Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Garden tip for those short on space.

If you're short on space for gardening like me, one thing you can do is to plant early crops around later crops.  What do I mean by that?  Well, here is one example in this pot. 

In the center is a pepper plant.  Pepper plants are summer plants and this one will eventually take over the entire pot.  Surrounding the pepper plant right now is some butter oak lettuce, purslane and a stray green onion.  I planted the lettuce (spring/cold weather crop) early on around where the pepper plant would go.  The lettuces will soon be picked and out of the pot, as the heat has hit full force here, leaving the pepper plant the room it will need as it grows much larger. 

(Incidentally, the stray green onion popped up on its own--a leftover seed from last year.  The purslane just grows like a weed all over my garden and in my pots.  Purslane is very nutritious and can be tossed into salads, which is what I do to keep it under control.) 

The one thing you need to be careful of when utilizing this method is that your cold weather/early crops don't outgrow your summer crop.  So if the lettuce were huge heads, that little pepper plant wouldn't see the light of day, literally, and would not grow.  Make sure your plants aren't competing with each other in that way.

Linked to Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways.
Linked to Simple Lives Thurday.


  1. Okay, this is piggybacking on my guest post, maybe, but here's my heartfelt question:

    How do we do this: garden-planning, meal coordinating and everything else when you're a not-detail person like me?

    I mean, it's easy enough (that is to say, actually happens) when it comes to getting food into my body; that's kinda not optional, and I deal.

    But the planning-ahead and maintenance for "extra" stuff like gardening (and soaking, and fermenting...) genuinely only. happens. (despite all educating and good intentions) when I've got margin.

    And coming off something like six. weeks. without margin, I am living on home-canned food, thankful-but scared. Thankful I have the option, but scared at the implication: that I need to be the hermit I long to be if we're going to eat healthy.

    (Sorry for the dump. I'm still trying to recover.)

  2. I hear you, Amy! We just can't do everything. For me, I try to prioritize what is most important for us and do those things most of the time. And then I have to re-evaluate this periodically as seasons change. Since being pregnant (this pregnancy has been quite difficult) I haven't fermented a single food, and I've even bought some store-bought bread (the healthiest I can find), gasp! As we ease into another baby, and rhythm and routine begin again, I'll try to work those things back into my life. I think if we literally tried to do every single healthy thing we would all be hermits just like you said.

    So for me, that's where priorities really help--I stick with the most important to/for us, and try for some other things too, but those come and go as my time allows. And as far as lack of fermented food or buying bread--I keep in mind it is short-term, not long-term--just for a season.

    We also all have different skills and talents. What might come easy for one, might be difficult and overwhelming for another. I try to capitalize on what I do well and go for it there, and then try to learn or do harder things as I'm able.

    The last thing I try to keep in mind is that doing good things some of the time is still good. In other words, if we eat homemade sourdough bread some of the time, that's good. It's better than never eating it. Ideally, we'd eat it all the time, but that has not been realistic during my pregnancy. So instead of being discouraged by what I can't do (focus there), I have focused on what I've still been able to do. Some is always better than none.

  3. "Doing good things some of the time is still good."

    Thank you for this. I know my thinking is too 'binary' at times, trapping my in 'all-or-nothing' and this is a helpful place to set my mind. I'll try this for a while.