Obviously there is two ways to start your little piece of farming in the city. You can either plan it out metre by metre in the safety of your home or simply go out into the wide yonder of your lawn, with shovel in hand (or a crowbar if your soil is really bad) and dig.
Either way I imagine you are looking for the same result FOOD.
In the earlier years I just put in a small garden behind the shed as it was out of the way. It received way too much shade, but it produced enough that I did not have to buy brocoli or peas for the whole of the season.
It was enough for us. No real planning and I just planted a few vegies each season and if I harvested one good crop, I was pleased.
As I have bigger plans for the ‘yard/ farm’ now, I have a paper plan I created on the computer with excel, it contains rough measurements and is consulted before any construction occurs. I have used the Permaculture principle of zones but ours fall more into the following ‘city’ zones:
- children play areas
- entertainment area
- herbs and often picked vegetables
- vegetable gardens
- car area/ building/ car part storage areas
I have found by having it all on paper I have been able to identify ‘dead’ zones and that by moving the shed we really opened up the yard. With my plan I have been able to fit in more gardens and mark out areas to be constucted later.
Wheather you plan your garden out formally on the computer or just simply scratched out on a sheet of paper, planning does make it easier.
Just keep in mind the biggest thing I have discovered ‘It looks easier on paper than in real life.’