Starting Small

We have what I consider an extensive garden: sixteen 4′ by 4′ squares.

The kitchen garden is relegated to the sunniest space in the heavily-shaded yard.
The kitchen garden is relegated to the sunniest space in the heavily-shaded yard.

Charlie wouldn’t really be happy until the entire yard was covered with 4′ by 4′ raised garden squares.

Charlie carefully refills each square with compost and extra dirt then hoes and rakes it before he plants seeds or seedlings.
Charlie carefully refills each square with compost and extra dirt then hoes and rakes it before planting seeds or seedlings.

The truth is this size garden has a tremendous yield but also takes plenty of work.

A raised bed for a seated user.
A raised bed for a seated user.

Last year we built a smaller garden bed for our friend in a wheelchair that is raised to a height that makes it comfortable for him to both plant and harvest.

It's amazing how much a small garden can produce.
It’s amazing how much a small garden can produce.

It’s the perfect size for him.

We build our squares from salvaged wood but you can buy ready-made squares.
We build our squares from salvaged wood but you can buy ready-made squares. Is that an avocado pit I see I the jar on the left?

More recently I received an email from my sister in Florida who has been trying to garden in her yard for many years.

Her plants look very healthy.
Her plants look very healthy.

She writes: “We have been trying to have a garden for years and have always dug outside our fence where rabbits, squirrels and other assorted critters eat up all of the goodies.”

We've never grown broccoli but it looks like a winner.
We’ve never grown broccoli but it looks like a winner.

“So (taking lots of inspiration from your husband), we have started very small and bought the garden square, laid a tarp inside of our screened patio, and filled the square with fertilized potting soil for vegetables.  We bought a few plants to start and wow!!!”

This garden is being grown inside of a screen house which clearly gets plenty of sun.
This garden with pepper plants being grown inside of a screen house which clearly gets plenty of sun.

Your niece “has been “harvesting” kale for her smoothies and we are waiting patiently for our first cherry tomatoes to turn red.”

One of my sister's tomatoes is starting to blush and we haven't even planted tomatoes in our Maryland garden yet.
One of my sister’s tomatoes is starting to blush and we haven’t even planted tomatoes in our Maryland garden yet.

“Thanks again to Charlie for the inspiration.  We have cherry tomatoes, regular tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, and kale.”

I hope this inspires someone else to start gardening — start small.

Charlie's bamboo trellises have blossomed over the years to include this torture chamber-like pea trellis.
Charlie’s bamboo trellises have blossomed over the years to include this torture chamber-like pea trellis.

Note to sister: Charlie suggests that you stack two squares to allow for more than 4 inches of dirt. (Our squares only look 6″ tall but the dirt goes down infinitely.)

Do you grow your own veg?

Advertisements

Author: Jo

Welcome to The Glade, where the second generation of renovations has just begun and the mania about our home, music and other passions fill our days and nights. We’re Charlie and Jo in the music world; Mary Jo and Charles to family; and JoJo and Charlie to each other. We are renovating a midcentury house in a Victorian historic district where we want to live there the rest of our lives. It's a 1946 house located in Maryland. We were married in this house. Thus far (pre-blog) we refinished cabinets, added a window seat (still working on the cushion), rearranged a wall in the guest house due to sink/vanity replacement, planted a vegetable garden, and other quick and not-so-quick fixes. So this latest zeal for construction is the result of my having lived here since 1997 and feeling a need to ready the house for the next chapter and beyond.

6 thoughts on “Starting Small”

    1. Some years the garden is better than others. Last year we were in the middle of our renovation and the garden suffered. Tomorrow our favorite tomatoes, SunGold, go in. Jo

  1. We are harvesting the first cherry tomato tomorrow. I think I shall have the honor of eating it. Nothing fancy…halved with sea salt.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s