2015 will be my third season of growing in the back garden.
I keep my hand in at the allotments by helping my mum on a plot, but primarily my efforts go into what I can harvest from the three raised beds at the end of the garden.
I’ve learnt a lot over the past two years, such as how to effectively space plants in a small area and how vital well planned successional sowing is when trying to maximise yields.
This Summer I enjoyed some ace harvests, such as runner beans, courgettes, beets and the ever reliable French beans, but something nagged at me. Just how much could I get from this space?
And how much could I get with as little effort as possible?
It’s not that I’m lazy, or falling out of love with growing my own veg – far from it – but the busy little baby boy that came along two years ago has changed both my life and my growing style.
The Days of Lots of Space and Lots of Time
Pre-Lewis, when I rented my own allotment, not only did I have plenty of space but I also had lots of time to spend using that space. As I result I grew loads. Sometimes I even grew stuff I wasn’t all that keen on, just because… well, just because.
Now, I’m different. I’m much more focused. For me, at this stage of life, a smaller, manageable space is much better suited than a big plot that I can’t dedicate the time to. The veg I grow follows a similar theory too: I reckon it is much more rewarding and far better for morale if you grow 8 crops well, than 15 bad to middly.
How Much Money Can I Save in My Back Garden?
It is also difficult to eye up maximum efficiency on a plot without considering the value of the crops you’re growing, and this has returned me to the question I first posed myself in 2011: how much money does growing my own veg save me?
So, the spreadsheet is back for 2014. How much can a bloke save growing veg in 3 modest raised beds and a bonus greenhouse, whilst trying to juggle a life controlled by a nutcase 2 year old?
There will be a few slight differences from before. For example, I’m going to run the project from March to March, so that I can properly quantify the winter veg, rather than using stuff planted the season before. Generally though, things will be the same.
Like weighing every single harvest. Ailsa loved that bit last time. She really did. 🙂
In the meantime, I’ll blog some more about how the experiment will work, as well as dimensions I’m working with, the veg I’ll be growing and the reasons behind what I’ve chosen and publishing the spreadsheet in case anyone else fancies a go.