Gardening expert explains how to grow vegetables in tight space using a ‘vertical garden’

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BBC Gardener’s World and BBC Morning Live presenter Mark Lane has revealed his top gardening tips for those looking to grow some vegetables, even in a tight space. Mark, who trained to become a gardener and landscape designer, said he can “completely understand” how an overgrown garden or a blank canvas may feel daunting. His tips are also handy for those who perhaps find themselves “needing to use a walking frame, stick or wheelchair, or are keen to future-proof your home and garden”.

The Stannah Gardening Expert, has reassured that with a bit of planning and time, you can create “the outdoor space of your dreams”.

If you used to have a huge garden but have recently downsized to a terrace, patio or balcony, fear not, you can still grow vegetables and fruit.

But rather than planting row upon row of carrots or potatoes, you might have to be a bit more creative with your space.

Mark suggests homeowners with this problem may want to consider a “vertical garden”.

He said: “This trendy technique involves growing plants on a vertically suspended panel, that’s either freestanding or attached to a wall.

“There are several vertical gardens on the market now; some even come with individual pots for plants so you can swap and change them around to get maximum sunlight.”

Vertical gardens aren’t strictly for your veggies either, Mark said you can also grow ornamental or edible plants or even wildflowers.

Vertical garden starter kits are available from a plethora of retailers including Waitrose.

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If you’re also known for forgetting to water your plants, Mark said you could consider a self-watering system.

This is also handy if you don’t have a lot of time on your hands to maintain your garden.

However, Mark warned this is when it can get “technical”.

He explained: “You need an irrigation system (for example, a leaky hose or small irrigation pipes and nozzles that drip-feed and nourish your plants) plus a water collecting reservoir at the bottom.

“A solar-powered pump allows you to set a timer for when your plants get watered during the day — you can even add liquid feed!”

“As the pump starts to work, just the right amount of water and feed will be forced through the pipes and onto the soil or coir.”

If a self-watering system sounds a bit complicated, then Mark said a long-spout watering can or a hose with an attachment will work just as well.

Mark said there is nothing better than going out into the fresh air to enjoy your garden.

He added: “The whole gardening process, from initial doodles to nurturing plants and produce within it, is such a fulfilling, fun hobby.

“Set your garden goal and with creativity, dedication and patience you’ll soon reap what you sow!”

Other ways you can spruce up your garden ready for spring is by adding potted plants.

You can also grow vegetables in pots if you’re low on space.

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