I’m determined to increase our yields in the second half of this year and hopefully make colossal leaps closer to our goal of being self sufficient. The most obvious answer to producing more fruit and vegetables is to grow more plants and concentrate on prolific plants.
At the moment we have four vegetable beds and about 20 dwarf fruit trees in pots. We also have several passionfruit vines and a choko. These are mostly all within hosing distance from our water tank. I am considering other creative options to increase our bounty without creating too much more work for ourselves.
I’m considering placing a few edibles in pots in our patio area. We have a few old Styrofoam boxes that would be ideal for lettuce and other cut and come again plants. Perhaps one or two of them could be dedicated to Asian greens.
I’d like to expand our production of starchy vegetables by growing yams and sweet potatoes in planter bags.
There is some space for more plants directly behind our house. We currently only keep our wheelie bins here. I’d love to create an Italian style courtyard in this area with a wood-fired pizza oven. My plans for an herb spiral and a horta plot could complement this area if grown in recycled wine barrels. I’d also like a dedicated space for some perennials.
I could put a second pumpkin plant in this area. It should be far enough away so it doesn’t cross fertilize with any of the other squashes in the vegetable patches.
I’ve avoided putting edibles in the front yard, as we don’t spend much time there and they are likely to be neglected. There are some spaces along the front fence line, which I’d like to fill in with native lilly pillies. I’m a big fan of these low maintenance bushes. They make a neat hedge if you plant them about 30 cm apart (or a forearm-lengths worth). The red berries of all types of lilly pillies are edible, with riberry one of the tastier varieties. The berries are best used to make a jam, relish or sauce.
One project I’m putting off is creating a pond because our fences unfortunately do not keep our neighbours’ cats out. Suitable edibles for a pond include: kang kong, lotus, native ginger, rice, taro, water chestnuts and watercress.
Inside the house we have started to grow sprouts. The downside is that it’s hard to remember to change the water twice a day when we both work full time. I could possibly explore growing other edible plants indoors.
The other gardening plans I have for the rest of this year is to plant in some more companion plants and flowers. I’d also love to create a recycled bench from wooden packing crates. Somewhere I can rest my weary legs after I’ve finished all the other hard work.