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!
The peonies would have bloomed by now, the buds have been ready to burst for more than a week, but it is so unseasonably cold, weird May weather! Temperatures in the fifties, I almost have to question the wisdom of moving the basil outside, it looks miserable.
Peonies are the object lesson for why gardeners benefit from being patient. You don’t get this cascade of blooms from a plant that doesn’t ask anything of you until you put a few years into it. Three, to be specific. Read More…
This year spared us the usual unpleasantness: no hard freezes, no long stretches of unholy temperatures, no weird weather swings. As a result the spring planting is unfolding right on schedule to my great delight.
Usually after a seedling grown in a seed pod is transplanted into the garden, one of two things happen, and I had my fair share of both: it either doubles its growth speed when exposed to the sunshine and the rich garden soil or collapses dramatically under your very eyes, making you feel like a horrible person. Who would do something like this to a little plant, you quietly ask yourself, as your heart sinks into a puddle of misery and self loathing. Read More…
I need to speed up the garden planning if I don’t want the roses to leaf out before I get a chance to prune them. See? This is why the wiser gardeners of olden times like to do all the preparation work while mercury is frozen in the thermometer, spring tends to sneak up on you.
Of course now I’m late with the seed starting, spring cleaning, bulb planting, plant ordering, and pretty much everything else. Read More…
In anticipation of good weather I’m already planning some gardening activities, there are summer bulbs to be planted and perennials beds to be cleaned up for spring.I took a stroll through the back yard this morning, and even though most of the snow is still there, I can feel nature breathe in the spring sun. After plodding through day after day, bullied by cloudy skies and bone chilling temperatures, I almost forgot how beautiful the garden is, how exhilarating it is to feel it warm up and try to guess the fresh growth right under the soil surface, almost ready to breach it. Read More…
If you are a dedicated green thumb, all you do after winter begins is sit around and wait for it to be over. Two long months of dreary weather later, the sight of spring catalogs gracing your mailbox is a hopeful sign of better days to come. Everybody has some signs they swear by that spring is drawing near. Some people go by the buds on the trees, others by the first crocuses, I go by the arrival of spring catalogs. Read More…