It's been a while since I've done a vegetable garden update and although we're heading into the cooler months here, our square foot garden is still producing lots of veggies for our evening meals.
I'm envisaging that soon our two square foot beds will be pretty much empty (other than garlic that I'll be planting soon) and we will then spend the winter building up the nutrients again with manure, coffee grounds and ash from the wood fired oven, ready for spring planting.
To say that this tiny space has been good to us is an understatement! After some careful planning on paper, trying to work out exactly how many vegetables we should grow to feed our family, we've been pretty much spot on with the figures. It's a bit depressing that I've just dug our final carrots (mental note to plant more next year) and I should have planted extra parsnips too, as they grew exceptionally well, but mostly I calculated what we'd need pretty well.
After digging what I thought was our final root of potatoes recently, I discovered that our next crop is pretty much ready to go, so we 'should' have enough potatoes to see us through to August, especially if I'm creative with how I cook them, stretching them as far as possible.
The tomatoes have been extraordinary! Pretty much everything in the greenhouse has finished now, but we still have plants in the square foot garden (outside) that are gradually ripening. Some of these tomatoes in the above photos are from my Mum, as she gave me some of her overflow to puree and freeze - but we've had ample of our own tomatoes this year to make relish, devour roast tomato soup on a regular basis and eat bruschetta like kings on most weekends.
Soon I'll be pulling our pumpkins off their vines and hopefully enjoying a lot of roast pumpkin soup over the winter. Starting a vegetable garden has definitely been the best thing and I've really been surprised at just what you can grow in a small space.
If you're interested in starting your own small veggie patch, I'd definitely recommend reading Mel Bartholomew's 'Square Foot Gardening' book. I've pretty much followed all of his spacing guides for our vegetable planting and it really has worked. There were lots of strange looks from people when I was planting 16 beetroot plants in a square foot space, 16 carrots in another and insisting on one potato crop to a square foot area, but this system definitely works - we've had vegetables in abundance this summer.
I'm looking forward to expanding our patch this spring and adding an extra above ground bed to house more potatoes, but other than that I think we've pretty much got our backyard veggie space all sorted.