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the home farming project

A while back I mentioned that a very small patch of dirt with good soil, sufficient water and at least eight hours of sunlight a day can produce a surprisingly large yield. Last year I didn’t measure the quantity of veggies, so this year I decided to start a little project.

It consists of:

– approx. 20 square feet of soil and 7 pots with almost eight hours of full sun a day.

– plenty of vertical supports

– 21 tomato plants

– 8 cucumber nests

– 12  bell pepper plants

– 4 hot pepper plants

– approx. 20 bean plants

– 6 eggplants

– 4 nests of zucchini

– 2 small rows of radishes

– 1 small row of carrots

– 2 groupings of peas (mostly for the nitrogen, really)

– 2 watermelon nests

– 1 small patch of green onions

– 3 pots of lentils and

– 1 large planter filled with kitchen herbs

I can fit this many plants in 20 square feet while still keeping appropriate spacing because all the plants that can grow vertically will grow vertically: cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, watermelons, beans and peas.

All fertilization is provided by coffee grounds and the ever so great compost pile, yard waste only, no kitchen scraps. The end product of it is a rich humus that smells like forest and mushrooms and seemed to greatly improve the performance of the flower beds.

Once the plants start producing, (this period will stretch from the earliest – 30 days to harvest to the latest – 120 days to harvest) I will weigh and record the quantities in a produce yield table and place a link to it.

Since some of the produce is early and/or seasonal, I will use succession planting and inter cropping over the growing season.

On a completely unrelated note, can someone please, please, please make the cold go away? It’s almost May for crying out loud!

And this is how the project turned out.

Comments

  1. I’m from Mount Samson in Queensland, Australia, Just north west of Brisbane.
    Currently I’m the President of the largest Organic gardening Club in Australia ( we believe ) called BOGI… Brisbane Organic Gardeners Inc…. 800+ members.

    I was very interested in your 20 sq foot Project YEILD tabulation, I suppose with a view to making a comparison with our sub tropical conditions. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I couldn’t see if the quantities shown were in KILOGRAMS or Imperial POUNDS ? I suspect POUNDS.. ?

    I realise it may well be a pointless comparison, as our climatic location allows us all year round planting and harvesting in our gardens ( rainfall being reasonable, as you’ve probably seen our frequent.. 2 years of flood rains, then 4 years of drought ) the tomatoes never stop all year, all that changes are the varieties. Summer will generally be the cherry types… avoiding the fruit flies, and bigger styles grown in Autumn and Winter. Right now, today.. Nov 10th, the drought of no rain at all for over 4 months, has broken, so I’ll be seeing the tomatoes all splitting next week owing to excess water.

    Thanks for your website content, for me it’s pleasant to recall the differences in gardening in my Grandpa’s allotment in Staffordshire in the 50’s and 60’s, with our sub tropical approach, but been here 46 years now…. and guess what, they’re discovering allotments here now…Aussies call them Community Gardens. They all get my stamp of approval…about time !

    Thanks………… Tom Ross.

    • admin

      Thank you, I would like to hear more about the experience you had with year round growing seasons. Sadly the quantities are in ounces. I’m looking forward to next year to see how I can improve the yield.

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