Why My Tiny Vegetable Garden Experiment?

I’m not growing tiny vegetables – not intentionally – but growing vegetables in a small space.  A very small space.  In a patio garden two-thirds of the way up a (smallish) mountain in North East Wales.

My Goal

  • to grow enough vegetables and salad crops to feed two people for most of the summer – longer if I can.

Pros

  • it rains – a lot
  • raised beds are free-draining
  • raised beds make it easier to grow root crops
  • raised beds are easier on the gardener!

Cons

  • the area available is only 52 square feet, plus any pots and tubs.
  • there are two raised beds – one of which is in full sun for most of the day; the other is in shade until mid afternoon.
  • we are 208 metres above sea level.
  • it is a few degrees cooler than the valley below – my plants are usually two to three weeks behind
  • it rains – a lot

History

This story began in March 2018, when we finally got around to having one of our 107 year-old boundary walls rebuilt.  We’d been in this house thirty-one years!

We don’t have a large garden.  Along the front of the house is a path, then a raised border, which is at chest/shoulder height for people walking on the pavement beyond.  To one side of the house is a concrete drive with garage behind it.  Along the drive is another raised bed.

At the back, we basically have a yard, or if you want to be posh, a paved courtyard, with areas for growing things – which have reduced in number over the years!  When we moved in (January 1987) the yard was grey concrete and sloping.  After a few years, we had it levelled (two levels) and paved with concrete slabs.

Fast forward twenty years and the slabs came up, and patterned concrete resembling brick paving but at a quarter of the price went down.

But the paving slabs were recycled.  I gave them to a colleague in work on the understanding that he removed them – from the ground!  They now form a meandering path between his fruit trees (he runs a smallholding).

With the demolition of the old wall and its rebuilding, I suddenly had a large empty space to fill.  And lots of bricks lying around . . . and a builder on hand!

“Ben . . . will you build me two raised flowerbeds please?”

So he did.  All I had to do then was to plant a vegetable garden – starting in one of the coldest winter/spring since 1962/63 followed by a heatwave to rival 1976.

This blog documents my successes and failures, triumphs and disasters.  I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.  Come along for the ride.

Gallery

Before March 2018

1

After March 2018

DSCF5377

January 2019

20190118 first snow of winter (2.1)

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