Book Review: Crops in Tight Spots

Crops in Tight Spots, written by Alex Mitchell. Published by Kyle Books in 2019.

Growing food, and growing them in tiny spaces is a trendy part of gardening right now. This is a good trend, since growing food at home is always a good practical hobby.

I have thought for a long time, that growing food at home, even if it’s herbs or a single tomato plant, is the best way to reduce one’s carbon footprint.

It reduces the fossil fuels needed to produce and transport the food. It can prevent food waste, since the food is bypassing more parties and going directly from ‘backyard to table’. Any spoiled food grown can be composted at home and recycled back into the earth.

If more people grow food, this puts less demand on large mono-culture conventional agriculture, which would eventually reduce the amount of chemicals poisoning the soil, air, and water. Plus, you know how your food was grown and what’s on it, potentially reducing risk of food poisoning.

This book has many ideas on what types of containers to grow food in. Tight spots require small containers, or at least containers that utilize space and give the most growing space.

Many of the containers are recycled items that most everyone may collect at some point- like tin cans, take out containers, and wood crates. This is good, because if someone lives on an upper apartment floor, it’s less things to carry up or down. It’s also the newly added fourth ‘R’ in Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Repurpose!

In tight spots, space is a premium, so there are ways one can grow plants vertically with shelves, wall hangings, or trellises. Most of the book focuses on growing food in containers on patios or balconies, but there is a section on small sized in-ground gardens, or growing indoors too.

Throughout the book, there is information on how to best grow each type of crop in small spaces and dwarf varieties to grow. For example, sweet peppers like warm sheltered areas and moist soil. When grown in a pot, it may want to be placed in an area protected from wind and where shade is casted on the container its potted in.

One neat technique is growing radishes in a pot, and revolving them, so you have a fresh crop all season long. Small space gardening is all based on efficiency and how to get the most of the resources available, including growing weather.

I believe this book can be used by anyone who’d like to vegetable garden. Some homeowners may have a large backyard, but due to mobility or shade, would like to grow food on a sunny patio.

Small space gardening can also be a way to make a garden-y fashion statement. Cute containers, green beans growing on wires off an awning, and tiny tomatoes in hanging pots are certainly more interesting to see than single crops all planted in a row.

Crops in Tight Spots is a neat book to check out if you’re interested in growing food. It has lots of neat pictures with ideas for growing your veg, with plenty of information as well.

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