For all those interested in self sufficiency the size of the Veg Garden is an important question. Many people looking to grow their own Veg are unsure of how much space it requires to become independent of any Suppliers for their Vegetables. Here you can learn how much Veg to grow to feed a Family of three or four easily.
To begin with there is one very important factor if you want to become Self Sufficient in Vegetables.
You Must Eat Seasonal Vegetables
If you wish to become your own Supplier of Vegetables throughout the year you will be eating seasonally. Of course, you will be preserving, bottling, canning and storing many Vegetables but the reality is you will not eat the same Vegetables every week like you do if you go to the Supermarket. There you will get the same Veg day in, day out, all year round. Where is the fun in that? See the preserving Fruit and Vegetables category for more Recipes than you can shake a stick at!
Seasonal Eating Of Vegetables
The Realities of Growing Your Own Veg To Feed Your Family
Having a Vegetable Garden that will supply your Family with vegetables all year around is a real possibility by you MUST follow the Seasons. For us it has become second nature. When there is a glut of Cabbages, Mrs. Dirty Boots get busy delving in to the Cook Books for new and interesting Recipes. There are quite a few, I can tell you. Feeding a Family with minimal space can easily be done, just eat seasonally.
Likewise, when Summer hits, Tomato Recipes become the order of the day. This following of the Seasons, for us, has become a real eye opener. No more repetition of buying the same veg each week, which results in eating the same Recipes every week. Now we have varied Meals throughout the year, depending on what is available. It is much more interesting and challenging and we eat much more varied Meals.
On to the Veg Garden.
How Big A Vegetable Garden To Feed A Family?
How Much Space To Grow Veg And Not Buy Any?
Here at Casa Dirty Boots there are the two of us to feed, our Dogs, and the Chickens. We always have a lot of surplus which the Chickens have. If you haven’t got Chickens see the post on how to build a Chicken Coop and Chicken nesting Boxes and get busy!
Before I go in to specifics, you will do well to print off, or bookmark, the four year Crop Rotation system that Mrs. Dirty Boots posted. If you have limited space this is of PRIME IMPORTANCE if you wish to make the most of the Vegetable Plot.
Any reasonably sized back Garden/yard, can feed a Family of four or so in Vegetables. You will however need to make the most of the Veg Plot.
Making The Most Of The Vegetable Plot
How To Get Maximum Yield In Minimum Space
If you want a maximum yield of Vegetables in a small or limited space there are a few things that become very important. The art of Double Digging the Veg Plot should be mastered. The deeper you turn the soil, the further down your Veg will grow, rather than taking up more surface area. It also allows for very close planting. Twice as close as conventional Vegetable Growing methods.
You will also want extremely good Soil. Check out the Compost Bin Plans post for basically free Compost Bins, then the what you can Compost post. This will ensure a great, rich and fertile Soil for your Veg.
How Much Room To Grow Veg?
The Size Needed To Grow Your Own Vegetables
I just went out in to our Vegetable Garden to see how much space we use to keep us in Veg for basically the whole year.
We use the Double Digging technique and now, after four years, have enriched our soil quite a lot. It has taken us four years to dig all of our Veg Plots and we will gradually add more. We have sufficient to keep us in most Vegetables but want to add more Soft Fruit and a few other things.
We have six 2 metre by 5 metre Plots and another two 1 metre by 4 or 5 metre plots that are for Strawberries and a few soft fruit and flower beds.
I think that sixty square metres in total would be very close to being able to support a Family of four in all of the basic Vegetables all year around. This is not to say you will be growing many unusual or non staple vegetables, but it should be more than adequate for the basics.
Some of our Veg Beds are used for Melons etc and we also grow an awful lot of Onions and Garlic. About two hundred of each. Some basics such as these take up space but are a staple for most dishes so we grow them every year.
You need to decide what you want to grow to make the most of the Vegetable Plot and plan accordingly. Crop Rotation is very important so it needs some planning in a limited space. Decide how basic or adventurous you want to be in your Vegetable Growing and take it from there.
Sixty square metres will give you all the basics for a lot of the year. You may have to sacrifice some things, like a year round supply of Potatoes, and have to be careful about growing things such as Melons and Cucumbers that take up a lot of room but I think you will be well on your way to becoming Self Sufficient for your Vegetable Needs.
Grow Vegetables Vertically
Vegetable Growing In Small Spaces
Don’t forget about the endless space in the Sky!
When asking how much space to grow Vegetables many of us forget about the limitless space all around us. Think in three dimensions.
If you have limited space for growing Vegetables then Canes, trellises, hanging baskets etc are your best friends.
Using some LED garden lights may well be worth considering as well. They are ideal for those dark nights that come around all to soon. Or great so you can go and stare at your lovely tomatoes on a dark balmy evening.
When we had a small back Garden we successfully kept ourselves in Tomatoes all Summer by using hanging Baskets. Four or five baskets filled with a dwarf, hanging variety of Cherry Tomatoes was sufficient for two people, with plenty of excess.
Use your imagination. Put trellises against walls and grow cucumbers up them. String wires in the air and train Cucumbers, beans etc along them. A few Tomato Plants tied on to over two metre canes will give AN AWFUL LOT of fruit. Tomatoes will grow very tall if you let them.
Don’t just look at the ground, think UP if you have limited space.
So, good luck with becoming Self Sufficient in your Vegetable growing.
Are you already supplying all your own Veg?
Do you not think it is possible in the space I believe is needed?
I would love to hear what you think.
For a more self sufficient future