What to Grow if Space & Time is Limited

Oct 2022

Cookbooks often focus on saving time, yet it also needs to be a consideration in vegetable growing. We may delight in growing our own, but have no more than 10 minutes a week to indulge our hobby. This does not make us any less a gardener, but being realistic with what we can achieve in those precious few moments is certainly sensible.

What to grow if space & time is limited article Photo by Amelia Freer

The key consideration when it comes to growing food is to think from seed to plate.  Sowing, pricking out, planting out, watering, tying in, gently nurturing our plants – these are perhaps the more obvious time consuming parts of growing-our-own. But we must also consider the need for harvesting, cleaning, preparing and either cooking or preserving our produce.

These wonderfully fulfilling culinary steps also need to be considered within the time we can spare for gardening, or we’ll end up feeling stressed and overwhelmed that we’re not able to keep up with our production and all that growing effort might end up going to waste. It is, afterall, why we sowed those seeds in the first place.

How much space do you have?

I am fortunate to now have my own garden but over the years, I grew things on windowsills and in small pots on a patio. There are a number of different possibilities and limitations when it comes to gardening space. But a humble tin can on a sunny windowsill can grow a few herbs or cut-and-come salads so please don’t think you need to have an enormous garden to get started.

I thought it might be helpful to make a list of food crops I would prioritise growing based on mostly nutritional value. I have listed them below in order, and you can simply keep going down the list according to the space you have available, and of course, your personal preferences.


Please note that the information on this website is provided for general information only, it should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional providing personalised nutrition or lifestyle advice. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local health care provider.

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