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    Growing Up: Cultivate more in less space

    By Rita Randolph

    If you’re planning a garden and don’t have much room, looking up and growing vertically will expand your growing space.

    Trellises and towers are the perfect way to organize and use what space you have more effectively. Place these structures in something like a raised wooden trough that fits your space, and your favorite peppers, eggplants, and assorted greens can grow beneath the tomato plant.

    A window box with an attached trellis is another simple way to grow tomatoes vertically. Simply tie the plants around the edge of the trellis as they grow longer.

    On a lightweight trellis, smaller tomatoes — varieties such as Sweet 100 or Roma — won’t be so heavy and put stress on the structure.

    Underneath, plant a small growing pepper such as Sweet Pickle, and maybe dwarf basil, for example.

    Bell peppers can be grown in a porch pot about 14-16 inches across. Planted in full sun, these peppers frequently grow 3 feet tall, making an interesting topiary tree form and attractive enough to decorate your deck or patio. Tie a stake to keep wind from blowing them over.

    Hanging baskets are great for growing bush-type tomatoes. A full planter of Tumbling Tom will produce bowlfuls of tasty tomatoes all summer, in addition to being a wonderful conversation piece.

    As the fall season approaches and temperatures cool, change your plantings to accommodate leafy greens and cabbages. Simply place fresh potting soil in the containers and sow leaf lettuces and arugula directly in the top of the pots. Cabbage might do better if it is sown in a separate tray and transplanted later, because they are a little slower growing.

    Soil mixes for vegetables should contain organic matter such as good compost, but no manure because you might be eating some raw and uncooked. An organic fertilizer should be mixed in and top-dressed monthly for best performance.