Sustainable backyards – how much space do you need?

Sustainable living is a popular topic amongst people lately. Everyone is trying to do their bit and coming up with great ways to reduce waste and make the most of what we have with minimal impact to the environment.

Growing your own produce at home for self-consumption has many benefits, some of these being:

Growing your own vegetable garden and picking the veg yourself, with the knowledge that no chemicals or harmful agents have been applied to the food you eat.  Building healthy soils, and planting into this sustainable resource that provides  ripe and ready produce to be eaten with no waste.

There are also many mental and physical benefits of gardening, and it is a proven natural stress reliever. Not to mention the additional saving of money. Once you get your garden going and fruit and vegetables start to grow, you will notice how much money you are saving.

So, how much space do you need?

It depends on the size of your family and what you want to grow, but with new innovative ways of growing home produce you really don’t need that much space. Morning Chores has created a vegetable garden size calculator that can help you determine how much space you need. At Fairview Estates our smallest farms are 2Ha,  this allows for plenty of space for growing your own produce but you don’t need as much space as you may think you do. There are many ways to maximise the crops you can grow in the space you have.

If it’s your first-time planting crops in your back garden, start small, begin with something that you would like to pick and eat. Some plants produce many fruits or vegetables per plant, so you won’t have to plant as many of those, so choose wisely and carefully plan your requirements.

How to make the most of your space:

Succession planting. Keep a continually producing garden. As you harvest your first potatoes or tomatoes, you could then plant a quick growing crop such as kale or Swiss chard. Have a garden planner and work out when the different crops will be ready to harvest and make the most of that space during seasons.

Use a vertical garden to grow vegetables. Tomatoes, grow up and not out, to maximise the space. Or you can even use an Aquaponics system, this is a recirculating process by combining the rearing of fish that aids in  growing plants. You could use different trays and expand vertically rather than out laterally, as per the diagram at the bottom.

Grow your plants in garden beds, not rows. It gets rid of the space needed for walking between the rows. If you need more access to your veggies, build an inlet or keyhole in the garden bed frame, so you can reach all the crops.

 

There are many resources you can access through apps, Facebook groups (we recommend Living Seeds Veggie Gardens) and gardening books such as Vertical Gardening by Derek Fell and The Ultimate Guide to Homesteading by Nicole Faires.