I am moving into a new apartment with a small back yard. i really want to begin gardening. I am a complete beginner. Any recommendations for the layout of my small yard (photos attached). Should I use grow boxes?
What is the best method? I am interested in growing kale, carrots, brussel sprouts, tomatoes, and maybe some other stuff.
I have to ask as well about your ability to dig in that nice backyard. If you can, great. If not, then you can always try container gardening. I did container gardening one year when I was planning on moving and I wanted to take my plants with me. It was not quite as satisfying as planting in the ground, but it was not bad either.
As long as you have decent sunlight on that spot in the summer, it looks like a great spot for a garden.
I started one garden from turf by having it tilled up (only time it has ever been tilled). Then we laid out our permanent rows and paths with string. Then we laboriously dug the now-loose soil from the paths and dumped it on the beds to make simple raised beds. We removed any grass clumps at that time and whenever we saw grass patches coming back to life. We put cardboard down in the paths and covered it with wood chips. The paths stay relatively weed free and the beds are nice to plant in. We mulch with chipped up leaves and grass clippings to protect the soil around the plants and in the winter.
Another method would be to do lasagna mulch where you kill the grass with layers of brown and green (high carbon and high nitrogen) materials. It smothers them and composts a bit. I think you do this and then ideally wait long enough for the grass to die. Then you plant into the mulch by spreading it a bit and putting plants or seeds into the holes. I've done this with a layer of cardboard covered with horse bedding. I threw seeds around and they grew on their own and I poked holes through the cardboard and put transplants in them. I also poked holes in the cardboard and put a handful of dirt on top of the poked holes and put seeds in that dirt. The seed's roots found their way through the cardboard holes and it kept the grass from coming back to life.
"Hundreds of years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in or the type of car I drove... But the world may be different because I did something so bafflingly crazy that it becomes a tourist destination"
posted 3 weeks ago
Steve Thorn wrote:Hi! Welcome to Permies!
Can you dig in the yard or do you have to plant in containers?
not sure. need to ask the landlord. which do you recommend? what is easier for maintenance?
posted 3 weeks ago
thanks for the responses. need to do some research and ask the landlord to figure out what the next possible step is.
The area that is one step up looks perfect. Good drainage and not so high up that will dry a out too much.
Planting in the ground is better unless it’s not allowed or you won’t be living there long. If you have to go with pots you might check out the Earthbox site. They work great. I don’t use their planting instructions or the plastic over the top. The are expensive but last for years. I have some that I think are over ten years old. They are very heavy unless you use light weight potting soil. I’ve mostly used purchased compost. Very heavy. I’m trying vermiculite and compost now to make them lighter.
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US