When it comes to the smaller house blocks in some of the newer housing estates, the opportunity to create a sustainable garden zone in which to produce home grown vegetables and fruit can be somewhat restricting due to the lack of available space. However, with good planning and consideration to the amount of sunlight the designated area will get, you can make use of the various dwarf fruit trees that are now available which can be grown and do not need a lot of space to be productive. These dwarf varieties can be planted in ground or in large pots. When it comes to the soil type that is present on site, the concept of growing in raised beds is also an option, and that goes for vegetables and berry fruits as well.
Constructing a trellis along a sunny fence line allows you to grow passionfruit varieties or climbing beans, anything that needs something to climb on. It will also help to give a nice backdrop of vegetation to enhance the view to that zone.
If you intend fencing this area, make use of the fence to support tomatoes or any vegetable or fruit that requires a support. And where you have the gate create an arch or walk through arbour so you can grow more climbing productive plants, and this will also add dimension to the remaining landscape.
If there is a patio or external entertainment area and it receives plenty of sun, try growing strawberries or herbs in hanging baskets. The area may well be suited for potted herbs or even potted fruit trees. Not only do they look good they are productive as well. This area can be used to create a sensory garden with the use of scented herbs like rosemary and the mint family, lavenders, basil, the sweet scent of flowering citrus in the evening will all add to your living environment.
Depending on the amount of sunlight the front entrance zone receives, this space can also be utilised for growing fruiting trees and shrubs. Herbs intermingled with ornamentals, chilly plants in pots. A dwarf avocado planted in the front lawn is not only productive but will prove to be decorative and act a screen as well. If you prefer make use of the glossy leaf and tidy shape of one of the highly productive dwarf mango varieties.
When it comes to sustainable gardening there are no set rules on what goes where. If you are keen to maintain this sustainable gardening concept it will be of interest to you to investigate what is known as companion planting.
Having investigated the amount of sunlight these zones receive over a year, you may have decided that a few one square meter plots is all you can utilise. Well even these plots can be made highly productive. But productivity is dependent on one main component, soil health.
As I have said over the 50 years plus in horticulture, ‘Eighty percent of success in gardening is in the soil. Work it well and it will work for you’. So before you start any planting you need to investigate the soils on the site.
Utilising the raised garden system, importing the appropriate soil may well be the best option, at least for vegetable production. If you are unsure of what to do to improve the soil type, have a chat to your favourite nursery person.
Jon (Plantman) Lovett