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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Gardening In Small Spaces Part II

So lets walk down the path from the front to the back past the wall-fixed clothes line (and squeeze past his beautiful wheelbarrow)
That tall foliage is climbing beans and he even has a string line going to the clothes line for added trail.
Yonder from the beans towards the fence is the strawberry patch. There is another zucchini and some more herbs.
Now we find ourselves in his "back yard"
The stairs you see are the next door neighbours. The vegetation at the bottom is the end of Izaac's yard.
It is in actual fact a narrow strip of land about 4 metres long and at its widest point it is 2 metres.
Here you can see another variety of climbing bean, taking up very little space, using vertical space instead and yielding profusely.

Here he is growing Blue Lake and Purple King.
Izaac makes use of the fence and baling string from the straw bales.
This area on the eastern side of the unit gets sunlight from dawn till about 1pm. When he first started this garden I was very skeptical about enough sunlight in this narrow tract but I have been proved wrong and it goes to show what can be achieved in perceived impossible situations.
In front of the beans are tomatoes, capsicums, silverbeet and leafy salad greens.

Again the fence railing is used to good advantage to tie up the tomatoes and again utilising vertical space and allowing more planting.
Izaac tells me that one of his most important methods though in the small garden is "ruthlessness".
He said he has to be absolutely ruthless and can't afford to nurse plants along. They have to preform per square metre or they are out! If something isn't working, if the seed isn't good strong and viable then it is replaced. If a plant is past the production peak, it's gone.
He said there is no room for gentle sentimentality and often has to cull plants that a gardener in a larger garden allows to become old and spindly. He simply doesn't have the space.
Perhaps also this is the secret of his success in managing fungal disease of which he has very little incidence.
At the bottom a pumpkin vine is running rampant even with the best efforts to train it along the perimeters.

His crowning glory is the chili bushes laden with slim bright red chillies that have yielded thousands. They love being near the brick wall of the unit and in a sheltered corner they have found their ideal micro-climate that other gardeners struggle with in Tasmania.

So he faced impossible soil which he improved with compost, manure and mulch.
He faced an impossible space but he uses it to best possible advantage and grows verticle as well as horizontal.
His other technique for gardening in a small space is ruthlessness. He assesses and plants on a regular basis maintaining an optimum turn on production.


  1. I so admire anyone who can grow a garden, it's a lot of work and this is a garden to be very proud of.

  2. wow go Izaac, his garden is amazing and such an inspiration


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