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Enough of a Garden?

Last post 12-16-2011 9:43 AM by Brandy. 24 replies.
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  • 10-29-2011 11:28 AM

    • Brandy
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-28-2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    Enough of a Garden?

    I know some of you have successful gardens and do not rely too much on stores for produce while others are only growing a few things.

    I have been looking at gardening books and self sufficiency. It has always seemed that a person would need acres and acres to really have enough to sustain thmselves but some of what I have been reading suggests smaller areas can really cut out alot relying on stores. How much space would really be needed to grow a great deal of the food that a family consumes?

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • 10-29-2011 2:27 PM In reply to

    Re: Enough of a Garden?

    WE have half and acre and use about 1/4 acre for food production.  That includes 2 peach trees, 4 apple trees, three kinds of raspberrys, blackberrys, small bed of strawberrys, bush cherrys, 6 blueberry plants. and almond tree.. Then we have two raised beds that I use for the tomatoes.  A large area for planting other veggies.  The almond tree has only had nuts one year. The blueberries dont produce a lot. The other fruit give us an abundance for eating and putting by for winter. The veggie help a lot for fresh eating in the summer. Green beans, green peas and tomatoes are the ones that give the most.  Babs

    Officially recognized Stretchpert in Prayer Circle
  • 10-29-2011 2:29 PM In reply to

    Re: Enough of a Garden?

    We found in our limited space (and with gumbo soil) that raised beds are the way to go.  Dh put in 3 in the spring and what we grew in them went gangbusters, but it was only tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, green beans, cantalope (didn't do well) and onions, nothing you could stretch out an live on.  We planted a separate, small raised bed and planted asparagus roots (.50 at Walmart, yippee!) and they have taken well - maybe we'll have some in the spring. We hope to add another raised bed or two as soon as we are able to add in more vegetables for next growing season.

    We have potatoes at the back of the yard and haven't dug them yet, but they do well there normally - besides a clump of rhubarb, it's the only thing that's not in raised beds.  I tried container gardening a few seasons, but it was less than ideal.  Our hot, midwestern summers make it nearly impossible to keep everything watered enough in containers.  I tried some lettuces in them this year but....nothing.  Raised bed for lettuce next year, too.

    A couple books that helped us were The Backyard Homestead - Produce All the Food You Need on Just a Quarter Acre! by Storey Publishing and Independence Days:  A Guide to Sustainable Food storage and Preservation by Sharon Astyk (someone on this site recommended this awhile back). There are many books out there specifically for smaller yards and gardens.  

    Great idea for a thread!  Liz.   

  • 10-29-2011 2:38 PM In reply to

    Re: Enough of a Garden?

    Babs, I'm jealous of all your fruit!  When we moved here over 25 years ago, we didn't think we'd live here long enough to see any fruit trees produce and so didn't plan any - I'm kicking myself now and tell everyone, no matter how long you think you'll live someplace, plant something edible, even if it's for the next family and not your own.  We did put in some grapevines that seem to have taken.

    We STILL haven't put in any fruit trees and they only get more expensive.  I hear all the home stores have their's marked way down, but we haven't went to check them out yet. We just came from a farm supply store and they had all their trees marked 75% off, but only flowering fruit trees were left :-(  Liz.

  • 10-29-2011 2:55 PM In reply to

    Re: Enough of a Garden?

    I forgot that we have grapes too. I have had the best luck with the peaches and a Liberty apple tree. You have two have two varieties of apples for polination. The Liberty produces a lot of apples in a short time. The second year, I had 18 apples. My other apples took years. I also bought the dwarf trees. Our peach trees are a Hale Have and a Reliance. I had bushels of peachs. So I encourage anyone to plant a couple of fruit trees.  Raspberries too and they spread.Babs

    Officially recognized Stretchpert in Prayer Circle
  • 10-29-2011 3:26 PM In reply to

    Re: Enough of a Garden?

    Thanks for the added info on the trees.  We'd thought to plant semi-dwarfs - we have not quite 1/2 acre, a whole side yard that's empty (after a recent tornado took out a huge tree) so we really DO have the space available.

    Do you find planting in the spring or fall best for fruit trees?  Liz.

  • 10-29-2011 4:13 PM In reply to

    Re: Enough of a Garden?

    I only have one fruit tree - a crabapple that my mother bought, more to shade the south side of the house than to get fruit from - but I plan to add more, certainly a couple of apple trees, and possibly peaches.  I have an oversized lot for the area I live in, but my whole lot is still only 1/5 of an acre.  I've been slowly replacing grass with vegetables in the back yard (although I have to leave enough grass for the dog to use) and with xeric plants on the outside of the fence on the south of the house - it faces a park and gets extremely hot; very few things will grow there, and neighbors who've tried to plant vegetables on that side either had them overheat, get trampled (there are lots of soccer games in the park, and kids - and, sadly, parents - seem to think that yards of houses across the street from the park are part of the park - on parent got mad at me for asking his kids to get off my yard so I could finish mowing), or have their stuff picked by other people.
  • 10-29-2011 4:59 PM In reply to

    Re: Enough of a Garden?

    I had better luck planting in the spring, Babs

    Officially recognized Stretchpert in Prayer Circle
  • 10-29-2011 5:28 PM In reply to

    Re: Enough of a Garden?

    Well, shoot, that's what dh said, lol.  I'm still hoping to find a huge markdown sale and give one or two a try, though.  No great loss if I can get them cheap enough...Liz.
  • 10-29-2011 6:42 PM In reply to

    • Brandy
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-28-2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    Re: Enough of a Garden?

    TizzyLizzy:
    no matter how long you think you'll live someplace, plant something edible, even if it's for the next family and not your own.

    I think that is very good advice. We have several mature fruit trees because someone else planted them years ago. I am thankful for that.

     

     

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



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