This project was inspired by the need to grow our own fruit and vegetables, whilst efficiently utilising the space available in our back garden. If you have ever wondered how to go about growing your own food at home, then hopefully the next few pages will give you some ideas...
So why grow your own?
- You get fresh fruit & veg, no added preservatives
- Save time & money buying from shops
- Change for a healthy lifestyle
Our house was built on an area where there used to be local fishponds, so naturally the ground is moist all year round and turns into a bog over winter. To make things worse, the soil is mostly clay and builders rubble which are hardly your ideal growing conditions!
So we decided that a good solution would be to make raised beds for growing.
Advantages of Raised Beds:
- They're super easy to construct
- Clearly define your growing areas
- Plant into new healthy soil mix
Step 1: Design Layout
Of course it's unlikely that everyone reading this has exactly a 6m area to work with, so you may want to scale up/down accordingly.
This is easy to do though as the hexagonal design is some what universal in a sense that it's easy to apply to an area of any size...
1. Think of the outer boards as full length (3/3)
2. The boards either side of the opening to the centre (2/3)
3. Finally the inner boards (1/3)
By dividing wooden planks into thirds, this allowed for all materials to be used efficiently from a total of 8 boards.
The 'keyhole' shape conveniently allows access to the centre for watering and general maintenance of the beds.
Here's a list of what will be planted in a compact space:
- Spring Onions
- Rainbow Chard
- Mixed salad baby leaves
- 'Salad bowl' lettuce
- French Parsley
- Red Onions
- White Onions
- Purple Sprouting Cabbage
- Broad beans
NOTE: It may be worth thinking about which areas of your garden get the sun the most.
Some things you plant will prefer damper, shaded areas e.g. pototatoes. Where as strawberries, tomatoes enjoy as much sunlight as they can get.