Pack Your Small Garden With Uncommon Edibles

Pack Your Small Garden With Uncommon Edibles

While your space may feel cramped, national garden expert Charlie Nardozzi says your options still loom larger than you might expect. Columnar apples, honeyberries, fig trees and Alpine strawberries can all sweeten your deck or patio in a matter of months.

Pack Your Small Garden With Uncommon Edibles

By Melissa Wiley | Chicagoist

Pack Your Small Garden With Uncommon Edibles

Image credit: Opioła Jerzy (Poland) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC BY 2.5]

There’s more to do this week than wrap packages while layering wool sweaters. Be bold and think spring while designing next year’s urban garden. And while your space may feel cramped, national garden expert Charlie Nardozzi says your options still loom larger than you might expect. Columnar apples, honeyberries, fig trees and Alpine strawberries can all sweeten your deck or patio in a matter of months.

”Urban gardeners often feel like they can’t grow much food because of lack of space or sun. But root crops like carrots and turnips can survive on three to four hours of daily sunlight, while lettuces like kale and Swiss chard can still thrive on even less. And new technology—self-watering containers, railing containers that sit on decks, wall plantings, even casters designed for plants—is addressing the space issue,” Nardozzi told Chicagoist.

Breeders too, Nardozzi notes, have shrunk the size of most produce in recent decades, making gardening into an even more compact practice. Fruits like salad bush cucumber now flourish on shorter vines that help you economize on space, while new cultivars of cherry tomatoes grow well in hanging baskets. Fruit trees also just keep getting smaller, putting ancient fruits like figs within closer reach.

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