1 Plant in grids
Abandoning planting in rows makes more efficient use of your growing space. Sow seeds or plant plants an equal distance from its neighbours. Four lettuces (2 x 2) will do very well in a 30cm square.
2 Position plants close together
You’ll get smaller plants but the average production from a square metre will be higher. And there will be less weeding and watering because more of the soil surface will be covered.
3 Grow vertically
If you’ve got enough shelter from the wind and good support, growing upwards can give you lots more space. Beans, pumpkins, cucumbers, peas and tomatoes can all make good use of the growing space above the ground.
Using the space between slow growing plants for a quickly maturing crop can give you more options. I put pak choi, mustard spinach or lettuce in between corn seedlings. They will be finished before the corn is big enough to compete with them.
5 Use big transplants
If you use bigger pots to grow your seedlings (10cm square say) rather than the small punnets you normally get from the garden centres your plants will be bigger when you plant them out and it won’t take as long between transplanting and maturing. They can be growing in your seed raising area while you’re still picking the previous crop in your garden.