Minimalist Garden

This week I would like to feature a minimalist approach to fall gardening. For me in true permaculture fashion, this means starting small, using what you have and minimizing or eliminating all waste in this system.

Start Small

Unless, you already have a fall garden in place or consider yourself a confident gardener, aim to grow only four crop to grow this fall.

A perfect example of four crops, is that featured in our current garden game, where our gamers are growing:
– Radish
– Peas
– Carrots
– Lettuce

The picture above is Margie Lazo’s seed starting tray of those four crops.

Grow in a Small Space

– Aim to grow it in small-ish space.

Use a square foot garden plan. And divide your square foot raised beds into four sections.

Or if you are planting in pots, use four different planting containers.

For the more advanced, you can also see if they grow together symbiotically in a guild by intentionally planting and spacing in an intercropping fashion.

More on intercropping here.

This diversity in one area will help deter pests.

Tend regularly

Aim to tend those four crops regularly.

Find a routine for when you will mind the crops every other day, every week and throughout the 3-month Fall season.

In the garden game, we require our gamers to take a picture of their fall crops when they seed start them, on the day they transplant them and when they harvest them. You may want to use Instagram or an online photo gallery as a place for documenting your four-crop progress.

In the garden game, we are currently doing a little more than that by analyzing different methods for growing and measuring growth, yields, days to harvest and yields. But especially if this is your first growing season, start small and just grow four crops.

Use what you have

So let’s say you don’t have these four crops on hand as seeds, how can you use what you have? You can “plant your pantry!”

This year we had a 25lb harvest of sweet potatoes and some of them were planted straight from our pantry.

Here are some examples of pantry staples you can easily re-plant:
– Garlic
– Ginger
– Potato
– Sweet potato
– Herb cuttings: like mint and rosemary
– Chives
– Shallots

Start with the four fall crops we have used in the garden game!

Starting small gives you the courage and confidence to grow even more next year. The garden has infinite possibilities. What’s important is that you start something, rather than wait or do nothing. If you’re trying a minimalist garden this year, share your thoughts and your pictures with us below.

And if you’d like to see more blogs on permaculture/organic gardening sign-up below.

Happy Fall Gardening!