My garden space is limited. I only have so much usable space, so I’m careful to make the most of it throughout the growing season. I keep three goals in mind for my garden: variety, quality, quantity.
Now I know I could plant all my space with peppers and tomatoes and I’d surely have quantity. But I wouldn’t have variety. Or I could always plant the tomatoes in the one space that I really like to put them, but that might risk quality because tomatoes (and most other crops) benefit from being rotated to different spots in the garden–that way pests and diseases are deterred.
To maintain my three goals I really need to plan for a full season of growing in which my space is used wisely. Most of my spaces are planted twice–once early in the season (or in the fall, depending) and again later on when the first crop is harvested and the space becomes available.
In the two photos you can see the difference between the early season in this garden bed, and how it currently looks. Earlier this season I had it planted with radishes, lettuce, peas and garlic. The tomatoes were also in the garden at the time I took the first photo.
The second photo shows that all but the tomatoes are now gone, and instead it is filled with corn, beans, squash and cucumbers.
Other areas of my yard get the same treatment. Where I had beets in May and June I’m now growing ground cherries. Where I had arugula this spring I’ve now got basil, dill and cilantro. The bed that had tulips for cutting is now filled with tomatoes, fennel, cabbage, leeks, beets, carrots, beans, celeriac and peppers. Earlier in the season that same bed had radishes, arugula and spinach. And in a week or so when the fennel is harvested I’ll be planting kale and more spinach.
In my garden I’ve planted spinach twice already this year and plan to do it again! Pots with nasturtiums will soon be planted with lettuce.
My garden definately has variety. I garden organically, so the quality of my produce is high… maybe things have a few holes in them from sharing them with the insects that are in the garden, but nutritionally this homegrown stuff can’t be beat. And quantity? Well, I don’t get too much of one thing. I don’t always get to “put up” produce for later. But there is plenty to eat from the garden and it’s in a rainbow of colors and flavors.