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comment by organicAnt
organicAnt  ·  759 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: My garden transformation: From lawn to food

Love it when you get the greatest results from minimum effort and expectations.

You are right, the videos are supposed to be more inspirational and not so much instructional. No blog I'm afraid. I can give you a quick run down.

The bed was built from leylandii wood, which is a hardwood and happened to be locally sourced. The size of the planks is around 25 by 5cm. The wood is untreated but hardy and thick enough to last a good few years. The planks were screwed with 8cm screws. The bed is 110cm wide, making it wide enough to reach from both sides comfortably. It could have been a bit wider but wouldn't have fit in the available space nicely. The paths are 40cm wide simply because the space is tight. I'd have liked to have wider paths as plants tend to overgrow into them.

The bed was filled with half clay from the surrounding beds and half organic compost. If I did again I'd spend the extra time and money disposing of the clay and buying more compost. Actually I might do that next spring as I noticed that this clay becomes rock hard when during hot days, which plants don't appreciate. So my one piece of advice would be invest in the best soil/compost you can afford. As that will give you a good foundation to get the best results in the long term.

Plants wise, I like perennials a lot due to low maintenance. This is what I grew in a somewhat short season in the South West of the UK. You should plant what's best adapted to your growing zone. BUt if you can grow tomatoes so successfully it sounds like you have a warmer and longer growing season that I do, so you should be able to grow most of the following.

Perennials: artichokes, strawberries, chives, lemon balm, mint, blueberries (although they didn't fruit as the soil isn't acid enough), Chilean guava (ugni molinae), asparagus.

Flowers: borage, calendula, nasturtium, sunflowers.

Annuals:peas, green beans, tomatoes, kale, walking stick kale, sweet cabbage, purple sprouting broccoli, shallots (clumping onions), asparagus peas (look these up, you don't find them in the store), carrots, lettuce, radish, courgette, squash, yacon, garlic, parsley, minutina (unusual green, great in salads), basil and a couple of potatoes.

These are what I can think of the tome of my head. As you can tell I like variety. And I also enjoy trying out different plants. When you get into it, it dawns on you the utterly vast biodiversity of edibles available. Within each species there are countless varieties. You can grow something new every spring and never get to grow everything that's available.

Anyway, I hope this is somewhat useful. Let me know if you have any specific questions.




oyster  ·  759 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Do plants like lemon balm, mint and berries tend to spread like mad where you live ? I'm a zone 4-5 and they can be a lot of maintenance here.

Edit: Best way to lessen that maintenance is by planting them in the ground in planters but even then they breach the walls easily.