Just lately, since we've had the vegetable beds finished and since I've finally made the decision to let go of the allotment later this year, I've been spending quite a bit of time thinking about how I can make the absolute most of our garden at home, especially when it comes to growing food and making it more sustainable.
I didn't really give much thought to what I sowed and planted in it this year, as I just wanted to get going, but I did make sure that it was all food that we do like to eat, hence the sweet corn, salad, and green beans. I am still hoping to put some courgettes in, as my seeds have germinated and I think there's probably still enough time left this growing season to get crops from them.
I've also decided that the strawberry plants I bought for 50p each tray the other week are going to go into my garden and not the allotment. I've got a few ideas about where I want to put them, which I will reveal in another post.
In future years, I'm going to have to be a bit more organised and think about how much of everything we need to grow, as we currently have more salad crops than we can physically eat and I don't want to waste anything if I can help it.
In addition, I planted everything in very traditional neat rows, (although some of the seeds were dispersed by fox activity!) which isn't necessarily the best way to utilise the space, so I will be thinking more in terms of mixing lots of different crops in together, sowing and planting quite densely, to make the garden more productive in the future, if I can.
To get some inspiration, I've been watching some very interesting documentaries on YouTube about permaculture and sustainable gardening, and I very much feel that I want to go in this direction, as much as possible, taking into account our very limited space.
It will mean growing some things in pots and other containers, maybe removing some of the existing plants and replacing them with more productive food producing plants, which I think I might be happy to do at some point, plus finding more creative ways to grow some crops, such as vertically, but I am definitely looking forward to the challenge.
Although we spent quite a bit of money getting the garden just how we wanted it this year, i.e. £429 at last count, I am pretty confident that we can reap this money back in produce quite quickly, if we utilise the space well. It would be good to eventually get to a place where gardening costs very little, if anything, and actually saves us lots of money on food.
I've got lots of ideas going around my head at the moment, but as soon as some of them become reality, I'll let you know.