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What size veg patch for a family of four?

Alberta, Canada Ca

this is the first time i will ever have had enough room on my property to put a real veggie garden in. what size is a good starter size for a family of four? i told my hubby 10x15 feet and he said too small. keep in mind we do alot of camping and travelling in the summer so dont get too big, cause i wont be able to keep up with it. i was thinking 15x20 feet?



Hi Michelle - I started wtih a patch of 10ft x 10ft, which was ample for a starter - you'll be surprised at just how much you can shoe-horn into a plot this size! The only problem I found with a small patch like this, is that you can't rotate the crop. Different veggies utilise different nutrients in the soil, and it is recommended that you manure, say, a quarter of the patch each year and rotate the crops so that each group of veggies (lugums, brassicas, etc) get just the right amount of goodness from the soil. Having said that, my patch did well for about 10 years while veggy sizes gradually deceased (the first year I got the MOST impressively sized stuff - monsterous parsnips and carrots the size of your arm!!).

I have to say I avoided large veggy plants like potatoes, that would have taken up just too much room, and also runner beans could only be planted on one side of the patch as they would have shaded the other plants otherwise.

The only thing I would add is, think about access to the middle of the patch - I didn't and constantly had problems getting at the middle for weeding and watering - a path about 1 ft wide would have been extremely useful!

Hope this helps - keep us informed of your progress! Sid.

31 Mar, 2008


eh up michelle when I frist started growing my own it was mostly in big planters so I read up on square foot gardening, some of his ideas will be ok for you but he does focus on fast crops that might bolt while you are away. Why not think more about root crops that would be ready when you pack the camping stuff away at least until you get head round what your doind and it will get the ground worked as well.
hope this helps a little steve

1 Apr, 2008


Any size will do really.You can grow vegetables in a window box!!!! What really matters is to have a size which you feel you can handle. Planting potatoes will help to decrease the amount of weeding you will have to do, as their leaves block out light preventing weed growth. You do need a reasonable size so that you can crop rotate if you are going to grow vegetables year on year as they will not do very well if you grow them in the same place all the time. I have an allotment which I leave every summer unattended for about two months while I am away and I always come back to lots of lovely vegetables which last me all year.I grow vegetables for home made soups and some stand in the ground all year. You will need to have everything weed free and in order before you leave though!! Hope this has been a help and inspiration for you.

5 Apr, 2008

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