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I have a 10 x 12 greenhouse and I was wondering if anyone has any experience in this type of gardening to offset some cost of buying foods. It's just me and my husband, however our children do come in from time to time. I'd love to be able to grow for sustainability, but the issue is that this is the only space that I have. Am I over reaching? Should I dial back? Or can this be done?
 

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Where are you located?

A green house in Texas would be 200 degrees inside now.
 

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I'm in North Carolina, and at the moment I am able to keep the doors and widows open during the hottest parts of the day. My issues are being able to grow enough and different types to can for later and use for now.
 

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Not in that small of a space. Enough for the table, yes.

Vegetable plants take up space. I would recommend a copy of Square Foot Gardening. That will give you specifics on spant spacing and help your planning.
 
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That's what I was worried about... Unfortunately that is all I have to work with. Thanks for the reading recommendation.
Do u have a yard? A greenhouse is for winter use. You can grow 3 times as much in the yard in the same space..
 

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Begin with a compost pile today for outside gardening. You can garden in pots too.
 
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Just for reference:

I keep roughly 3k sq ft (82ft x 36ft) of traditional garden space and an additional 700 sq ft or so of raised beds. I am not even close to "sustainability". If I doubled it I might get there (I pack things in tight). We basically have enough for the table in season and a little to can/store/put up for winter months but it's not enough. We are a family of 5. We also have 3 apple, 2 pear, and 2 peach trees, 20 or so mature asparagus plants, 5 blueberry bushes, and a nice patch of brambles.....still not even close. Oh, all the flower gardens around the base of the house were converted to herb gardens over the past 4 years also....still not enough or close.

Start small (like your greenhouse), call it a "hobby" and see what you can do from there. Your greenhouse is small but it's a start. Most that get into gardening for self sustainment would buy a greenhouse the size of yours just to start seeds, over-winter a few plants, and grow some greens in the winter months.

When my wife was a kid her family (4) kept right at 1 acre in traditional garden space and they were pretty much sustainable. It was also a lot of work. They pretty much worked in the garden every day from spring until fall. 1 acre is 43,560 sq ft. your greenhouse is 120 sq ft.

Good luck, get started, and enjoy it as a hobby to see if you like it. After that start tearing up any yard you have and expand.
 

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I'll offer a possible different option. Not sure what is limiting your outside growing space, so this may or may not be helpful.
This year I put 3 straw bales outside our front door on the edge of the patio and my winter squash are growing like crazy - in the straw bales, not planted in soil, just running over an area that an old deck used to sit on.
In the garden, we hooped cattle panels and again, planted in straw bales (not in the soil) my vining zucchini is keeping everyone I know buried in zucchini. In the past I've been very successful growing strawberries, bush beans and potatoes (separately) in straw bales as well. So, I'm just saying if you don't have good ground to make a garden outside, possibly you could expand your growing space using straw bales and grow vertically?
 

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To be able to give you good advice that applies to your situation, we need more information.
Do you have any space, say that is now in flowers that could be converted? Do you have a porch/deck or other area that could hold several large pots (say 12 inches)? Any space for raised beds? Even a south facing window can grow some greens.
Succession planting, is a good way to get more from your crops. Fast growing things like greens and beans, for instance, can give space after harvest to plant another crop. Or if green beans, for instance, is a favorite and used often, plant another row every couple of weeks, so you have a continuous crop. Selection of varieties for this depends on the "days to harvest" which is usually on every seed packet or if mail order, in the catalog. If growing something like broccoli, choose a variety that grows side shoots after the main head, and give a bit of fertilizer after each side shoot harvest to spur it on. In downstate NYS I could get a bunch of side shoots every week or so. Certain varieties do well in fall, so read the variety descriptions carefully when you are choosing what to grow and when. Things that take up a lot of space, mainly the vining crops (squashes, cukes, pole beans/peas) only need enough space to plant in and give the roots some space, but the vines can travel over areas that aren't "garden-able" or can grow up a fence or trellis. Use flower boxes for greens, biggish pots for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and tubs for potatoes.
Mainly it depends on what you and hubby like to eat, and then growing to satisfy those items. You can't grow everything, just pick the things you like, that don't require loads of room, and that produce well...and you will be on your way, BUT you need more space than your greenhouse offers, so hopefully you can find other areas to use. Rarely can anyone be self-sustaining, because some things, like wheat, oats, corn and other food items take up a lot of space and the grains require special processing to make the effort worthwhile.
A final idea, maybe you could use some space on a neighbor's property, especially if you offered to share the bounty with them or if they have large gardens, maybe offer to help them with the garden for a share of the harvest.
Good luck with your endeavor.
 

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Grow what you eat and learn to conserve space. You can grow a lot of herbs and vegetables in that size space, but you're not going to do much in fruit trees or winter wheat.

Jeff
 
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