Thursday, November 22, 2012

How many plants does your garden grow?

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.

Kitchen garden:

1)Olive trees (2)potted.
2)Asparagus (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)
13) Onions
14) Mint
15) sunflowers
16)cucumbers (2 var)
17)sweet corn
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)
24)Capsicum (potted)
25)Zucchini (potted)
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)
3)lettuce (various)
4)Cauliflower (about to come out, broccoli out already)

5)summer squash (patty pan)

6)Diamond eggplant
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?


  1. I don't think one can ever plant too many potatoes, onions and tomatoes. Easy to store and can if your area is not too hot.

    Also, your parts came in and they will only take a portion of the "international one price" box; so we'll see if can't fit in some Useful Things as well.

    1. Yes. I have grown TOO MANY bananas, too many zucchini, and even too many broad beans, but never too many potatoes, or tomatoes, or onions. Zucchini on the other hand...! (been in a situation where even the pig refused them).

      Thank you for collecting my washing-machine bit. Seriously I think you've been too kind already.

  2. Wow! You sure have an blooming garden. Have you thought of considering a hydroponic system as well?