Admire large gardens, plant small ones.
If you only have a small area in which to garden or a limited amount of time to devote to gardening consider making one of the following 10 x 10 ft specialty plots. Gardeners with limited time or space often make the mistake of trying to grow a little bit of everything but then become discouraged by their low productivity. Instead, try becoming self-sufficient in only one or a few vegetables at a time, adding varieties as space, time, and expertise allow. These 10 x 10 ft plots are practical because they are easy to work and maneuver around but any shape you choose can do.
NOTE – Yield is based on Jon Jeavons most conservative estimates in “How to Grow More Vegetables in Less Space than You Thought Possible.”
Eat Your Greens Garden
This garden is filled with greens for fresh harvesting like lettuce and kale as well as spinach and broccoli that you can freeze and eat all winter. Enjoy fresh lettuce over a longer season by staggering the planting. Plant a side every 2 weeks with 15 -20 seeds. Spinach can be planted twice, in spring and again in the fall after the cabbages are harvested. Chard and kale can be cut again and again all season. Broccoli also loves the cold weather so they can be planted after the spinach and picked well into the fall. Look for varieties that produce side shoots after the main head is picked for even greater productivity.
The Staples Garden
The Staple Garden is an easy plot that gets planted in early spring. Once planted, a thick mulch reduces the need to weed. At the end of the season you can expect to have 50 pounds of potatoes, 25 pounds of onions, and 25 pounds of carrots. Like money in the bank!
Plant Protein Garden
Vegan? Trying to reduce your meat consumption or just enjoy these protein packed veggies? Either way, this 100 square foot plot will yield 30 pounds of green beans, 5 pounds of peas and 10 pounds of soybeans (edamame). Plenty to eat now and more to freeze for later.
Hint: Use a tepee or trellis for the peas to increase yield.
Tomato Sauce Garden
Plant paste tomatoes in this garden for the richest sauce. Try Roma or Amish Paste. They are meatier than slicing types. You can expect to harvest 50 pounds of tomatoes from this garden. Season with onions, garlic, and basil to create a flavorful sauce to enjoy all winter.
The Pickle Garden
Get out your favorite pickle recipes! Whether you like pickles sweet or dilled, you will have plenty of produce to fill your shelves.
Hint: plant sweet green or hot peppers but not both or they will all be hot!
Herbs are more than seasoning. They are beautiful and many offer health benefits of their own. For example, dill has long been used as a digestive aid. This is why it is often found in recipes like cole slaw to aid in digesting the cabbage. These herbs can be used fresh, dried, or preserved in oil or vinegar.
Think Outside The Box
When you decide you are ready to add more garden plots think about more than straight lines. A vegetable garden can be beautiful too!