Let's face it, the next few months are full of uncertainty. We could be isolated for a few weeks, a few months... only time will tell.
So while we are confined to our own homes with plenty of time on our hands, we need something that resembles comfort, a bit of direction, and something to do in these moments of respite.
Let us get back to our grassroots and take part in one of lifes very simple pleasures. The veggie garden.
The practicality of your own productive garden, as well as the fun of picking your own produce, is a simple joy that can be experienced by all of us. And it doesn't have to be to complexed or expensive. There are plenty of ways to start a productive garden without turning your entire property into a farm.
TYPES OF PRODUCTIVE GARDENS
First things first... let's look at the space you have to grow produce. This could be a north facing wall, a deck, a courtyard, or if you have the luxury, a spare patch of lawn on your property. Whatever the space, it needs to receive at least 4 to 6 hours of direct sunlight a day in order for your garden to be productive.
So let's start with those of you who have a spare wall. This could be a boundary fence, a garage wall, the side of your house. Get creative.
Keeping costs to a minimum without going full Greenwall on you, let's look at what you can grow on walls.
Hops (try your hand at brewing your own beer!)
Snow peas, Snap peas, Climbing beans
anything espaliered - pears, apples, citrus, stone fruits (I will run you through the method of espalier later)
THE POT GARDEN
If you have a sunny deck or courtyard or just an already extraordinary full garden that you don't want to disturb, here are some types of veggies that thrive in a contained environment.
Small Shallow Pots or Troughs
Keep each variety in a separate pot so that you can accommodate their requirements individually. Some will need more water, others more fertiliser, etc to reach their full capacity.
IN-GROUND VEGGIE BED
If you have good soil and a little extra room, dedicating a space to an in-ground produce garden can be a very economical choice. As a reference, a produce garden of around 40 square metres will produce enough to feed a family of four for eight months out of the year with plenty left over to share with family, friends, and neighbours. The choices are limitless here, but you can try:
RAISED VEGGIE BED
If your soil is poor, you have more of a budget and a slightly larger space, a raised-bed garden is a great choice and often results in higher yields. Why? Because the imported soil is usually richer in nutrients, the soil is warmer which encourages root growth and the drainage is better.
Try any of the vegetables mentioned above, plus:
In the coming days, I will provide more information regarding setting up your productive garden, seeds or seedlings, how to nurture it, how to protect it from pests and disease, worm farms, compost, crop rotation, espalier, and what to do with all of your magnificent produce! You can subscribe to this feed HERE.
In the meantime, look out for each other. Be kind. Nurture your loved ones. And please stay healthy.