In the very recent years, little gardens have seen huge growth. Currently, people are taking control of what they eat once again by planting gardens. Many people have started growing enough food to support their families and afterward have leftovers enough to be sold and generate lots of income on an acre less than 1/10, producing a high harvest in little spaces.
If you, like me, don’t live on a farm or own acreage, it shouldn’t keep you from planting and growing your own food.
Below are tips which would be of help to you in growing more food in a little space.
The saying “Grow food, not grass” is an excellent slogan to borrow; grass deprives lawns of their nutrients, needs lots of water to sustain, and serves mostly, just the intent of being an eye candy. Not forgetting that it needs constant mowing. You can turn that 10×10 patch of grass into a beautiful comestible garden, which can serve the purpose of feeding your family and being aesthetically pleasing.
Look around your yard and observe what lies in your landscape that doesn’t serve a bigger and better purpose. You can simply replace that juniper bush with a blueberry bush and that ornamental grass with lemongrass, or many other edible greens. What about that small tree which you can replace with a beautiful, dwarf, fruiting tree? As you start looking at your landscape as a way of serving you nutritionally instead of just esthetically, you open widely, the door to a brand new world of gardening opportunities.
Some of the eatable plants that look really beautiful in the landscape are Dwarf Fig Tree, Rhubarb, Peppers, Beets, Artichokes, Sunflowers, Lettuces, cabbages, Banana plants, and herbs.
Inviting pollinators on purpose as we plant is usually something we overlook. If you are making a garden for the first time in your yard, it is very important to make a habitat that welcomes pollinators. Plant flowers and your vegetables or herbs together so as to draw pollinators and add a pop of beautiful color. Pollinators are really valuable as they are the primary elements to the success of your garden. See Vegetable Companion Planting in the Garden for more companion plant ideas.
Below are edible herbs that attract pollinators right into your garden:
MonaradaBorage: Borago MonaradaBorage:
Anise Hyssop: Agastache
OfficinalisDill: Anethum GraveolensFennel: Ferula OffcinalisYarrow: Achillea Millefolium
If you own a landscape that is flat, by addition of soil and creating dimension you can create more soil surface.
Instead of two dimensional, think about three-dimensional gardening. If for instance, you own a 5 square foot area of growing space which is flat; you can just plant a garden that is 5 square foot. But once you put an additional 2 ft mound right in the middle of that 5 square foot and taper it down, you create twice, the square footage of planting space on that same land, just by making gardening dimension.
More can be grown on a mound that can be grown on a flat land, so build mounds to make more planting spaces so as to increase your yield.
Hugelkultur (HOO-gul-culture) This simply means hill culture or hill mound: make a huge bed Instead of parking the branches and grass clippings and leaves in bags by the sidewalk.
Just mound logs, leaves, branches, straw, newspapers that are petroleum-free, cardboard, manure, grass-clippings, top with soil then cultivate your veggies.
If you are practicing container gardening, or you raise beds or make use of garden boxes, you have to be attentive to the nutritional needs of your soil. Plants consume nutrients at a faster rate when small gardening is practiced than when large-scale gardening is practiced. Apply organic manure, top-dress soil and spray with compost heap regularly. Practise crop rotation, by avoiding the plantain of the same kind of plant in the same spot every year.
Healthy soil produces healthy plants, and healthy plants always provide better nutrition that can put up resistance to pest and diseases.
You can use, compost, compost tea, worm compost, goat and chicken poop, Epsom salt, egg shells, Neptune’s Harvest fish and seaweed fertilizer for everything.
This is a system of organic agriculture, which has its focus on achieving many yields from a small piece of land, while it simultaneously increases biodiversity and promotes the fertility of the soil. The goal of this scheme is a long-term promotion on a system basis that is closed. It is effective particularly for smallholder farmers and backyard gardeners and in countries that are developing and has also been used, with success, on small-scale commercial-grade farms
MAXIMIZE YOUR HARVEST
Pick the varieties of plants that maximize the space that is available. For instance, if all you have is 1 square foot of gardening space, do not plant broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, etc. in that little space. All you will receive from these plants is one harvest because they take 1 square foot per plant.
Opt instead, for plants which have high yields such as
radishes, lettuce, greens, carrots, garlic, onions, spinach etc.
Grow plants that vine (cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, grapes.) on a treillage and use the soil real-estate that’s available as soon as the vines grow vertically.
PLANT IN THE SPACE YOU HAVE
View every little space you own as an opportunity to plant foods; balcony, porch, roof, windowsill, landscape, fence, walkway, driveway mailbox, decks; utilize the little space right outside your door.
Mailbox – You can choose to grow grapes by a mailbox post.
Walkway – Your walkway can be lined with kale, cabbage, mustards or other edibles that are eye candies.
Fence – Your garden boxes can be hung from your fence.
VERTICAL GARDENING, IF YOU CANNOT GROW OUT, GROW UP.
One of the best ways to make large the little space you have is by growing vertically. The benefits that come with vertical plantation include increased yield, visual interest, easy harvesting, a creation of privacy, better pest management.
As you grow plants vertically, you aid in reducing gardening problems like fruit rot and fruit fungus, because air is being circulated through the plant thereby reducing the buildup of moisture and the fruit is away from the ground.
Water usage can be saved as well by watering just the root of the plants where water is needed the most instead of watering from above which leads to water wastage. Harvesting is easier as well because you do not need to bend over to harvest; you can see the yield easily.
There are numerous treillage mediums which you can use to plant gardens vertically. You can attach anything to the plant tendrils thereby aiding the plant to grow vertically; wire, lattice, bamboo, rope, pallet, netting. Anything you can imagine.
DWARF FRUITING TREES.
Almost all the fruit trees are available in a dwarf species which allows people who own small yards to plant and harvest fresh fruits.
Fruit trees ranging from lemon trees, lime trees, tangerine trees, fig trees, multiple plum trees, blood orange tree, grapefruit tree, pear trees, fruit cocktail tree, peaches, apricots, and nectarines.
As you grow fruit trees, bear in mind that so many varieties have to cross-pollinate, so you may be needing to buy two. Even when a fruit tree is advertised as a ‘self-pollinating’ tree, they will produce more once they have another tree which it will cross-pollinate with.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF SOIL REAL-ESTATE
Make use of the soil real-estate also known as companion planting, under other trees to grow multiple crops and increase your yield. Plant radishes or beets under cucumbers, plant pole beans with radishes or potatoes, grow I under trees to maximize your yield and space.
Gardening and making a great harvest really isn’t an easy task but it’s worthwhile. There’s real joy in planting what you eat.
These steps when followed meticulously will give you an amazing harvest at the end. Plant what you eat yourself. Remember, you are what you eat.
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