Friday, January 7, 2011

Space considerations

Another major issue with gardening is space. I am lucky that I have a large yard and I can make it all into a garden if I want to. The biggest reason I do not do this is because there is only one of me and a garden that large would leave no time for anything else.

The largest space users are squash with 1 plant every 1 1/2 to 2 ft (squared), if you use the square foot garden method. They only recommend that you have 3 plants per person so all in all you would only be using 6 ft (squared). That would by 3 ft by 2 ft, not that bad. Melons are a little less space with one plant per square foot and a recommended number of 3 so 3 square feet. Those items you need more of may require a lot more space. Peas for example, for storage they recommend 150 plants per person. You can fit 8 pea plants into a square foot, so you would need 18.75 square feet for them. Using 4 x 4 beds (which I don't, but my mother does) you would need 1.25 beds of just peas. I use longer beds so it would be 9.5 feet by 2 feet wide of just peas. That actually isn't that bad, but if you have more than 1 person, you then multiply that by the number of people and we start talking space. Corn is a very large space user. They recommend 1 plant per square foot and 40 plants per person. That is 40 square feet of space for 1 person. My mom would need 3.25 4x4 beds of corn for her alone. Corn does not lend itself to this, but I like to grow it for summer barbeques and the like, but not necessarily for storage.

If you don't have a lot of space, say you are in an apartment or townhouse, and don't have a yard to garden in, you can do container gardens. Almost all plants can be done in containers, and most seed companies will even note their recommendations for containers. I will go into container gardening due to the difference in needs for this type of gardening.

So take into account what space you have to work with, and the more space you use, the more time you will need.

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