thanks

Sambasiva rao Vemulapalli

Sep 9, 2017, 1:21 am Reply

Good and healthy habit
Those are gives us piece of mind than our children

Terry B

Sep 9, 2017, 10:09 pm Reply

why bother with herbs,you can keep them in the pots & use more space for veg


Nov 11, 2017, 2:25 pm Reply

i like the way you explain what veg using and what they can go with and ways

Tanya Bishop

Dec 12, 2017, 5:52 pm Reply

Hello there. I would like to know if I should mix some of that compose with some soil, instead of using just compost?

Thila Vathy

Dec 12, 2017, 8:02 am Reply


Sue Hall

Jan 1, 2018, 10:00 pm Reply

I bet that cat crapped in that garden as soon as she turned her back, and probably took out a few lettuces like mine did the other day

Cherie Card

Jan 1, 2018, 10:29 pm Reply

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Veronica Williams

Feb 2, 2018, 2:27 am Reply

I see I got a lot to learn about garden my vegetables and fruits indoors.????????????????

Firas H

Feb 2, 2018, 4:33 am Reply

Thank you but the camera very far

Monica Salinas

Feb 2, 2018, 6:52 am Reply

Is she wearing her merch

Ruma Rao

Mar 3, 2018, 9:01 am Reply

Great learning

Fahrul Fahrul

Mar 3, 2018, 5:03 pm Reply

Wow.. I like

Fahrul Fahrul

Mar 3, 2018, 5:03 pm Reply

Good videos


Mar 3, 2018, 12:03 pm Reply

The cat came & stole the show! So much good info, thx !

Minh Hằng

Apr 4, 2018, 4:06 am Reply

Good idea!
My web: www.vitopgarden.com — www.sanvuondinhviet.com

Am Pm

Apr 4, 2018, 7:24 am Reply

Not the best gardening technique . Too much messed up and congested. begginers avoid this. But she is BBC gardener of the decade. So she is master in her work!!!!

Patricia Nunez

Jun 6, 2018, 3:38 am Reply

Love it! You make me want to plant more veg!

Soth Arioch

Jun 6, 2018, 10:35 am Reply

It will be nice to have all those variety here in this dry desert. I'm definitely changing my country.

Goku End

Sep 9, 2018, 5:52 am Reply

harry pota! made these

limonáda jablečná – Kovy fans

Sep 9, 2018, 10:49 am Reply


Rahadyan. P

Dec 12, 2018, 7:59 am Reply

thank you grandma

Home Grown Veg

Dec 12, 2018, 5:43 pm Reply

Hello Catherine

Your mini raised bed looks a little overcrowded to me and the cat has certainly got its eye on it and not for picking vegetables. I have just had some good results growing leeks, carrots, dwarf beans, potatoes etc in pots on my patio. Link attached if anybody's interested. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pvCwJaKUu8&list=PLrdJ3rKwLaep6Q4tTiS3e27CXUEUxFhBM

James Joseph

Dec 12, 2018, 7:57 pm Reply

I think it's better to sit rather than bend like that. Back pain will be an issue.

Ludivina Valencia

Jan 1, 2019, 3:16 am Reply

Wow thanks a lot, I know what to do now, I love it.

Renne Ukaegbu

Jan 1, 2019, 11:50 pm Reply

I loved the video, but I wondered if the cat used it for a toilet.


Jan 1, 2019, 12:33 pm Reply

Spicy basil?!

The woodworkers shed

Feb 2, 2019, 6:21 pm Reply

I remember growing runner beans when I was in my teens we had to dig out a trench about 2 full spade s down and fill it with compost waste in sept ready for spring I was told because runner beans need a deep root run what type of beans are the one you planted.

Mr. or Ms Gaming 今日 Today 游戲 PG

Feb 2, 2019, 1:54 pm Reply

2019-02-15 2154


Mar 3, 2019, 7:07 pm Reply

[Link Here== deam.design/lnhv is exactly what I have been searching for. The photos and text are inspiring, and what makes it that is due to their styles and other things involved. You can use it and decide how you want your landscape design should be.


Mar 3, 2019, 4:20 am Reply

Me and my mom are thinking of moving into a small bedroom or like a small apartment with one two two bedrooms so I want to make a small food garden in my bedroom

Sandra Johnstone

Mar 3, 2019, 7:28 pm Reply

Why not a raised bed?


Mar 3, 2019, 2:25 am Reply

I quit once she pronounced Basil as being spicy

Aisha Griffin

Apr 4, 2019, 5:35 pm Reply


Red Kim

Apr 4, 2019, 1:13 am Reply

I am waiting for its grown picture

Jeanne Nilsson

Apr 4, 2019, 9:01 pm Reply

How Smart, the way you planted the crops, over soil next to under soil species, using the space wisely >3

Bettyjefffey Jeffrey

Apr 4, 2019, 10:38 pm Reply

Love garden


Jun 6, 2019, 6:54 am Reply

yes, she looks like she eats a lot of salads


Jun 6, 2019, 12:45 pm Reply

Basil=spicy? Wtf?

Andrea Chong

Jun 6, 2019, 10:43 am Reply

pretty i love theas plants grwing where going to grow some to in are garden

carole colburt

Aug 8, 2019, 7:52 am Reply

iTunes goerge thoughgood

Claudia Zimmer

Sep 9, 2019, 3:19 am Reply

Would have loved to see the outcome a few weeks later.

Shaken Grain

Oct 10, 2019, 12:41 am Reply

A video showing such an unusual method of planting really ought to show a time lapse/later photo of how it all grew out and looked at harvest time.

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