Wednesday, January 13, 2010

How big a garden do you need for food production

Once you have made a decision to grow all or some of your own herbs, vegetables and fruit the next step is to find the right place in your garden to do so.

The vegetable garden should have the following elements:

  • requires maximum sunlight ( not shaded by buildings and trees)
  • requires good soil which is well drained
  • is free from weeds and other competing plants
  • has access to a suitable water supply
  • is sheltered from prevailing winds.

In the end it all depends what you have available. In our garden some areas are sheltered by trees and walls and sunlight is not always prevalent all year around due to the surrounding buildings. I am trying to use the sun facing patio to create more growing conditions for sun loving plants. Shady areas in summer are great to grow salad leaves as they tend to bolt in sunny places.

Some herbs such as parsley, coriander and basil can be grown amidst the vegetables but annual herbs such as rosemary, sage and lavender can be grown as hedge plants at the edge of borders.

The size of your vegetable garden depends on what space you have available but to feed a family of four with a rotation of crops ( 2 seasons in each plot) would need to be between 80 and 100 square metres. ( An allotment is 250 square metres).

In principle it is therefore possible to grow much of your food requirements from a family garden or allotment. What to grow follows in the next post in this series.

Resources and inspiration for small gardens with big yields:
The Dervaes family- urban homestead
City Farmer

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great post! I think sometimes we all think we "need" more than we do :)