Saturday, May 9, 2015

Compact veggie gardening

Yes, I last posted 3 weeks ago and have not in fact dropped off the end of the world. I have however been very caught up in life. Too much life and feeling the need to trim back a bit so that the pace is slower, that there is more time for the things I love doing, more time to watch seedlings grow and just breathe.

One of the biggest challenges is that we are redesigning our back yard. It has been perfectly functional for many years, but is a bit grungy and has needed an overhaul to better suit our family's lifestyle for a while. With the older ages of our children we need to give them the space they need which led to us renovating the granny flat to make space for our elder son to have his own room, studio and entertainment space.

This in turn led to a total make over, including a newer, but smaller pool, raised beds for herbs and permanent veg, pizza oven, built in bar (BBQ) and more. This is what the back area looked like last night after 3 weeks of workman. We have at least another 3 weeks to least.

This back area held a fair amount of vegetables in barrels and pots and all had to be relocated. This was the perfect timing to prepare the pavement garden and send the plants out there, along with some new ones. The fig tree fell in two when we dug it up so we carefully put them onto the pavement. The Tea Tree bush was also transplanted as well as the rosemary plants, rosebushes, blueberry shrubs, asparagus, strawberries and herbs.

I think a separate post about the pavement area would be a better idea, but the idea is that this will be an indigenous herb/medicinal plant space...except for the two Elderflower trees which I am very excited about!

All the transplanting has taken up most of my spare time, but I have also had time to keep up with my bi-weekly planting up of a bed. The goal is to do consecutive plantings every two weeks until all the beds are full with the selections of plants.

This bed below is my absolute favourite combination of plants and while I don't think the photo shows its beauty and fullness it will soon be full to overflowing. The drip irrigation that we now have is great for planting in straight lines :) My ideas that I had a few weeks ago to increase production in this space rely on planting in a different way than before.

Down both sides of this bed are onion seedlings. Then there is a row of beetroot, then spinach and then against the trellis, some peas. This is repeated on the other side of the trellis.  I have alternated root and leaf crops (although technically beet leaves can also be eaten.) Pretty crowded in there, methinks!

This next bed is slightly different...this was taken a few weeks ago. On the sides of this bed I have two rows of coriander. Then two rows of carrots, a row of spring onions and against the trellis, broad beans.

The below picture was taken today. Two weeks ago I planted garlic here which you can see. In between I have angel hair chicory and lettuces which are difficult to see. Against the wall are black palm kale.

Other beds have been planted with radish along the edges, then rocket, then beets then peas. Another favourite bed is the garlic, red cabbage, brown onions and broad beans.

By using this method - admittedly as an experimental year - we should be using every inch of space in the soil for roots. I have richly fed all the beds with manure and compost to give them all the nutrition they need.

So whats growing in your garden?


Mud Puddle Soup said...

Oh, I so wish that I could plant a small garden in pots, but alas in my new living arrangement, I dream. One of my older daughters has a green thumb and has a dining room full of tender seedlings waiting to go outside. I am so grateful to have her at home.

Thank you for sharing. I am going to share your site with my daughter, too.

Urban Homestead South Africa said...

Hi there! Dreams are good! A sunny windowsill can grow all the herbs you need in the kitchen too!