How to Design a Small Patio Space

I have arthritis, which means I couldn’t do much. My illness actually led me to appreciate spending time in patios even more than before. ┬áMy yard doesn’t exactly look like it’s on a tour of the best gardens in California. It’s still pretty modest. But I have bright colors, butterflies, moths and vegetables – and even trinkets – in spring and summer.

Daylight Mapping


For each hour, I placed slides with the time on the edge of the sunlight patch. I held the slides in place with pebbles to keep them from tipping over. By the end of the day, I had learned about the small circular area that contains 6 hours of light, which places get 4-5 hours of light, which have almost full color, which gets morning and afternoon sun. I had a better chance because I stumbled upon these realities. I specify a pot of strawberries right in the center of the “lots of sunlight” zone, which has always been the shaped part of my yard, and I usually put in grass plants. And I know where the cool spot in the day is where the lettuces and peas will grow.

Amend the Soil

In my first two or three decades, I filled every new spot I planted with compost and mulch. I knew my soil was acidic, so I had to add a little lime. This will be determined by your geographic location. It is best to buy plants that match the acidity of your soil. Or look for native plant offerings from gardening sites to be sure. Used a wonderful combination of pure humus and compost.

Square Foot Gardening


I was quite resourceful in using the few areas that get light. If there is a spot that gets a lot, that’s where the berries move, absurd as it sounds. Since my air filter has a huge spot on the side that is coated, I use that as a spot to raise the filaments where they get the most light. In the last two years, I have put 3 to 6 sweet corn plants in a large bud and pulled them up. The ears of corn are two-thirds their size, but they are still sweet and provide some food.

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