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Space-Saving Veggies for Your Organic Garden - These Compact Plants are Great for your Container Garden!

Are you an apartment dweller who loves squash or a condo owner who has always wanted to grow you own tomatoes. I'll bet you thought that you didn't have enough space to grow your favorite vegetables: the reality is that you can. Surprise!

Even if your garden is just a small container on your patio, you have room to try some of the compact plant varieties that have been released by the dozen over the past few years.

Here are a few varieties to help you get your space-saving garden started.

These plants will make full-sized vegetables--they're little plants but they don't make miniature vegetables.

  1. Little Leaf cucumber--This compact plant variety got its name because its leaves are only half the size of regular cucumber leaves. According to Johnny's Selected Seeds, these cucumbers "have a distinctive bright emerald green color. . . and yield well even under stress." That will sure come in handy if you forget to water them!<
  2. Summerlong Basil-- Burpee Seeds claims that Summerlong is "tasty, prolific and unstoppable" and that these vigorous, compact plants almost never go to seed. Sounds good, doesn't it?
  3. Patio Princess Tomato-- This tomato plant can fit into a small container and will only grow about 2' tall while still producing an abundance of 2 1/2-3'' tomatoes. The only catch? Patio Princess is a determinate variety meaning that it will only produce one crop of fruits that will all mature at about the same time. However, this is a bonus if you just want to get your tomato "fix" and then hit the beach for the rest of the summer.
  4. Peas 'n-a-Pot Shelling Peas--These plants are just out and out tiny! Topping out at just 10'' tall, they produce full-sized 3'' pea pods. No trellising required for these guys! By the way, shelling peas are the kind where you need to pop the peas out of their pod to eat them--as opposed to edible pod peas such as snow peas or snap peas.
  5. Burpee's Butterbush Butternut Squash-- Apparently, these plants only need 1/4 the space that traditional sprawling winter squash varieties need. About nine square feet is as much space as this plant will need in order to produce its bell-shaped fruits. This variety also matures relatively quickly, and produces 1 1/2 pound butternut squashes about 75 days after you seed it.

These varieties are all worth a try if you have always wanted a garden but never thought that you had enough space for one.