Small-Space Vegetable Garden Plan & Ideas

There are lots of small vegetable garden ideas—and it's easy to learn lots about growing produce if you start with a compact space. Here's how to add great looks—and tastes—to your landscape with an easy small vegetable garden plan.

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In the world of gardening, bigger is not always better. Small beds require less time to plant and maintain than large ones, leaving you more time to enjoy them. The key to finding happiness with a small yard is to choose planting projects that deliver more of what you really want from gardening. Then use design strategies to transform your little garden into a lush pocket of paradise.

The choices are endless. A walled patio provides the framework for an intimate courtyard, and even a postage stamp front yard can be enriched with islands of curb-appeal color. Perhaps your deepest gardening delights will be realized in raised beds bursting with herbs and vegetables. Try out ideas that appeal to you, and stay open to new possibilities. Should you decide to switch from one type of bed to another, a single weekend of work is enough to renovate 20 square feet of garden space.

Before planting, dig the site as deeply as you can, and mix in a 4-inch-deep blanket of high-quality organic matter. Add a slow-release plant food on planting day, and your garden will have all it needs to produce big rewards.

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Locate this small potager, or ornamental vegetable garden, near your kitchen door for instant access to fresh greens and chives all season long. Lettuce is one of the most popular and diverse leafy vegetables available. It grows quickly, is easy to care for, and comes in a variety of forms and flavors. Loose-leaf varieties are popular because they're easy to grow and provide a continuous supply of leaves.

Pretty, tasty, and nutritious, the attractive, ruffly, bluish-green leaves of kale, a member of the cabbage family, make it a natural for striking ornamental plantings. Members of the onion family, chives possess a delicate onion flavor and are an important addition to any kitchen garden. They take up little space and are easy to grow from seed.

Our free Planting Guide for this small vegetable garden idea includes an illustration and a detailed layout diagram. You'll also receive a list of plants (shown in this small vegetable garden idea) as well as complete instructions for installing the garden. (Free, one-time registration for this small vegetable garden idea allows unlimited access to Planting Guides for all garden plans.)

Plant List

  • 7 Kale (Brassica oleracea): Annual
  • 4 Chives (Allium schoenoprasum): Zones 3–9
  • 12 Lettuce (Lactuca sativa): Annual
  • 6 Sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritima): Annual
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