Monday, March 30, 2015

Mosaic Monday #34 - The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden


I recently read "The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden" by Karen Newcomb. No stranger to growing vegetables in small places, I found the book helpful in my ability to hone this gardening technique even further.
My little veggie plot may not be square but an 8 by 2 foot area of soil can grow more than enough beans, beets and carrots for two people.  The garden is situated in front of the three bin compost area and that's rhubarb at the end. Facing south, plenty of sun reaches all of the plants.
In the spring after planting a wire cage keeps the bunnies and family dog out.  Later this is removed with just a short fence running along the length to remind our dog this is not an area to run through or lay on in the sun. 
Newcomb describes the origin of what we commonly know today as square foot or intensive planting to being discovered back in the 1890s. It evolved to become known as French Intensive Biodynamic Gardening and with diligence a 5 by 5 foot garden should produce 200 pounds of vegetables.
The smallest plot recommended in the book is 4 by 4 feet and the largest, 10 by 10 feet.
The elements for success include an excellent quality of soil, planting vegetables close together, watering deeply but infrequently, using organic methods and utilizing techniques such as intercropping, succession planting, catch crops and growing vertically.
Drawing up a plan is beneficial and there are several illustrations in the book to follow and location of the garden bed itself is of course important.
Warm vs cool season crops is explained as is the composition of organic fertilizers.
A good list of vegetables is covered in detail for when to sow and harvest along with recommended varieties.
Each vegetable has typical problems and solutions offered as well as growing tips and storage. From this I learned when growing red beets to sprinkle a spoonful of common table salt per foot of soil to improve growth and colour. I'll be trying the salt this spring!
It was fun to try the tri-colour carrots one year but I've since stuck to my favourite, Nantes 'Starica'. Any little spaces in the long gardening bed and the small triangle at the end of the compost bins has been planted with tomatoes, scallions and basil.
Growing vegetables in containers is a way to increase yield and above is swiss chard I grew in a pot last year. Newcomb has an interesting section with ideas for growing in various receptacles and suggests looking for midget vegetables bred specifically for pots.
Here are a couple of new plants I'll be trying this year from Renee's Seeds.
The book gives a nod to popular herbs that are easy to grow and ends with good discussion on controlling pests, diseases and critters. At the back of the book is an extensive list of US seed suppliers. Much of this information, and more can be found on The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden web page.
My thanks to Ten Speed Press for sending me "The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden" to review.

Welcome to Mosaic Monday
Link the Url from a post containing a mosaic or collage about any subject. 
Please link back to this Mosaic Monday post so that your readers can find other wonderful mosaics. 
Linked posts not including a mosaic nor linking back to Mosaic Monday will be removed in fairness to other participants.
Thank you for participating and sharing your creativity!

49 comments:

  1. Truly wonderful views from your garden. Ours is in the seasonal works as well.

    Mersad
    Mersad Donko Photography

    ReplyDelete
  2. I hope that you have lots of great things growing in your postage stamp garden this year! xx

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Judith Your postage stamp garden seems to produce big rewards! I would need to dog proof any veggie patch I owed too! Thanks for hosting.
    Wren x

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hello, Judith!
    Your post looks absolutely lovely, very interesting and with beautiful photos!
    Now I just "link and run", but I will come back to read your post more carefully and to visit other blogs as soon as I can. Happy Mosaic Monday to everybody!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hello Judith, the postage stamp garden is a great idea for small spots.. I would love to grow some of our veggies. Last year we just had cherry tomatoes. Thanks for sharing the link and for hosting. Have a happy new week ahead!

    ReplyDelete
  6. HI Judith, I am starting to get hopeful about gardening here this year so this post encouraged me to try smaller postage stamp gardening instead of a huge plot. We found our first garden experience overwhelming last summer mostly because of the weeds, so I'd like to get into boxed gardening on a smaller scale. The snow is slowly melting but it will be weeks before we can get into the soil. Have a wonderful week! Pam

    ReplyDelete
  7. This sounds like a great book Judith, I'll be hunting it out to read. I like the seeds you are trying out this year. I've been checking over the seed displays in stores too, picking out some new ones. Have a great Monday.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I also received the book and onl had time to browse through but found so many great ideas even with a browse. Looks like you are well organized for your veg garden Judith. I'll be interested to know how your containers do. Happy Monday!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Although I don't garden nowadays, I have fond memories and I love the way fresh veggies look and taste... I am so grateful for Farm Markets wherever we are. And grateful to you for this lovely post and for hosting. We used to garden in raised beds, that was my favorite way.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hello Judith,
    your Blogsite especially this theme I found on Pippa`s blog .... And now I try here my first mosaic, hoping it`s okay.

    Your blog is very fine, because I love lavender so much <3 Wish you a good week.

    Cheers, Heidrun from old town Augsburg

    ReplyDelete
  11. What amazing garden!! Such beautiful ideas for those who can have a garden in the backyard! On balcony we have only chilli and green garlic or green onion depending on the old ones that starts to sprout... but you gave me some new ideas...
    Wonderful week! Warm greetings for you at the beginning of April!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Your garden is lovely. I posted 2 .posts on your Mosaic Monday. Thank you for hosting a blog party. It is all new to me but such a great idea. xo

    ReplyDelete
  13. What amazing garden!! Such beautiful ideas for those who can have a garden in the backyard! On balcony we have only chilli and green garlic or green onion depending on the old ones that starts to sprout...but you gave me some ideas...
    Wonderful! Warm greetings for you at the beginning of April!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I garden in pots (herds of deer roam our property) and love getting any new, helpful ideas. I love the idea of the small zucchini plant - those always are a problem with their spreading habit. I grow cherry tomatoes too. Thanks for the review and ideas.

    ReplyDelete
  15. What amazing garden!! Such beautiful ideas for those who can have a garden in the backyard! On balcony we have only chilli and green garlic or green onion depending on the old ones that starts to sprout...but you gave me some ideas...
    Wonderful! Warm greetings for you at the beginning of April! (It occurred an error while messaging...)

    ReplyDelete
  16. That sounds like a good book, Judith. We love to grow vegetables in our garden - the basics that our family eats a lot of!

    Deanna

    ReplyDelete
  17. Great book! We were really into organic small plot gardening for the first 20 years of marriage...had to! Loved Nantes! Used to read the Burpee catalog, Mother Earth News, Foxfire etc. Lots of work but rewarding. That looks like a great sized plat.
    Ruth

    ReplyDelete
  18. Judith, I am intrigued by this idea. It will have to try it this year. Thanks for your suggestion. Christa

    ReplyDelete
  19. I have to go back and re-read your gardening information. Love seeing the pictures, makes everything so much easier to understand. Thank you Judith for Mosaic Monday 34. I have 2 raised beds for my garden and the peas are now up about 2 inches. I planted them very early this year because the weather has been so mild (wet and mild). Sweet peas are next and some more soil prep work.
    Joy

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi Judith - Clever gardening idea! I have a raised flowerbed, but we don't garden.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hope you have a plentiful crop this year ! My mum was a great gardener at both veggies and flowers . I was going to make the raised garden we built last year for veggies this year but I changed my mind and am making it a hummer and butterfly garden and plat milkweed in it as well as that is becoming scares for butterfly's these day 's ! I may do another garden for veggies Dont know yet the reason is because we have a local farmer / friend close by that we get all our veggies from , so still rolling the idea around here lol Thanks for sharing lovely post and photos ! Have a good day !

    ReplyDelete
  22. Lovely post. I will have to check out the book since I too have a small garden but it faces north. Even though I add things to make the soil rich in nutrients it still doesn't do well with a lot of plants. Reading the book might tell me where I'm going wrong.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Your vege garden looks great, all prepared for the seedlings to arrived - it's all in the preparation along with having healthy friable soil!
    Our vege plot is a little larger because we grow potatoes, beed steak tomatoes, broccolli and silverbeet!
    Renee's Seed garden packets are so pretty!
    Many thanks for hosting dear Judith!
    Shane x

    ReplyDelete
  24. This looks like a very interesting book, Judith! I would love to have even a small postage stamp garden like this. I'd have to guard it well with chicken wire to keep all the critters out, and grow only short growing season crops like greens and root vegetables, as our growing season is short at our altitude. The tip about adding salt to the soil is very interesting!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Small gardens will produce an amazing yield, efficiently and without so much work. Yours looks clean and neat, weed free. Keep us updated on how it grows.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I need to show this to my daughter as she is gardening in small places this year.
    Thanks for hosting again this week - appreciate what you do.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Your garden looks so tidy. I think we need to consider some container gardens this year. We're wondering too if the deer are going to be visiting regularly. They are good at jumping fences.

    ReplyDelete
  28. What a great gardening idea! Soon you will reap bountiful vegetables. Thanks for this interesting information.

    ReplyDelete
  29. What a beautiful harvest you had, Judith; those carrots look very interesting. I don't think I've ever had anything but regular orange ones. The packages of seeds are very pretty, themselves, and would definitely lure me into buying what's inside them!:) Looking forward to pics of your new veggie patch and its lovely produce.

    Thanks for hosting and wishing you a wonderful week!

    Poppy

    ReplyDelete
  30. Thank you Judith for hosting such a lovely party! Jo

    ReplyDelete
  31. How clever! I love the tea in the previous post! Beautiful china!

    ReplyDelete
  32. In this part of the world we have slugs (think big snails without the shell and not a delicacy) so the more plants I can put in containers, the more difficult it is for those slimy litter critters to feast on them. Gardening is always a challenge but its rewards are so fantastic when it works! Fun post today Judith.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I like how you fence to keep the critters out, Judith. The book sounds interesting. I received some lilies and some black hawk raspberries in the mail today. Time to get out and plant the berries - I'll store the lily bulbs in the frig for a few weeks yet. Here's to a delightful garden season!
    Hugs and blessings, Beth

    ReplyDelete
  34. Thanks for the information on gardening in small spaces, Judith. Last week, in our newspaper, there was an article about gardening right in straw (not hay) bales, which was very interesting, too. I sent a picture of the article to my youngest son. Good luck with your garden.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I really enjoyed this post Judith and am amazed at the abundance of produce your small garden produces. Happy gardening !

    ReplyDelete
  36. I am a little slow in linking up today. Happy spring to you and have a wonderful week. and thank you for hosting.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Not sure what we'll do this year with our raised bed. Sadly, it has returned to being mostly in the shade in just a few years' time. Will have to do some investigating. I think your garden is very handy and the cover for it is smart thinking.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I like the wire fence. We have bunnies and turtles and geese and even a ground hog so I haven't had much luck with growing things.

    ReplyDelete
  39. It's amazing what can be grown in a small space, isn't it? The wire cover for your plants is a great idea. We are not yet bothered by rabbits, but they are starting to be seen here and there in the neighborhood.
    We have 3 raised beds and I enjoy going out to collect vegetables in the summer. It's such a luxurious feeling.
    This book sounds like a great resource.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Hello, dear Judith! I find this concept fascinating and for the first time, I'm inspired and encouraged that I could actually grow vegetables. We have 1/2 an acre but so much of it is woodland and evergreens that I never considered growing food. Very helpful. Hope you are having a great week.

    ReplyDelete
  41. I've just popped back to read your post properly. This looks like a very useful gardening book, especially for these days when we tend to have smaller gardens. And it looks like you are putting a small space in your garden to very good use. Happy gardening! The carrots look delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  42. Hi Judith, I enjoyed seeing all your Easter tea tablescapes. They're lovely! I decided to try putting together a mosaic and join you for Mosaic Monday. I enjoyed reading about gardening in small spaces. Happy spring and Happy Easter! I lifted the window shade this morning only to see the ground covered with snow! Ug! ~ Phyllis

    ReplyDelete
  43. Hi Judith...what an interesting concept for gardening. I need to read that book. Your pix are so nice. I hope all is well with you. Thanks for sharing..I am anxious to start our little garden.
    Hugs,
    Linda

    ReplyDelete
  44. I think I have just about that amount of space in our new place, Judith. I don't know if I will get a garden in this year - but this is inspiring.

    ReplyDelete
  45. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  46. I am always so impressed by those who can plant gardens and have a nice yield of what was planted. We have mostly shade and lots of wildlife and so we depend on the Fresh Markets. Your veggies look so fresh and I know you enjoy them. Thank you for your kind thoughts Judith~

    ReplyDelete
  47. What a great idea - to grow intensely in a small space. Good luck with your growing this next season!
    Happy Easter!
    xoxo Ingrid

    ReplyDelete
  48. I would have never thought you could grow an effective vegetable garden that is so small! Very inspirational. I've thought about trying raised beds (my backyard is lots of rock), but trying for a veggie garden never crossed my mind!

    ReplyDelete
  49. This sounds like quick a useful book, especially with practically everyone wanting to grow some type of garden these days. Thanks for the review!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for dropping by and taking the time to leave a comment.
If you have a 'no reply' status on your blog I hope you'll consider changing this to enable others to email a question or continue a conversation from the comments.
Judith

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...