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!
Whether rose pruning is best done in the fall or spring is a matter of preference. I usually leave it for spring, for some reason I feel the plants will fare better over the winter if they keep the growth from the previous year. If you do choose to prune before winter, do so, keeping in mind that you’ll have to go back to them in spring and clean out any canes that had suffered winter damage.
For the roses which need regular pruning, which do not include most of the once blooming roses and the climbers, keep three or four canes, that are sturdy enough but steel green and not woody, and trim them down to one third of their length. Read More…
When you plant bulbs, whether that happens in fall or spring, don’t forget to mix in a good measure of bone meal into the dirt, to help them set in and give them some food for the first year. Other than that, bulbs don’t need a lot of care.
Because they are usually sprinkled among other perennials, they benefit from the regular feedings and waterings that happen throughout the summer. Don’t cut off their unsightly yellowing leaves after their bloom is spent, they still need them to feed the roots for the following season. Read More…
If only a little late in the season, here are a few things for the fall gardener’s schedule. I haven’t even started most of mine yet, sadly.
Mid-fall is the best time to move, divide or plant spring and summer blooming perennials. Fall perennials can be moved and divided at this time too, if you really feel like you must, but as a rule, this is an activity best left for spring. Read More…
There is a time around the middle of July when the garden looks absolutely resplendent. It feels like every flower is in bloom, competing for attention. The late spring blooms haven’t faded yet and the some of the late summer ones decide to show up early, so there is a surreal mix of seasons that coexist in harmony before my very eyes: delphiniums, lilies, salvias, roses, daisies, bee balms, cone flowers, catmints, lavender, yarrow, spider flowers, black eyed Susans, day lilies, hostas, coral bells, and last, but not least, giant clumps of fragrant garden phlox.
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…