If you are limited in creating an effective and productive vegetable garden due to lack of space, there are some vegetables that can become not just good suppliers of fresh and nutritious veggies, but also but also space savers. Here are some that I regularly grow – even though space isn’t a problem for me.
Although I live in Australia, having done Internet searches, seeds for these varieties are available in the UK.
Pumpkins: Bush pumpkins - “Golden Nugget” is a prolific, long-keeping variety of pumpkin with small, orange, flattened, spherical fruits. The light orange flesh inside is sweet and finely textured. Harvest in 75 to 95 days from planting. One plant is all that is reqired.
Button Squash and Zucchini
All of these are of a bush nature, around 1 mt across. You will only need one of each to provide you with a more than adequate supply. To extend the season, and if space is available, plant a new one mid-summer, and this will take you well into autumn. I understand there is a climbing variety of squash (requiring a trellis) but I have not tried them; obviously they will take up less space than the bush variety.
Keep picking while the fruit is SMALL; they can be prolific producers and if you aren’t careful, you will have marrows instead of lovely sweet zucchinis. Button squash, like the name implies, should be small – don’t let the fruit get too big, otherwise they will over-supply you.
Many vegetables should be picked young, when they’re at their sweetest. As vegetables mature, their sugar turns to starch.
This will need a trellis to keep it off the ground and optimise space. There a quite a variety of cucumbers, so search for one that is of a climbing nature.
Trellises are also necessary for the following:
Climbing peas including the delicious snow peas and sugar snaps. Alderman. Champion of England & Telegraph/Telephone both over 6ft tall.
Climbing beans - climbing French beans or Borlotto beans.
The following two vegetables are an excellent substitute for cabbages, which grow as a single form of vegetable necessitating the growing of several plants for the winter.
Kale – one plant is sufficient to provide you with an on-going supply of greens. Kale is available in two varieties – curly leaf and plain leaf. The curly-leaved types are smaller and more tender.
Rendor F1 is hardy with excellent tolerance to pests and diseases, as well as being well-flavoured with attractive purple-red curly leaves; other varieties recommended for the UK are Cavolo Nero, Dwarf Green Curled
Green sprouting broccoli - a wonderful alternative to the traditional large broccoli heads the you see in the supermarket or veggie store. Again, one plant should be quite sufficient.
Varieties of Broccoli - Sprouting Broccoli Claret F1 is exceptional, with a vigorous habit. It performs well even on poorer soils.
For later in the year, try Purple Sprouting Bordeaux F1. Bordeaux requires no cold stimulus to produce its traditional tasting spears, allowing cropping from early summer through to late autumn.
You could also try Nine Star Perennial. This is a vigorous, hardy, over-wintering broccoli. Provided all of the heads are cut each spring, you should be able to harvest from the same plant for 2–3 years.
Keep picking the spears, otherwise they will flower and go to seed. By the way, if they flower, it still can be eaten.