The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden

It is feeling like springtime here in Seattle, the blossoms are out and making the neighborhood smell divine. This time of the year brings about such possibility. Seed catalogues have arrived and the possibilities are endless. I’ve never had the garden that I have dreamed of, I have always had a porch or a cement pad that I have been able to utilize and turn into something.  However, having a small space does bring about certain challenges.  The goal of this 40th anniversary edition is

To accommodate today’s lifestyles, a garden needs to fit easily into a very small plot, take as little time as possible to maintain, require a minimum amount of water, and still produce prolifically. That’s exactly what a postage stamp garden does. Postage stamp gardens are as little as 4 by 4 feet, and, after the initial soil preparation, they require very little extra work to produce a tremendous amount of vegetables–for instance, a 5-by-5-foot bed will produce a minimum of 200 pounds of vegetables.


Recently, I came across Karen Newcomb’s most informative book The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden: Grow Tons of Organic Vegetables in Tiny Spaces and Containers.  This book is filled with such helpful pieces of advice and tips for making the most of the space you have.  I think that one thing that this book does really well is offers the specific types of midget vegetables that work the best in containers and smaller gardens…for me, this has always been the most difficult aspect of the small garden – finding the varieties that are successful.  This book takes all the guess-work out of planning.

Karen Newcomb gets even more specific by telling you which varieties and types of veggies will give you the most bang for your small gardening buck.

What I like most about this book is that it really covers all you would need to know about having a small garden.  If you were to buy one book as a resource for your small garden this book should be it.  There is no reading about a variety of tomato then needing to get out another book to read about the details of that plant or of getting on the internet to find out who sells those seeds.  This book has all of that information in one easy to read and use location.

The varieties of plants are specific, with how much space you need, how long it takes, what the plants prefer and also where you can find them (which seed companies).  There is also a section that clearly tells you how much time you will need to start those seeds indoors.  Something I’ve not seen before that this book has is a table that tells you how many plants you will require to feed each person in your family.  This is so helpful when you have limited space and need to maximize what you do have.


This book is packed with information that will help you to have your dream garden no matter how much space you have.

When first published 40 years ago, the postage stamp techniques, including closely planted beds rather than rows, vines and trailing plants grown vertically to free up space, and intercropping, were groundbreaking. Now, in an ever busier world, the postage stamp intensive gardening method continues to be invaluable for gardeners who wish to weed, water, and work a whole lot less yet produce so much more.

The one downside of this book for me is the lack of pictures.  I am very visual when it comes to things like gardening and I would have loved to see more pictures of the plants or actual gardens.  With that said the information is so thorough that I almost didn’t mind the lack of pictures.

Note: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.  The opinions in the post are my own.


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