I was standing stirring porridge this morning, looking out at the kitchen garden, and I started counting food plants and herbs. The kitchen garden is more or less 6.5 X 6. meters with a 2x3 bite out for the wood shed. It's the most sheltered corner. I am not one of those green-finger blokes who can make 10 plants grow huge and healthy where 3 struggled before. I am one of those who can make 3 plants struggle where 10 grew before. Yet veg we eat almost entirely off what I grow, which is why I have a vast diversity and beds in three very separate areas, and pots in a 4th. I figure although some will fail, or produce little there is hopefully always something in the gap.
1)Olive trees (2)potted.
3)Garlic chives (potted)
4)Chile peppers (potted)
9)Parsley (moss curled and Italian)
10) tomatoes (varieties black russian, stupice, olmovic, some potted)
11)carrots (3 varieties)
12) beets (2 varieties)
16)cucumbers (2 var)
18)beans climbing (purple king, scarlet runner, blue lake, and snake)
19)Peas, sugar snap
20) potatoes (congo, elephant, kennebec, and royal Dutch cream)
21) bulb Florence fennel
23)mushroom plant (herb)
26) Salsify and Scorzonera
27) Cape Gooseberry
28) (intended to grow outside area, rooted in) Blacktail watermelon
29) (intended to grow outside) Chantenay rock melon
30) possibly not going to survive fig-tree in pot
Probably about 32 square meters of planted, but a lot climbers intended to use walls and fences. I have lost one watermelon to slugs already. Not all of it will produce anything worth having. This is a minor tomato area, and there are no capsicums in the ground. The parsley is on going to seed.
The pots around the other side of the house (actually more easily reached from the kitchen) are mostly herbs -thyme, sage, marjoram, 3 varieties of mint, parsley, rosemary, chives, tassie mountain pepper, and a few tomatoes in pots JIC. There are also artichokes (not flourishing) and more cape gooseberries. - 11 species, 3 not growing in the other garden.
Then the raised containers - 2 of more-or-less 2 meters in diameter, one 2 meter square. 10 square meters more or less
Not growing elsewhere
2)Garlic (about 40 heads - too little, coming out in a month)
4)Cauliflower (about to come out, broccoli out already)
5)summer squash (patty pan)
7)Silverbeet (Swiss chard)
8)spinach (about to come out)
Carrots, beets, zucchini (2 types), a lot of tomatoes, sugar snap peas, scorzonera, bunching onions (shallots I think), 3 varieties of capsicum, bulb fennel, onions, cape gooseberry
Hotbox - a small 2 by 1 meter greenhouse of sorts -
overwintered capsicums and chilli peppers, and some 'rushed' tomatoes in pots and diamond and ping-tung egg-plant.
Old chicken yard about 6x5 meters (sandy rubbish soil)
not growing elsewhere
1)Blue ballet squash (trying corn and squash thing)
3)one feeble raspberry
onions (a lot, alissa craig, red, and spring) potatoes, sweetcorn, salsify), climbing beans, sunflowers.
Pumpkins (and when they are able to go out watermelon and rock melon) are grown outside this area, probably another 15 square meters Triamble, Queensland blue and Kakai (hull-less seed, grown for the seed)
We have a grape vine (which has not borne anything, but I use the leaves, a small mulberry bush which hasn't had any fruit and a qumquat which has not borne either - fruit supply = bad
I need more potato area, and fruit, a lemon and bay trees in pots, kiwi and raspberry, boysenberries... I need a heavy shade area for summer lettuce... There are loads more veggies to experiment with too, I'd love to field crop wheat, buckwheat and maize, but most of that will have to wait.
I may be a terrible gardener, and I just don't have a lot of time to invest - an hour, maybe an hour and a half a day - taken in between writing, but with nearly 50 species, and a lot of varieties, and several very different soils and microclimates, I hope we have something all year round. Last year we had to buy some potatoes and onions, but pretty much everything else we either were given (apples, lemons) grew, or did without. This year we will have a lot more onions, and some more potatoes, but probably still not quite enough. Call it 80 square meters under cultivation -not one hell of a lot. A lot of the longer term plants in pots - not good for them, but I know we will have to move one day. If an inept gardener like myself (my reaction to sickly/feeble plant 'they have to try harder!') what can good ones do?