How Large Should a Beginner Garden Be?

If you are new to growing your own, you might be contemplating creating a sustainable food producing garden for the first time this year.

Many people feel a little overwhelmed when they start to consider creating a garden to grow their own for the first time. But it is important to recognise that gardens come in many shapes and sizes. One of the important early decisions to make is how large that garden should be. But how can you decide how large a beginner garden should be?

A beginner garden can be as large or small as you want it to be. You can jump right in at the deep end, or you can start with a single plant in a pot. To decide how large to go, think about your site and resources, how much time and skill you have, and your own preferences and personality. 

Ask yourself:

  • How much space is available? (You may be restricted on space, but a garden can be as small as a few pots on a sunny windowsill… when it comes to growing your own, every little helps.)
  • Consider where you are growing. Creating a small outside garden in an ideal location will be much easier than starting one in a less than ideal location. (Think about climate and microclimate, soil, water and resource availability, for example.)
  • Which method or methods would you like to employ? (Even a small beginner forest garden will be much smaller than a typical container garden, for example. Are you growing annuals in raised beds, or in the ground? Or even opting for a hydroponic or aquaponic system? The type of garden you choose to create will play a role in determining how large or small your garden should be.)
  • How much time do you have to tend a garden? (Remember, certain methods will require less ongoing maintenance, but size will often be a factor in determining what is manageable for a beginner.)
  • How much do you already know? (The greater your gardening knowledge and the more skills you already have, the more you will likely be able to take on right away.)
  • What is your personality type? (Are you a risk taker? Then go for it! Be ambitious when creating your beginner garden. Set out a full kitchen garden design to meet your household needs and begin to build it a step at a time. Risk averse and wary? Take things slow. Accept your personality and go for a trial run. Start with a container or two, a small raised bed, or a fruit tree and guild planting. )

Every individual is different, and every beginner garden is different too. If you would like some help to work out how to start a garden this year, please do get in touch.

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