11 Tips for a Tiny Garden & Where to Start - PVP23

Show Notes

I know, I know everything needs to get it done today. But, let's address some of the overwhelm or frustration before things get out of hand. 

People head down the homesteading path and soon have an endless list of projects. Endless need for more equipment, supplies, skills, and so forth.

But, taking a step back can avert agony down the road. 

edible passion fruit can be a wonderful climbing plant to add to the garden. terrific evergreen foliage, beautiful flowers, and amazing edible fruit.

I have three rules for new projects, tasks, and skills:

  1. Simple
  2. Small
  3. Specialize

When evaluating whether a project should move forward or if a new skill needs to be learned--use measuring sticks such as:

  1. Money
  2. Time
  3. Reward

The key is to stop before plunging in--stop before you break the bank or your back! 

Tips for a Tiny Garden

Arvin and Christine recently purchased a home with a small garden area. They are excited to get started and sent us a picture to check out. Here are some tips for that inherited garden.

  • Stop and consider what you envision for your garden area! Start simple, small, and specialized.
  • Pressure treated wood. I've seen pressure treated wood quite a bit in the San Diego area. Treated wood is best left at the lumber yard. Replace with wood that hasn't been treated or simply allow the soil to slope.
  • Soaker hoses. Soaker hoses are inexpensive compared to a well designed, completely set-up micro irrigation system. Sometimes soaker hoses are confusing to consumers because they might seem just like micro-emitters. Alas, they are not. Soaker hoses are not an efficient way to water a garden. Replace the soaker hose(s) with a micro irrigation system (aka drip irrigation). Install the system with a  back-flow preventer, pressure regulator, and filter.  And finally be sure to size the system appropriately for the area and plants that you want to water.
  • Super wide garden bed. Garden beds that are more than 3'-4' wide are difficult to manage. Add a narrow path or a keyhole to allow the garden area to be easily tended.
  • Trellis. There are a couple of existing small trellises. But, if you are serious about climbing plants or training crawling plants on a trellis or other vertical framework install something more robust.
  • Compost. A compost bin can be a neat and tidy way to transform garden cuttings and kitchen scraps into a soil amendment.
  • Soil. Amend the soil with a quality compost.
  • Mulch. Get some mulch down! 
  • Seeds. Try not to head to the nursery and get a bunch of plants. As we head into the cooler part of the year, kale, spinach, lettuces, and other greens are super easy to start from seed and are way more economical than buying pony packs.
  • Fruit trees. Thinking of a fruit tree or two? Bareroot season is right around the corner. Start reading and considering trees that you would like to add to the garden. For example: the Anna apple is a small apple tree that just delivers great fruit year after year without growing more than 6' tall! It's a terrific low chill apple. 
  • Edible perennials. Perennials in the garden can help a garden seem less overwhelming while providing great things to eat. Listen to Episode 15 to learn more about some of my favorite edible perennials. 



  • Special thanks to Dale, Nia, and Steph for all the love and support! 
  • Raleigh, the guy I love to hate when it comes to all things internet.
  • Aaron Glasson, Permaculture Velocity logo
  • Music: Tell Somebody by Alex Beroza featuring AdmiralBob, digccmixter, licensed under Creative Commons 3.0
  • And to all those podcasters out there sharing good information on podcasting for those of us just getting going with this podcast thing! Thank you!