11. The Count So Far

Garden Yields – 7-Oct 2008 to 30-Jun 2009

Ten months into this permaculture garden project, and we’ve cracked the 100Kg yield mark. The garden is producing 10Kg of food each month on average from its 686 sq. feet (64 sq. metres) of garden beds, most of this being annuals, as the majority of fruit trees are far too young still. This average should increase next year!

The projected yield for this year should be just over 137kg, so we’ll see how close to this figure we get.

Here is a table showing the total yields for each month:

No of Days 269
Yield (g) 101,648


Month Yield (grams)
Jan 22,203
Feb 10,860
Mar 11,018
Apr 3,748
May 15,566
Jun 11,251
Oct 11,252
Nov 6,149
Dec 9,556
Monthly Average 10,160
Annual Forecast 137,984


I’ve included this graph to visually represent the yield for each month, the bars in the graph are colour-coded by season:

Dec-Feb (yellow-Summer)
Mar-May (orange-Autumn)
Jun-Aug (brown-Winter)
Sep-Nov (green-Spring)

June 2009 Yields

The yields are fairly consistent, some failures on my behalf with succession planting (a system of planting in succession, where new plants immediately replace ones removed, this necessitates having plants ready to put in when other ones yield their harvest and die back) possibly account for the April and November drops. The very high January peak is due to my first big potato harvest for the year, it sent the figures upwards!

I expect that in the next year, as the young fruit trees mature, that the average yields for each month will be raised significantly. Also, this has been a year of experimentation to see what grows and what doesn’t, so there will be necessary revisions to ensure that I don’t spend time, effort and garden space growing plants that don’t do so well in the cold Melbourne climate.

If you’re wondering exactly what has come out of the garden to date, here is the breakdown by variety. Please note, there were some losses – which were not included, but can be accounted for, like most of my fig, cherry and mulberry harvest being consumed by family members before I had a chance to weigh them. Then again, leaving fresh fruit in a bowl on the kitchen table is kind of tempting for anyone passing by, and not such a good idea…

Variety Yield (g)
apples (pink lady) 211
apricots 7,360
babaco 7,557
bitter melon 214
blackcurrants 4
blueberry 20
broad beans 8,925
carrot 3,760
celery 963
chilli 131
climbing beans 3,426
cucumber 998
figs 407
garlic 56
globe artichokes 1,372
grapes (sultana) 3,306
kangkong (water spinach) 249
lettuce 2326
mandarine 16,380
mulberry 168
nectarine 594
peaches 189
pepino 1,578
pomegranate 2,526
potato (desiree) 6,297
potato (kestrel) 1,388
potato (kipfler) 7,834
potato (red rascal) 934
potato (russet burbank) 5,925
radish 173
raspberry 709
raspberry (large) 141
snow pea 901
strawberry 1,414
sweet corn 539
tomato 9,864
zucchini 2,809
Grand Total 101,648


There’s plenty more to come still, with about 60 days to go. I’ve decided to utilise a whole 400 litre compost bin, full of compost, as a space to grow more potatoes. They’re on their way, sprouting, and they should produce quite nicely, sitting in a pile of plant food!

I’m slowly working out ways of utilising every spare bit of space to grow things in, so, while this is work in progress, once it’s all optimised with the most appropriate plant species in the right locations, it will be producing as well as it can. It will be interesting to compare the difference in the harvest the same time next year.

There are thoughts of turning the water garden into an aquaponic system, where the water is pumped through gravel beds growing lettuce. This will take a bit of time to set up right, but it’s on the cards. Stay tuned!

Next Page – 12. Out Of The Cold


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