Gosh it was so hard to sort out my crop rotation – I nearly worked up a sweat! Actually no – it was so simple. A couple of years ago I came up with a three pronged crop rotation system that gets all the crops to be moved along, while gaining or creating value for the plants before and after it. I think I have got it as close to right as possible, because crop rotation is quite a confusing thing to get your head around.
Once I figured it out, I set it up so I would never have to do the thinking part again! Phew. The garden is made up of a row of 2m x 2m beds: herbs (permanent bed), leafy greens, cukes and melons, potatoes, rhubarb and artichokes (permanent bed) and corn. Then there are four long 1m x 5m beds in the middle with tomatoes, onions, peas and zukes and squash. Then the back row is 2m x 2m beds with brassicas, salad, carrots, peppers, beans and odds and sods.
So each of the three groups have little signs in them to say what the crop is and all I need to do is take each sign and move it along one in a clockwise direction. No thinking required. Crops will never be in the same bed for four, five and six years. The legumes nourish the ground before hungry plants, onions clean up after tomatoes, carrots and spuds make the ground loose, the solanaceae crops – tomatoes, potatoes and peppers are in difference cycles and there was other logical reasons that went into the plan but to be honest I can’t remember what they were – but it works and I don’t need to think and my crops are rotated easily in five minutes.
I had a bit of a dilemma as there are still winter crops in the garden and then new spring crops have been planted or the beds are prepared and so I wasn’t sure when to move my signs, because either way a lot of them would be wrong. So I dithered and dallied and the greenhouse begun to fill up with loads of healthy seedlings that will be able to go out into the garden in a month. Then the calendar offered me the perfect opportunity to start a seasonal tradition that will take more thinking out of my crop rotation. Tonight the clocks go forward for the start of daylight savings – so what better time to start a new season with a new season.
This is a strange time of year in the garden as while there is still some digging still to be done, and Hubby the Un-Gardener is on to that, most of the seeds have been sown and so it is all strangely quiet, just a bit of watering and a bit of weeding, but nothing too much. It is almost like the calm before the storm – just waiting.
Talking about storms – we had another one a couple of days after the last one and it blew down a tree. I’m not sure if I should be upset that we have a hole in our hedge of sorts or be stoked that we actually had a tree big enough to blow down in a storm. When we moved here there was nothing that could be called a tree. A few shrubs, but nothing full grown. But the tree landed across a drain and resting on next doors electric fence so it had to be moved quite quickly or the cows would escape into our place and wreak havoc. So I gave the kids a saw each and told them if they want pocket money for the school holidays then they have to move the tree. To be honest they did do it but with a little help from Hubby the Un-Gardener who invariably got a zap from the electric fence!
This September weather is so floody and blowy and it makes gardening hard, but it hasn’t got long to go, let’s hope October is friendlier!
Come again soon – spring is such a great time – I’ll do a tour of the greenhouse for you to see what I have growing.
Sarah the Gardener : o )