From our garden to the dining table (Introduction to home gardening)

Basic concepts of Home gardens are going far away for a thousand years. The home garden consists of annual, biennial and perennial crops. Sometimes they may consist of livestock production, Beekeeping, and Biogas production too. Home gardens have plants with different canopy layers and mostly lower layers are daily used. Mixed garden, Compound farm, Household home garden, Kitchen garden are some of the synonym names for the home garden.

Garden is the surrounding environment that we are live in. Garden converts to the home garden with the positive changes we have done to the garden is a sustainable manner. The home garden covers the production of vegetables for family use.

Family enjoing in the home garden

"It is an important but inexperienced way of providing a continuous supply of fresh vegetables for the family table. Yields from the home garden contribute to the family nutrition and may even provide additional income."

Soriano and Villareal, 1969

The following are the important characteristics of a home garden.

  • Situated near the residence.
  • Consist of a high diversity of plants.
  • Production is supplementary rather than the main source of family consumption and income.
  • Sustainable way of production.
  • A production system that the poor can easily enter at virtually no economic resources, using locally available planting materials, natural manures and indigenous methods of pest control.


General practices

Species density High
Species type Staples, vegetables, fruits, medicinal plants Production objective Staples, vegetables, fruits, medicinal plants Production objective
Labour source Family
Labor requirement Part time
Harvest frequency Daily
Technology Simple hand tools
Cost Low

Before starting doing home garden following facts should be consider.

  • Available land area (Whether there is a small land area or some extent can be used).
  • Cost (Initial cost should be very low and allocating cost should identify).
  • Sun Light (The sunlight directions of garden).
  • Water availability (Water resources – Well or Tap line).
  • Soil conditions (Whether the soil is sandy, loamy, etc).
  • Time (Time you can allocate for the activities in the garden per day or per week)
  • Number of family members
  • Environment (Rural or Urban)
  • Climate (Rainy, Dry or intermediate climate)

The basic structures of the home garden varied from place to place depends on the ecological factors, cultural factors and socio-economic factors. So, there are no direct instructions which should be given to make a home garden.

But it is important to think about some factors while doing a home garden. We have to use the whole resources in the garden in a sustainable manner.

Most of gardens consist a single crop layer. So the optimize usage of sunlight and space isn’t happening.

Also the crop diversity in gardens in very important. Crops should place in suitable places in the garden and should consider to maintain the correct gap between the crops.

Existent situation of the garden also very important and agricultural potential should be analyzed. You can draw a simple map for further developments you need.

So if you are willing to make your garden to a sustainable home garden you have to consider above all mentioned facts too.

Written by: Isuri Gunarathne View Isuri Gunarathna's profile on LinkedIn