View Full Version : How Big Is Your Garden

May 9th, 2006, 01:25 PM
A discussion going on on another thread got me to thinking: How big is everyone's garden?

The fact is, the average home garden is rather small. But we might not be a typical group. So, just to scratch my curiosity bump, how big is yours?

I have two main areas. The big patch measures 18 x 80 feet, or 1,440 square feet. Then I have a second patch that is roughly 30 x 30 divided in half. One half is an in-situ raised bed. The other is a collection of 20-gallon containers.

I also do some container growing at other parts of the property, particularly when I need to isolate something for seed purity. And the above figures do not include the herb beds.

May 9th, 2006, 01:40 PM
Mine is 1400 square foot passive raised beds with a small 8x12 foot green house and the front flower beds , that grow veggies now too. I also have 2x 24 foot enclosed bed. We call it the cold frame, but it is not heated with any thing. It ggets covered with shower doors and we raise early and late romain lettuce in it.
We are working on converting a wood shop into a plant room, for starting plants under shop lights before they are moved to the green house.

May 9th, 2006, 01:53 PM
I have a 4 X45-50 foot raised bed... then a patch that is 10 X 20 ... then another patch that is about 15 X 50 with a 15X10 foot section beside it kind of L shaped, and a 20 X 20 patch... I think that covers it.

Cliff Timmons
May 9th, 2006, 03:39 PM
We have a 100 x 100 plot. It's not solid, but in sections.

May 9th, 2006, 05:45 PM
This year, which is my first real year, it is 75x50. I'm going to put in some beds for leeks, asparagus and what not, so it will then expand to about 75x75. I am sharing space with a neighbor. I have about an acre where the garden is that I can use if I feel like it at some point.

cReAtIoN gRoAnS
May 9th, 2006, 05:50 PM
Have 3 main beds 3,500 sq ft each and about 30 or so raised beds all different sizes the smallest being 8x8 or so and the larges being 20 by 10 or so.


May 9th, 2006, 06:56 PM
Well so far, it looks like I have the smallest garden. Its roughly 750 sq ft. But I have hope, my husband bought me a Troy-Bilt tiller as an early birthday present! Yea!!!!

May 9th, 2006, 08:09 PM
Don't get upset, Lacy, but I think I've got you beat. :D Mine's 32 X40, with about 600 sqaures of actual planting space. Of course, that doesn't include the 6 apple trees, 5 currants and gooseberries, 4 flower beds, 3 grapevines, 2 espaliered pears, and a partridge in a fig tree! :eek: :D Ok, so there's no partridge, but hey, I just couldn't pass that one up! Hmmm, you think I'm maybe a bit over the top? :rolleyes:

May 9th, 2006, 08:53 PM
The veggie garden is roughly 7,200 sf. Kitchen herb garden (which also includes a small rhubarb patch, a butterfly bush, an unruly rugosa and some iris) is an irregular pie shaped 8' x 24' .
We also have a few gooseberries; blackcurrants and numerous antiquated apple, crabapple and wildapple trees around the farm.

May 9th, 2006, 10:46 PM
ok lacy and rebrick you guys are not even close. you want to talk small,i have 3 beds 1 12 long,14 inches wide 2 10 feet long ,14 inches wide 3 6 feet long ,14 inches wide. on the cement 6 earthboxes, 3 planters,10 large containers. the half wall on the back of the garages from around the corner. there are 7 flower boxes i built from plywood its about 35 feetlong all flowers. hey but iam happy :)

May 9th, 2006, 11:04 PM
I remember those days. A house, a garage, two apple trees, a few raspberry, gooseberry, currant bushes and a veggie garden, all on a 25 x 100 lot.

Sure beats growing concrete, don't it?? '-)

May 10th, 2006, 07:06 AM
Ummm...I have three raised beds ~ 8x4, 6x4, 6x6

We own 7 acres and I do have herb and flower gardens not included in this space but for now I'm just trying to keep this very procuctive and add on slowly.

I'm loving it!

May 10th, 2006, 07:29 AM
Well ya'll, I'm green with envy of everyone! I only have 2 4X12 raised beds! That's nothing compared to all of you! I sit on an acre, but a quarter of it is wooded, and out back there's a mammoth walnut tree, so can't do anything out there. I've been considering adding another bed...but haven't gotten there yet. I did move the tomatoes out this year though, leaves more room for other things in the beds. I'm a rookie at this, so I thought I should get my feet wet before I went all bonkers and got in over my head. You all are inspiring me though...I have big plans for my little bit of land, just don't have the confidence yet.

May 10th, 2006, 08:14 AM
I have a plot in the community garden, a 7x7-ish square divided into two triangles -- I get one, someone else gets the other. It seems tiny, but I can actually cram a few more tomatoes or peppers in. (Of course, this is before the squash plants take over, so it's probably a good thing I've left a few gaps.)

I also have two 15x4 beds along the side of my yard, but they're too shady to grow most vegetables in. I've planted a few Seminole pumpkins, but if they don't grow I might end up filling the beds with herbs and flowers.

May 10th, 2006, 08:37 AM
Aberration, when I lived in the city, I used tomato cages and trellises to grown melons and small squash on so that they didn't interfere with the tomatoes and peppers. Even plastic bird netting secured to the side of a house or garage will support some vines.

May 10th, 2006, 09:43 AM
Our main garden is 50 X 70. In it is our asparagus, several 4' X 4' raised beds, 2 3' X 16 ft raised beds. I plant the balance in row crops, potatoes, beans, onions, corn. Also have 3 compost bins in the garden. I have a 24' X 24' herb/salad/kitchen garden right out the back door. I harvest from it almost year around. We also have blueberries, apples, peaches and apricots. Just the other day planted hazelnuts. Have a pecan tree. Have numerous flower beds, bamboo, a rose garden, and a water garden. The last three should be in the "biggest mistake" thread.

May 10th, 2006, 10:01 AM
You guys are starting to sound like the folks who fish the mangroves around the Everglades. The game, there, is to see who can catch the _smallest_ tarpon.

But, just to put this all in perspective, the average home vegetable garden is 400 square feet or less. To put that in perspective, we're talking about a square 20 feet on a side. Or a strip ten by forty feet.

So, as I suspected, most of us on this forum are not typical backyard gardeners, as most of the "small" plots are larger than average.

I'd guess, too, that most of us are a little more knowledgeable than average when it comes to things like intensive planting, vertical growing, etc. That is to say, we know (or are intentionally learning) how to maximize productivity from the space we have.

I'd also go out on a limb and say most of us are organically oriented. Maybe we're not 100% organic, but we strive for it.

What say you all? How close to the mark am I?

cReAtIoN gRoAnS
May 10th, 2006, 10:15 AM
Hey brook!

Yeah try to stay 100% Organic. Havent used anything that isnt in a long time. Though i get tempted to when the bugs start honing in long about late summer...I just remember "I won't be able to sell my produce as chemical free if I spray..." So...I don't. Course it is kinda fun to try all those backwoods home remedies for bugs as well. So, it all works out.


May 10th, 2006, 10:30 AM
Hey Brook;I have been 100% since 1980.I am also growing in the smallest space in my life.I live in the Canals in Venice.If it were not for the Roof being flat I wound not be gardening.I do however build large "beds" with 2x4's and 2x12's 2 high.I also use Plastic wadding pools as planter beds.Have to go to Work.-

May 10th, 2006, 10:42 AM
Though i get tempted to when the bugs start honing in long about late summer...!

I hear ya on that, Creation. Sometimes Seven starts sounding like an awfully nice number. :D

Doug W.
May 10th, 2006, 12:32 PM
We have two gardens. One is about 100' X 75'. The other is about 65' X 20'(this one contains cool season crops this year, such as onions, potatoes, peas, cabbage, etc.)

May 10th, 2006, 09:37 PM
You mean I'm not the only one who treats bug spots as some kind of "Red Badge of Courage"? Yep, all organic here!

May 10th, 2006, 10:23 PM
I've turned the entirety of what was once my back lawn into an organic, permanant-bed vegetable garden. I don't know the dimensions of the space as a whole, but I know I have 900 Square feet of bed space, and I don't have many options for expanding. I'm working out ways to turn my front yard to food/compost crop production without lowering the property values of my neighbors, some of whom are hopeful immigrants who have a large financial interest in their property.

In a way, I'd love to have a small farm with plenty of room for growing veggies and fruit etc etc. On the other hand, I'm having fun putting my brain and my back to the challenge of maximizing food production on a typical "suburban" lot. It may be a skill people need someday...

By the way, I took my user name from one of my great-grandmothers who went a long way toward feeding a family of five out of her garden on a residential lot in a small town in Texas during the '30's.

May 10th, 2006, 10:40 PM
I originally set out to get Organic certification, but our property includes an easement whereby hydro can come in and service their towers that run through the back end of the property. For the most part they have managed to do things my way, but there was the major faux pas where they used some kind of herbicide to kill off brush and weeds under the towers and nothing grew there for at least 3 years.
We also had someone come in through the back gate and dump garbage and barrels of oil in a gulley at the back of the hayfield. I called the government agency that polices these situations. But it seems that without witnesses and/or documentation on paper (a letter in the trash with a name and address on it), there is no legal recourse.
If I may make a suggestion to those still dreaming of owning a farm or rural property where they can grow things organically...Stay away from setups like this one..There's no guarantee that municipalities, utility companies or your neighbours in some instances, will respect your lifestyle.

But I still try to grow as much of our own food (meat and veggies) and do it as naturally as I may.

cReAtIoN gRoAnS
May 11th, 2006, 09:38 AM

Wow...that is a bummer! Ever thought about certified chemical free??? It is a bit easier to get and still looks nice in a plaque!


May 11th, 2006, 10:27 AM
And don't forget the Certified Naturally Grown program. A good logo to have, and it cuts through the costs and buracratic ** of the organic certification program.

Unfortunately, none of this will help Wen so long as strangers keep dumping chemicals on her land.

May 11th, 2006, 12:12 PM
I expanded this year to a little over 2000 square feet, 12 30 foot rows, and a huge 60 foot double row of corn along the back fence. I live in a residential area, so it is basically my entire back yard. Mostly heirloom tomatoes, I sell to a few local restaurants. Can't make a living doing it, but a few hundred bucks a year helps the garden pay for itself, plus I always have a ton to give away.

Not much room to expand beyond that, but as I always say, "the more you grow, the less grass to mow..."

May 11th, 2006, 12:53 PM
Isolation garden is 65x65, back garden is 70x70, test garden 9x14, plus a few 4x8 raised beds. I also have planted many trees: apple, pear, asian pear, cherry, apricot, peach, mulberry, and chestnut as well as bushes with edible berries: elderberry, highbush cranberry, nanking cherry, chokeberry, currant, blueberry, and raspberry. Never underestimate the value of edible landscaping. The test garden is my experiment to see how much I can produce from a well maintained 100 square foot garden (or 126 sq ft) planted in intensive blocks rather than rows. I am completely organic with the single exception being spraying the wasps that perpetually inhabit the shutters on the house. My chickens are great little bug killers. If backyard flocks survive the bird flu scare and NAIS I strongly urge everyone to get a few birds. They are very affectionate (including my fourteen+ pound cock Vinnie) and easy to raise. They also are great little garbage disposals turning kitchen scraps into garden compost.

May 22nd, 2006, 01:17 AM
Hi, my garden is appx. 4300+sq/f. Odd porkchop shape. I spent some time & made a scale map of it. most of the 3ft wide double dug beds are in & planted albeit a little late. Perhaps a little less than 1/4 left to double dig. Have about 13 beds so far appox. 20 & 35 ft long. I'm trying to grow some veggies to sell & for us also. It is an experiment. We have room to expand if things go all right this summer. We want to be all 'organic' asap but bugs have overpopulated here lately & must cut them down a bit in order to get things going. I get all the free stable 'bedding' I need & have put around 20 tons or more in here since last fall. I used 5 ton just to mulch the beds past 2 weeks. Fascinating.

May 22nd, 2006, 08:08 AM
My little plot is about 1000 square feet. I have two 40 foot rows of potatoes: including some peruvian purple fingerlings that I am very excited about. I have 17 tomato plants growing in raised beds: I plant 3 or 4 plants around a tomato cage in the center and fill the cage with veggie scraps, straw, and worm compost. I have 3 squash hills (have already had fried squash from the garden two nights this week!!) I have a smallish three sisters garden planted with Oaxacan green dent (First time growing this -- I have had a "crush" on this corn since the first time I saw a picture of it), Thai red seeded long beans, New England Sugar pie, and butternut squash. I have a 4X8 bed of various peppers, hot and sweet (I don't yet save seed) Tucked into various nooks and crannies, I have some okra (but not enough!) charentais and Jenny Lind melons, lemon cukes, huazontle, basil, dill, sage, thyme, a rather majestic rosemary bush, and green and purple zinnias, bachelors buttons, tithonia, marigolds, strawflowers. I have fire ants in my beet bed -- the ants and I are still negotiating about that space -- Its a bit weedy and hasn't been thinned as it should -- mainly I've been running over, snatching some greens and adding them to my dinner.

I strive for organic, but I do struggle with evil thoughts. I have a smallish worm farm in a corner of my kitchen -- I am a big believer in the power of worms, their castings, and especially, their tea! If anyone saw the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and remembers the father who sprayed Windex on everything from sprained ankles to pimples...my husband compares me to him with my spray bottle of diluted worm tea in the garden. I'm perfecting a recipe for garden tea that includes eggshell tea, mint oil, cayenne pepper, worm tea, and a wee bit of soap.

Wow, no more coffee for me this morning!

May 26th, 2006, 02:44 PM
this year we went all out our property is 200 x 400 more or less so we tilled flower beds on all four sides except the drive way we have a garden plot 25x 77 and a cool crop garden approsimately 10 x 15 it will be strawberry garden next year. hpe to plant blueberries along the back next year and raspberries too. have been harvesting my brocolli. I used floating row cover in a hoop type garden over the brocolli cauliflower and cabbage so i would not have to fight the worms and it worked marvelous. put a left over piece over the lettuce that was struggling and the plants came up and doubled in size in ten days worth its weight in dirt.

May 27th, 2006, 09:01 AM
That is interesting, onmyknees, I will have to find out about floating row cover.

We have one circle garden about 25' diameter, covered with homemade PVC dome about 8' high at its highest point, with 3' fencing all around it to keep out chickens; that's where I'm mostly learning to grow vegetables; and another plot on the south side of the carport, only about 10' x 5', and two old garden areas about 250 feet from the house (the deer attack out there, so I've just about abandoned them) both about 10' x 15', I just planted some melons and watermelons and stuff out there hoping something will grow ... and along the fence out there this spring I transplanted some of our thornless blackberries ... might as well just turn it into another blackberry patch; the thornless blackberries are one of the best producing things I've got around here so far. And that's where my one and only rhubarb is, too. And we have various fruit trees planted, some nice and orderly in an "orchard" and others kind of spread around wherever I thought would be a healthy microclimate for them.

Best regards,

Helen Wong-Joe
August 27th, 2006, 12:56 AM
Our garden is kinda small, but we are able to plant what we want to plant for that year. We plant veggies here and there because we have fruit trees and roses around our garden. We also plant veggies in black containers and a 18" x 5' garden box.

August 27th, 2006, 09:43 AM
Too big for an army! ;O) Can't get my DH to cut back...it's about keeping him busy, I guess. One garden is about 45x60...another 50x50...these are the till-and-plant-every year plots. Permanent plantings include a 23 year old asparagus (90+plants) patch, apple (4), pear (3), apricot (1), and cherry (2), rhubarb, elderberries, blueberries, herb garden, and a 12x12 greenhouse for growing winter salad makin's. He grows another large garden sized plot of alfalfa for mulch which gets tilled in at the end of the season. Grows at least two crops of buckwheat for green manure. We rotate the small fall plantings so that all areas get the green manure treatment. Corn has buckwheat growing in it from lay-by to cutting down stalks time. That is tilled in lightly and a new crop comes up from the seeds the crop had already made. I think you get the idea... plus bees and hair sheep......

It's getting harder to find free soil ammendments. Used to have neighbors that had a commercial rabbitry....as many truck loads as we wanted just for scooping it out. Had a handle factory where we could get all the lathe turnings we could use for mulch (shovel your own)....now they sell it to people who stain it red, green, or whatever. Used to be able to get wood chips from the County road crews and the electric company when they cleared/cleaned roadways or power right of ways. Most of them are now blowing it back into the forest.

Actually, he has slowed down a bit...no longer have blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, and boysenberries. Peaches and plums died of old age/borers and have not been replaced. We have every kind of pick-your-own you can imagine in our area, so we could let go a bit. Sigh!

August 28th, 2006, 06:09 AM
I have a little over a thousand square feet of raised beds, but I'm adding a border around the garden which will be four hundred square feet at least (haven't put a pencil to it.) The border is just one rototiller wide, and I will plant habitat for beneficial insects and just plain pretty things there, as well as overflow of vegetables.

Ozark Matt
October 7th, 2006, 05:49 PM
about 14.400 in older garden, berries and vegetables and about 12,500 in new garden. old garden is no till. new one will be there in about another year maybe two.We use a three year pattern to get them to right stage. Grow sustainably with only what we can find on our land to add to it. Only exception to this is some old hay we found and used for mulch. Have used some lane clearing mulch from utility cmpany clearing lines if it has not been sprayed. mostly use worms and leaf mulch. Fed a few cows out of garden waste last year as we had a horrible drought. Gave us some great organic beef. I think we might try a few goats next.

December 21st, 2006, 10:12 PM
Here is a clearer picture of my garden layout so I can describe size better.


Top is North, Left is West.

The six main N-S running beds are 4'x21'=84 square feet each (total of 504 square feet.)

The four main E-W beds are 88' each, totaling 352'.

The four odd-shaped beds around the circle total 64'.

The narrow planting strip around the circle (which is actually a pond, 8 feet across) is about 30'.

The border is two feet wide, and alittle over half way finished. It totals 420 square feet.

Total = 1,370 square feet.

The rest of the space is walkways. This is all veggie/herb/flower space. There are brambles, fruit and nut trees, etc. elsewhere on the property.

The boxes in the four corners are compost bins...

December 21st, 2006, 11:29 PM
PS. Just so you know, I tried to fix the size (going back and forth between an edit screen here, photoshop, and photobucket) for an hour and a half. Finally my computer freaked out and I had to shut-down... I'm tired of it for now...

December 21st, 2006, 11:37 PM
Very cool layout, Johno.

Do you have grass growing in the walkways, covered in mulch or a cover crop like white clover?

Would love to see some pics....

December 21st, 2006, 11:49 PM
I tried grass, thinking it would be cool to mow and blow grass clipping right onto the beds. My incessant pacing killed it down the middle of the paths, and the mower couldn't quite get the edges. So I ended up with no grass where I wanted it and weedy grass where I didn't.

Clover withstood traffic a little better. Otherwise pretty much the same deal.

I mulch now, and have had acceptable, but diminishing levels of weeds. This year I'm concentrating on laying cardboard from appliance boxes (and window and door boxes, and any others I can get) down to smother weeds completely. Then I'll cover them with woodchips.

Not much to see right now... Maybe if you have a bunch of spare time you could look through the Garden Pictures thread. I have a lot of pics from last summer there. I'll take pics of new developments as they come up.

Thanks for the compliment. It started with two of the N-S running beds, probably the two where the pool is now. The design kind of made itself a couple of beds at a time.

December 21st, 2006, 11:56 PM
Hi Johno, I have already prerused the entire Garden Pictures thread. Never realized from your pics the slick layout and design of your garden. That's what I was hinting at being able to see in pics. Bet it looks awesome when everything is growing full-on during the summer.

Hey, maybe this summer you can stand on the roof of your house and get an aerial shot! Great idea, no?

December 22nd, 2006, 12:01 AM
Actually, maybe I could climb a tree or something. The angle from the rooftop is too long, I think. I built a 9 pole teepee over the pool in the middle a couple of weeks ago to keep my glodfish a little warmer, maybe I could get about 1/4 of it at a time from the top of that? I'll see what I can come up with...

Vikki In WA State
December 22nd, 2006, 12:26 AM
I am ashamed of myself, I have been calling myself a gardener. I don't hold a candle to you guys. But, now when I dig up the entire back lot for a garden I will have someone to blame it on. Right? :)
Since I don't have a rototiller I only plant a spot as big as I feel like digging.
I have one 20'by20' spot that I dug several years ago, before I learned how to do it without a lot of digging. I covered another spot last fall and I am hoping it will be soft enough to plant in this spring with just a little loosening with a garden fork.
I would like to grow a large variety of potatoes, but I might do that up around the house in the flower beds. Maybe I could plant them in hills without a lot of digging. Well, it will give me something to think about while it is still raining. Al I know is I hate to mow, this place always needs mowed. It wouldn't hurt my feelings if it were all garden...:D

December 22nd, 2006, 12:49 PM
Actually, maybe I could climb a tree or something. The angle from the rooftop is too long, I think. I built a 9 pole teepee over the pool in the middle a couple of weeks ago to keep my glodfish a little warmer, maybe I could get about 1/4 of it at a time from the top of that? I'll see what I can come up with...Um, this "photo shoot" isn't going to wind up with another knee injury that you won't want to explain on the forums, will it? :eek::eek:

December 22nd, 2006, 04:46 PM

How much trouble would I be in if I stole your layout? It's great. I'll even put up a sign, giving you credit.

December 22nd, 2006, 05:03 PM
So far the main veggie garden is 22 x 40 and very much a work in progress.
Compost, compost and more compost to add to this sandy soil.
Must be some fertility there because it sure grew the grass this past summer!

We have almost 7 acres here (the back two are wooded). Due to my physical limitations, the main garden is probably as big as it will get. I would like to put in several more smaller beds dedicated to cantaloupes, melon, squash, gourds, etc.

I am also going to have a patch to plant peanuts, come **** or high water!:D

We are also doing some planting of fruit trees, shrubs, etc. Have already placed three blueberry bushes - would like to have three or four more.

The wife has also tilled several flower/herb beds with intentions of digging more... The less grass we have to mow, the better!!!!

December 27th, 2006, 04:28 PM
Hi Johno, I have already prerused the entire Garden Pictures thread. Never realized from your pics the slick layout and design of your garden. That's what I was hinting at being able to see in pics. Bet it looks awesome when everything is growing full-on during the summer.

Hey, maybe this summer you can stand on the roof of your house and get an aerial shot! Great idea, no?

Well, it's not summer and I just stood on a ladder, but this might help give you an idea how the layout looks...


I was standing behind the northwest corner, facing southeast. If you look close, you can see the two westerly compost bins. Yeah, kinda' junky and few plants to look at right now...

December 27th, 2006, 05:01 PM
Thanks for the pic, Johno. Yes, it looks a little junky right now (who's garden doesn't in the winter ...), but, I'm sure it's an awesome place in the summer.

BTW, is that a garlic bed I see mulched in the lower left-hand corner?

December 27th, 2006, 05:31 PM
Yep, garlic.