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!
You will not believe the level of chaos nature can impose on a reasonably well tended garden in three weeks. It took the plants that long to look scary and me one week to salvage the back yard from the wilderness. Five foot tall weeds, cracked nutshells, broken branches, vines grown out of control, covering pathways, grabbing onto everything in sight and smothering their defenseless neighbors. And this is the extent of my whining. Seriously, it was offensive.
Shortly after I took this picture a powerful summer storm started, and not a moment too soon, I was a bit worried because the plants were drooping.
I take this opportunity to mention that rushing to water your plants at the first sign of wilt will keep them from developing a strong root system and will not work out well for either the plants or the gardener in the long run. When the dog days of summer finally arrive you won’t be able to drench their shallow rooted systems enough to keep them alive. Read More…
Even for those of us with a more relaxed attitude towards garden design, a vegetable garden demands discipline. For one, you don’t want to question whether the contents of your herb wheel are edible, and vegetable crops are energy intensive enough without unproductive demands on their resources.
The most important task in a kitchen garden is keeping it tidy: weed religiously and trim excessive foliage to encourage produce yield. Avoid diseases promoted by poor air circulation by respecting the plants’ spacing requirements. Read More…
What strange weather we’re having, with thirty degree temperature changes from one day to the next! Right now we’re in cold mode and the sixty degrees feel quite chilly after the tropical climate we experienced only a couple of days ago.
It rained a lot and the garden took on that fierce look it gets every time it is left to its own devices. More weeding, more weeding. Read More…
After the annuals and veggies were moved to their permanent location, the flower beds cleaned and the perennials spruced up, the roses pruned, the fall blooming plants divided and moved and the summer bulbs planted, one would think that the gardener can sit back with a cup of coffee in some cozy verdant nook and relax.
Guess again! Here is the list of activities for this month. Read More…