The year’s work and produce in the Borderland Garden 2014

I am pleased with the results from the Borderland Garden for last year.  Before I began to add up my figures I anticipated more time spent and less produce than there was.  In a perennial vegetable garden the harvests tend to come in relatively small amounts over the whole year and this year I harvested 22 kg.  For this harvest I worked for 59.5 hours.

This was the second year of gardening here.  The main perennial vegetable polyculture was re-located to make way for an extension to the house.  This accounted for about twenty hours of time and planting six fruit trees accounted for another six or so hours as the groyund is solid clay with embedded rocks.  There was no digging involved in the preparation of the polyclutre bed as this was “constructed” entirely above the existing ground level as detailed in my post of 2nd March.

The new bed gave an expanded growing area and the opportunity to add more plants.  The majority of these were transplanted from the Telford garden which (as regular readers will know) was sold (with its’ adjoining house) in November.  Hence a relatively large amount of time spent planting out and very little sowing seeds.  I will post the results for the Telford garden in due course, at present I can’t find the notes in the remaining post move muddle!

The tables below summarise the harvests and hours spent working in the garden.

Produce from Borderland Garden 2014
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Total %
Onions 156 378 61 595 3
Cooking greens 100 1841 610 52 2603 12
Salad leaves 7 379 0 115 494 2
Roots 3310 132 246 416 4104 19
Pods / fruiting veg 0 43 13084 768 13895 63
Fruit 0 0 0 151 151 0.5
Other 7 154 161 0.5
Total (g) 3573 2927 14001 1502 22003  
Total (kg) 3.573 2.927 14.001 1.502 22.003  
Produce 2013
Total (g) 1695 4015 5813  
Total (kg)     1.695 4.015 5.813  


Time spent in Borderland Garden 2014
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Total %
Sowing seed / taking cuttings 0 2.25 3 0 5.25 9
Planting out 10.75 3.25 5 0.5 19.5 32
Management / maintenance 0.75 4.5 0 5.25 9
Preparation of new areas 27 0.5 0 2 29.5 50
Other tasks 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 2014 38.5 6 12.5 2.5 59.5 100
Total 2013 2.25 54.25 17.75 3.75 78 100

The principles that I adhere to in this garden are as detailed in my book Edible Perennial Gardening – minimum time and effort, letting nature do as much of the work as possible, building fertility by adding biomass of all kinds as a mulch on the soil surface.

There is a long way to go before it is anything like as alive and fertile as the other garden became over the years, but I am very happy with progress so far.  Having a rich clay soil is of course a help in respect of fertility.  I noted that some of the small branches and twigs embedded in the polyculture bed have begun to break down as I could see the white mycelia coming from them.  But in other places, such as along the carrot and fennel “hedge” / edge plant material that I cut and lay down on the soil has been there without breaking down for months.  Clearly it will take time for the decomposer organisms to establish across the garden.

Here are some reminders of how the garden developed between March and September:

photo (14)

Newly constructed polyculture bed in March


…. and in Jun

DSCN6554 polypatch 1


DSCN6692 bursting with lifeand September!

In my notes from last year – along with the details of plantings and times – I wrote:

“Take time, no hurry, nature is bountiful.  Rush and you miss opportunities, rush and you miss possibilities, rush and you  miss the point of it all.  Go slow.”

About Anni Kelsey

I love forest gardens and forest gardening, nature, reading and everything good about being alive. I have written two books - the garden of equal delights (2020) - about the principles and practice of forest gardening; and Edible Perennial Gardening (2014) - about growing perennial vegetables in polycultures, which is basically forest gardening concentrating on the lower layers.
This entry was posted in Borderland Garden, Edible Perennial Gardening, Forest Gardening, Perennial Vegetables, Permaculture, Polycultures. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The year’s work and produce in the Borderland Garden 2014

  1. mortaltree says:

    I notice a lot more height in the planting compared to your past gardens. Between the willow wattle and the overall cold and texture, this looks like a very fine cottage garden –but it makes food!
    Very excited to see how the work drastically decreases after these initial bed and tree plantings.


  2. Andy says:

    I do like to see comparative photos. I think you can appreciate all the hard work so much better and it spurs me on for the next year knowing that although it can look drab in the winter within months it’ll be totally different 🙂

    That bed looks wonderful!


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