Good vegetables to grow in a small garden include greens, tomatoes, beans, peppers and eggplants. Compact versions of these plants thrive in small spaces or containers.
Greens like lettuce grow quickly and can be replaced with another crop once they are spent. Chard thrives in a small garden because it is compact and productive. When individual leaves are cut, the plant grows more. Kale and collards behave the same way, producing a lot of food in a small space. Spinach and mustard are also excellent for little plots.
Different types of tomatoes can save space. Cherry tomatoes can be grown in a hanging basket, while dwarf varieties do well in pots. Pole beans, cucumbers and other plants with vines can grow vertically on a trellis. Most kinds of small peppers, both hot and sweet, thrive in containers. Root vegetables like radishes, beets, turnips, garlic and carrots can be planted closely.
Garden companies have developed small versions of larger-sized vegetables for small gardens. Oriental eggplant stays small and produces long, slim purple fruits. Miniature varieties of corn grow only 3 or 4 feet tall and produce more ears per plant than larger corn. There are also space saving types of squash, okra and pumpkins.