How to Grow Food on a Small Lot/Landscaping with Food

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Our Big Garden is almost planted and we nearly finished the front flower bed/cottage garden. We’re going on our 5th Summer at this property and we’ve made a LOT of progress. But our garden wasn’t always this big…

The King's Little Red Homestead
Beaver Dam Before and After

In fact, we didn’t start planting a garden here until 2019. We spent a good year or two doing a LOT of clean-up (remember the beaver dam?) and figuring out the lay of the land, and deciding where we wanted the garden to be, and how we wanted to build it. But yet, having a garden is something we’ve done for YEARS. Even when we lived on a quarter of an acre suburban lot we had food growing.

So, if you’re living in the suburbs, or don’t have as much land as you’d like, you too can grow quite a bit of food in your own backyard!

Start by landscaping with food. Take a look at your existing flower beds…by the front door, along the side of the garage, or on the side of your house. What foods that you eat could grow there?

Think about replacing your shrubs and rose bushes with berry bushes. Blueberries, Raspberries, or Loganberries. Use Cranberries or Thyme as a ground cover. Instead of planting ornamental trees, plant fruit trees. Apple, pear, or peach. If you want privacy think about planting Columnar Apple Trees along the fence line. We purchase ours from Jung Seeds. These trees grow straight up and the fruit grows right on the trunk. As a result, they take up less room and can be planted close together (or even in buckets or pots–we had a couple planted in large buckets before we moved).

We added 2 peach trees to the front yard and 2 pear trees in the sideyard of the old house. When we moved here we started planting Columnar Apple Trees on the fence line and every tree we’ve planted has been a fruit tree: apple, pear, and peach planted in nooks, corners, and the front side yard.

At our old house, we had a flower bed running along the side of the house. We planted Spinach and peas in it during the Spring, and beans in the Summer. One year we even had Brussels Sprouts growing.

Make a list of the foods you and your family eat. Research them. Take note of the best time to plant. Is it possible to have two harvests a year, one in the Spring and another in the Fall? Which grow best in the shade or the sun? What parts of your property are best suited for those plants? Which plants get along and which hate each other?

Take a look at your property with fresh eyes and make up your mind the use it to the max! Plant what you can where you can. And don’t underestimate growing food in containers, or flower boxes.

Could you grow herbs in your kitchen window? Or tomatoes or corn in a large plastic tub or a 5-gallon bucket? One year we planted corn in a large plastic bucket and that year was the best year we’d ever had with corn in that house! Another year we had hot peppers growing in the front flower bed because we didn’t want them to cross-pollinate with the bell peppers planted in the square foot garden.

Scour YouTube for ideas on container gardening and maximizing a small amount of space. Books like “Square Foot Gardening” teach you how to grow food to feed your family for a year using very little space. When we started with a few raised beds in the old house Dad read the book and used some of the ideas. If you have a small budget get creative. Borrow books at the library, scour the internet for as many free resources as you can, and look for necessary supplies using free Facebook groups.

And you know what? Even though we have a HUGE garden now these principles are STILL things we do today. We’ve got berry bushes along the front fence line, and columnar apple trees along the fence line in the back. We’ve planted peach trees and pear trees. Just this year we redid the front flower bed creating a cottage garden. A mix of herbs and ornamental plants…Our inspiration came from watching an older video from The Homesteading Family on YouTube.

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Homesteading isn’t about who’s garden is bigger and flashier, who has the nicest garden beds, or the fanciest toys. Homesteading is simply about growing food to provide for your family and using what God has given you to the best of your ability…all for His glory!

“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
~1 Corinthians 10:31

Until next time,
Bailey Sue

One response to “How to Grow Food on a Small Lot/Landscaping with Food”

  1. I am physically unable to till my back yard, so I chose to use containers. I have 36 various sized containers. I did lot of research and everything is looking great.

    Like

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