A Journey to Grow a Little Food Close to Home

My Garden

My Kitchen Garden consists of two sections. In total they are about 108 square feet. I know that it doesn't sound like a lot but, when propoerly planned, small spaces can be incredibly productive.

I refer to the sections of the garden as the 'upper garden' and the 'lower garden' simply because our yard has a small hill and the section of garden next to the house is on the upper side of the hill and the section away from the house is...you guessed it...on the lower side of the hill.

The upper garden is layed out like this

It has 5 trapezoid shaped beds, each of which is 5.75 square feet for a total of 28.75 square feet. I use cold frame covers on them in winter and have had luck planting heat loving veggies (like peppers) in them in summer because the wall of the house gets hit with the southern sun all day.

This section looks like this when it has some growth

The lower garden has this layout

It's got about 80 square feet divided into the 5 'boxes.' The longer boxes on the outsides are 3 feet by 8 feet. The middle box is 3 feet by 6 feet. The two filler boxes are 3 feet by 3 feet. You can't see it here but it's built on a hill so the raised beds had to be built into the hill so that the soil surface would be level. The hill makes for great drainage!

Here is the lower garden when it's nicely filled in in July

I try to reserve the lower garden for plants that lake up a lot of space (tomatoes, squash, pumpkins) but in the middle of the heat of summer (read: 90+ degree days) I can get lettuces to grow in parts of the lower beds (to the right in the picture) because of the abundant shade from a huge oak tree.

Although the garden is small, I can get some amazing productivity if I use interplanting and if I maximize placement in relation to the sun/shade.