The planning and planting for the 2015 gardening season has started!
A couple of weeks ago I planted the seeds of some different kinds of lettuce, spinach, chilies and pumpkin. The chili seeds I got from my sister-in-law who had saved them from her own plants. The pumpkin seeds I saved myself last year but forgot to write down which variety it was. That will be an interesting surprise. So far everything but the chilies has started sprouting. Let’s hope the success continues.
Even though I don’t have a “proper” garden at the moment I’m not giving up on my gardening dreams and do what I can with the space available. Having a terrace with around 36 square meters ain’t bad. You can fit in quite a lot.
There are several limitations and factors I have to take in consideration though. First of all it’s a roof terrace belonging to a rented apartment and it’s facing north (northern hemisphere). It’s also quite windy from time to time. Since it’s rented I can’t build permanent solutions. Being a roof terrace I have to consider the weight I put on it. We also wish to be able to use it for recreation = I can’t fill up the whole space with plants. For these reasons my design looks quite different from how it would look if I was designing for a garden on a plot of land. I would have put more features in the middle but even heavier container plants were falling over last season due to the wind so they have to be secured. Maybe I can complement the design with some lower containers later.
This is my first draft for this season so it will probably be revised and expanded over time once seeing what works and not. Last summer I started with buying a few trees and bushes in pots + planted some strawberries and herbs but this year, after seeing what worked out, I’m adding more vegetables.
One important thing to incorporate in any garden design is water. Planting in layers and with ground covering greens helps you retain the rainfall through preventing it from evaporating too quickly. This is extra important on a terrace where wind and straight sun quickly evaporates the water else. Adding small water elements such as ponds and rain barrels also help keeping the watering cost down. Part of the point here is producing vegetables and herbs that are cheaper than buying them, which means that using large amounts of tap water isn’t economical. I need to keep the water features fairly small due to the weight issue but it should still be enough for the amount of plants I’m planning to grow.
Here is a rough draft of my design for this year.
Up next is part one of my compact gardening tutorials to help you join me with your own gardening project.