I thought as part of my blog it would be a good idea to give a monthly update on how the self sufficiency plans in our urban, humble sized garden are going.
As you know back in summer last year I began plans to completely redesign our back and front garden after reading a rather inspiring book by Paul Waddington called ‘21st-Century Smallholder: From Window Boxes To Allotments: How To Go Back To The Land Without Leaving Home‘.
I picked it up in the library one day and it was like an epiphany. Suddenly it didn’t matter not living on a farm, or having oodles of acres. What mattered was how you cultivated the land you had and for me this was a completely new concept which I loved.
So I set about making plans, using his book as a guide, and came up with a diagram that on paper would allow me to grow enough fruit and vegetables for two people, all year around.
It actually took a couple of yrs to complete but as of Nov last yr the ground work was finally in place for the back garden. Another seven months on and after a rather cold winter things are beginning to take shape plant wise.
It must be said, I love the idea of not only being able to grow things all year round but be able to have enough to store, preserve and learn how to use the various results in cooking.
Its also a rather big challenge because in the past I’ve only settled for vegetable growing or flower growing, never really both at the same time, and apart from the odd strawberry, I’ve never grown fruit either. So to co-ordinate and ensure the garden looks nice and is functional at the same time is a very exciting challenge.
To make things easier I’ve broken our self sufficient ‘land’ into notable areas:
- Raised Beds
- Grow house
- Fence, for the fruit
- Lawn and edging area
- Other areas (not raised) for growing. This includes a bark area, and the fruit/nut growing areas in the front garden.
Onions are growing well but garlic is not. Nothing has sprouted so the garlic bulbs are coming out and new ones need to be added to the bed pronto.
The other three beds in the back have nothing in them at the moment, they are still being filled with compost. This won’t be the case for much longer.
Two beds still to make and place in front garden
Mange toute, sweet peas, cabbage, purple sprouting broccoli, Iris, aubergine, coriander – are all currently growing in their respective pots well. That’s just the first set of veggie/flower sowings, more to be done this weekend to ensure a constant supply.
Nothing but budding blueberry and black current plants at present. As the weather heats up my intention is to transfer the chillies to this area.
Both fruit trees are still looking very dormant to me. Hoping that improves very soon!
Looks awful and tired after such a long winter. I’ve finally taken down the fence around it until Sept so we can use it and Mouse seems to think it’s a scratching pad. Due to the dry weather I’m having to water it frequently. I have four perennials waiting to be planted around the edge.
The fruit and nut trees in the front are beginning to bud and I’m having to water them frequently due to the lack of rain recently.
In the non grass area (not sure what to call this yet), I’m growing four raspberry canes (see above), and another four in the bark area. All these canes are slowly beginning to bud.
So all in all – its beginning to take shape…