My wife and I are renting a house, which we can't do any kind of gardening or landscaping on. Fortunately her grandma lives across the street literally. With that being said I have about 1-2 acres I can use to garden. As this won't be a permanent place I'm trying to be realistic with what I can and should actually do on the property.
We are in North Carolina in Zone 7. I'm working on getting some readings from around the area I'm going to use. Such as temperature variations, amount of sunlight, moisture and planning on sending the soil to be analyzed. It is a pretty thick clay.
I'll get the pictures posted tomorrow, but there is a wood line at the bottom left of the property. And a small patch of forest in the front middle seperating a empty sloped field from the another smaller patch of clearing then the road.
I've come up with some veggies and fruits I would like to grow, I'd also like to do grains, like flaxseed and buckwheat and open to some others. I don't really know of many fruits that I could get goIng and actually harvest this year.
Now where I really need help is planning stuff out. How to determine locations which plants should I go with.
I'd like to do broccoli, bell peppers, different greens maybe some beans and tomatoes.
I'd also like to do herbs for cooking and medicinal use. I've done a little research into guilds but since I can't really do the full out permaculture thing am I better off just doing rows?
Should I turn the soil and amend it, or do raised beds or something else.
What else can I do to get ready for planting after the last frost? I was planning on starting some things in doors just trying to figure out where to go from here.
I've had a hard time finding information about doing just a veggie garden using permaculture principles without going full out into
trees, animals and buildings.
If you know of any good resources to read I'm down! There is so much information out there it can be over whelming.
What is Grandma's long-term plan for the land? Do you need to be able to undo the garden if one of you needs to relocate?
Advice: start early, start small, get some wins and keep the enthusiasm going. What do you like to eat? What does Grandma like to eat? Homegrown lettuce is the bomb and quick. Build on success if you haven't done much gardening before and don't be ashamed to buy plants. Broccoli should show up early at your garden store. You can also plant that from seed but it's better that way as a fall crop. But squashes, cucumbers, melons, corn and beans are super easy to grow from seeds, esp in your climate. Radishes are traditionally the first garden crop for a newbie. Leave a few in the ground, let them flower and make seed pods. The seed pods are as tasty and keep coming all summer.
If you can get a hold of Eliot Coleman's "The New Organic Grower" he does a pretty good job with rotational planting that can be reversed if need be.
Rows- no, take a look at Mel Bartholomew's square foot gardening ideas. Not everything he says is great, but the idea of planting in clumps can't be beat. Why weed rows when the plants will shade out the weeds in a block. And the idea of planting only as much as you can use at maturity makes so much sense. Get some buckwheat seed to use as a quick warm weather cover crop in between crops if you do his method.
Fun! It should be fun. Don't worry about getting anything more than a few tasty veg and some experience the first year.