How much can you grow on a small lot in town?

more yard stuff 004We have a house in the historical district of Covington, GA.  Our lot is approximately 75 by 150.  So far we have concentrated on growing some food and lots of flowers.  We are converting to some flowers and lots of food.  I have gathered discarded leaves and grass clippings from my neighbors for years in order to enrich my soil.  We now have lovely soil in all the beds.  Although, I never turn down an opportunity to scarf up some free mulch.  That brings us to the story of the orange bags. 

Very near our house is the city cemetery.  It is maintained mostly by a local jail detail and as a consequence the bags that they use to gather up leaves and such are bright orange.  A few weeks ago our dog disappeared in the back yard.  We did eventually find him in a hidden corner behind the shed but in the course of looking for him I drove around in the cemetery and noticed that there were many many of these orange bags full of pine straw and leaves.  We went back and gathered them up.  Now I need to spread them around in all the beds.  But if you open your eyes and look around there is free mulch everywhere. 

Now, with the help of all that organic humusy mulch to enrich the beds, how much do we grow in our yard?  We have three raised beds that measure 3 by 12 feet; one that measures 4 by 12 feet.  That is what we started with.  We managed to grow plenty of tomatoes in the summer and greens and lettuce in the winter.  But now we want to do more than that.  We are trying to provide a large percentage of what we eat from locally grown food.  And I figure that growing it myself is a local as it gets.  This past summer we converted two flower beds into growing vegetables.  We also have fig trees, pear trees, blueberry bushes, and blackberry canes.  I also took out a row of shrubbery and have put in a row of asparagus and a row of garlic there.  I’ll add another row of asparagus next year when we take the garlic out.  That will be a perennial food bed.  I’m looking for a source of artichoke plants to go there.  I may have to start with seeds to get that.

I’ve added links to the blog and if you look under the “growing your own” category, you will find sources of organic seeds and plants, as well as some regular seeds and plants and information about how to grow food in your yard.   Even a small space like ours will give you a good amount of food.  We certainly don’t have enough to feed us all our food now, so we seek out the local producers.  But our portion is growing and we are glad about that.

more yard stuff 002

greens from the yard washing in the sink


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by punkybee on November 14, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    Good for you that is so exciting! Nice to hear I’m not the only one roaming the neighbourhood for free mulch! 🙂

    We had a lot of luck this past year increasing the amount of food from our lot by really tightly intercropping our veg. In one just one raised bed we grew swiss chard, two kinds of beets, two kinds of carrots, garlic, peas and beans. We absolutely rammed it in there and everything did better than we could have imagined and looked beautiful too. The bonus was that by intercropping we didn’t have any weeds OR pests – the carrot rust fly couldn’t find my carrots among all the other veg!

    Good luck I can’t wait to see how you do next year!


    • Posted by duckandjunebug on November 15, 2009 at 12:42 am

      Thanks. That is really some intensive gardening. I need to get better at that. We have good soil. I know I could get more out of it than I do. One thing that is nice about living in the south is that we really can garden all winter long. It is not as productive but it is all still there and growing slowly. We should have lots of lettuce soon and green onions. We’re already getting a wide variety of greens. I planted carrots and beets and green onions in the former flower bed in front. We had squash and okra out there during the summer. It really looked pretty.


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