After the roller-coaster of weather that came to us in May, some garden work may still be waiting to be done. So let’s make a cup of tea and sit down for a few minutes and talk about the garden. Once upon a time, someone said to me that it doesn’t pay to grow a garden. After a stunned moment, I presented my ideas of my belief that yes, it does pay to grow a garden. Years ago I found a great article about a gardener who grew an amazing amount of food in 100 square feet of garden space, and I will refer back to those numbers now.
One hundred square feet of gardening space: that’s a square ten by ten feet, or five by twenty feet. Not much at all. It’s a great size if you are just starting out in gardening, or if you are starting a small plot of garden for your kids. It’s big enough to yield exciting results, but it’s not too big that it demands hours and hour of care every day.
Last year was a tough year, and I have heard from many people that the pandemic made people more aware of home space. Since holidays are not really in the picture at this time, they are spending those vacation dollars on improving and beautifying their back yards. And that includes garden space. More power to you! It’s great!
So let’s assume that we have a ten by ten foot square of garden space. For the sake of time, we will presume that the ground has been tilled or dug up, raked up to be nice and level and clear of any twigs or rocks, and is all ready to go.
Here’s the part that is like going to the candy store! What would you like to plant? In this limited space, it is best to stick to basics. In the article that I read, the gardener planted
a nice mix of plants, using started plants. The list was six peppers, two tomatoes, four basil plants, and eighteen lettuce plants. There were also four zucchini that were started from seed right in the garden.
Now the amazing part: over the summer this little garden produced fifteen pounds of peppers, fourteen pounds of lettuce (that works out to hundreds of servings!), seventy seven pounds of tomatoes, and over a hundred pounds of zucchini. By the time the gardener figured out the cost of this produce if she had gone to the store, she would have paid over seven hundred dollars.
So, what do you think? Is it worth it? You bet! And of course, you can plant what your family likes best: maybe you’d rather have a row of beets or beans rather than a row of basil plants. You can easily fit in a row of onions. Space is limited for most of us, so we always have to pick and choose what we really want. But it pays, not only in terms of the produce that we produce, but also the fun of watching things grow, the fresh air, the delicious flavor of those veggies, and the personal satisfaction of growing the food ourselves. And what a wonderful family activity!
My darling parents were great gardeners, and working together in their lovely garden was their joy. I was always there too, having my own little patch from the time I was a small child, and I have such happy and most precious memories of our family times together in the garden!
The Yorkton and District Horticultural Society invites you to check our website at www.yorktonhort.ca and see interesting garden photos and news. Thank you to our friends at Yorkton This Week for their continued excellence in bringing us local news. Let’s pray for health for all and good gardening weather ahead. Have a great week!