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How to Grow a Vegetable Garden in a Courtyard

In this courtyard, cordon tomatoes and runner beans have been trained up the wall and fence to make the best use of the vertical space.
Excerpted from Simple Steps: Vegetable Gardening

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Courtyard Garden Makes Good Use of Vertical Space

Highlights:

Step 1: Get the Basics

Even a modest corner of the garden can be enough to grow an interesting range of vegetables that will crop well over a long season. Here, cordon tomatoes and runner beans have been trained up the wall and fence to make the best use of the vertical space. Edging the path is a densely sown crop of cut-and-come-again lettuce. Red cabbage and sweet corn will extend the harvest into late summer and early fall, the zucchini in the pot until mid-fall.

Border Basics
Size: 12x6 feet
Suits: Courtyard garden
Soil: Fertile, moist, but free-draining
Site: Corner of garden, sheltered by a wall or fence, in full sun

Step 2: Buy the Plants

3 x tomato 'Gardener’s Delight'
3 x runner bean 'Liberty' (image 1)
1 x zucchini 'Burpee's Golden' (image 2)
9 x sweet corn 'Swift' (image 3)
1 x packet lettuce seed 'Salad Bowl Mixed' (image 4)
3 x cabbage 'Marner Early Red' (image 5)

Step 3: Maintain Your Plants

Prepare the area by digging in plenty of organic matter, ideally in fall. Buy plug plants or, where there is space under cover, sow tomato, runner bean, red cabbage, and sweet corn seeds in pots, harden them off, and plant out after the risk of frost has passed. Plant tomatoes in a growing bag because they thrive on the rich soil, adding canes for support and pinching out sideshoots as they grow. Give the runner beans wires to climb up. Plant sweet corn in a block to aid pollination, and direct-sow a few lettuce seeds regularly to ensure a continuous crop. Water young plants in, and continue watering and fertilizing regularly those in growing bags.

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Excerpted from Simple Steps: Vegetable Gardening

© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

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