Change of plans… again

But that is the beauty of the garden – it is completely forgiving.  Plans can be made, but nothing is set in concrete – except the things actually set in concrete like fence posts!  Over the last year I have spent ages pouring over my plans, making adjustments, then working on the crop rotation and then hoping to never have to plan again.  It can be a logistical nightmare and I get myself in a muddle and come to a great sense of relief once I can put the pen down and know my plans are sound.

Carrot seedlings

The new carrots are settling in, in the old potato bed

Except that isn’t always the case.  My garlic should be in this month and I’m running out of month.  But I have wrestled with their new location.  They are supposed to follow the carrots, parsnips, beetroot and fennel for reasons I have long forgotten.  The carrots follow the potatoes as it makes sense to have the nicely dug over soil, required to ensure every last spud is removed, to grow the carrots who like it nice and fluffy without lumps and bumps.  That is a logical reasoning.  And as there are no spuds currently being grown – well not in the beds – I picked up a bag of seed potatoes at the garden centre just because they were there and will grow them in pots over the winter…  The old spud bed is now nurturing juvenile carrot seedlings that reflect the more mature ones still lingering in the bed beside it, out staying their welcome as the garlic are ready to set up home in a spot not ready for them.

Parsnips

I can’t sacrifice my parsnips for the garlic when I haven’t even made a dent in the row? Parsnips you can stay. Garlic find somewhere else!

So I cast my eye over the row – what else could be done?  The bean bed beside the spuds on the other side still has beans lingering in it.  This was also completely unexpected as the snake beans are still going great guns and then at the other end of the bed, the Lima beans I picked up at a bulk food shop with the thought…  ‘hmmm….  I wonder…’ are still at the lush green foliage stage with a multitude of flowers and a few beans in the early bean stage.  If they are to dry on the plant, then they’d better get a wiggle on.  So I can’t give up on my beans.  Not yet.

Lima beans

The Lima beans are taking ages and are a long way from being a dried bean!

Beside that are the leafy greens, a mix of rainbow beet that will be there until the spring when they will begin to bolt and while this will remain the leafy green bed for some time, it also has some fledgling leafy greens to provide some winter goodness.  So that is not an option for the garlic.

Cucumber

The cucumber has made a great last effort but it is pretty much all over ….

The far side of the row is the asparagus and no one is leaving this bed, not for another 20 years or so.   That leaves me with a couple of options – I could put them back in the bed they just came out of, but the painted mountain corn is still being dried on the plant and while only a couple of weeks will do it, the garlic is getting urgent.  Besides its not good to have them in the same place as there are root rot related diseases that can build up.  And then when you think about the next season what is the knock on affect.  The cucumbers were supposed to go in there next.  But the garlic won’t be out of the garden in time for the cucumbers to be planted out – so there’d be a bottle neck.

Cucumber

…. or is it…. can one late season cucumber stand in the way of an entire crop of garlic???

So that leaves one possibility.  The cucumbers bed between the leafy greens and the old garlic bed should have come out ages ago, but the brave leaves put on a second flush and produced another couple of cucumbers.  Who was I to stand in their way?  But I think it is time to call ‘time’ on their efforts and take down the frame.  This would create an empty bed in the right window of time.   The cucumbers next season would move on to the old garlic bed as usual and next season will not get into a complex relationship with the carrots.  I’d have all winter to eat the carrots before transitioning them across to the new / old potato bed.  So it would work going forward.

Peppers

The peppers are loving their location way too much, but who am I to argue. The onion overflow will need to find alternative accommodation

But will the leafy greens wait for the garlic to come out…  I think they’ll just have to.  The spinach may have to maybe move to the salad bed in another row as it can bolt quickly especially in a hot dry spring which is a possibility.  But the rest can wait.  Garlic planted in autumn is harvested early anyway so it should work.

Zucchini

I think it is fair to say the zucchini are done…

Ok decision made.   And without explaining the similar problem I have with my onion overflow bed, I’ll just say after much pontificating, the zucchini are on their last legs and can come out and make room for red onions, shallots and leeks.  This also moves them back in their crop rotation one slot but if the peppers weren’t enjoying life so much it wouldn’t be necessary.

zucchini

… having said that… this plant still has signs of life

Hopefully this will allow for a smooth transition between the seasons and hopefully will be the last time I have to rejig my plans.

Come again soon – things are really cooling down, I’m back to wearing socks and a jumper!

Sarah the Gardener  : o)

13 Comments on “Change of plans… again

  1. I spend all winter making plans….and then in the rush of spring always make some on-the-fly changes. The mathematical timing worked out on the calendar rarely coincides with the actual timing each plant type takes to mature, so I have the same issues you are juggling now. Where to put the successor when the first crop is still producing well? I’m sure you’ll get it all worked out wonderfully.

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    • It is always hard to know when something will finish and it varies from season to season, and if something is limping along then who am I to cut it short! I’ll cheer it on. Go tenacious plant, go! : o)

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  2. That second Courgette plant looks way too healthy for the time of YOUR year … and Jasper is fast becoming photo’ bombing king of your plot 😀 x

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    • I know… but the back half of it is riddled with powdery mildew and looks a mess. It is having a second wind in the now the temperatures aren’t so hot and muggy! I could give it a bit of a reprieve as the onions need to grow from seed….
      Jasper is certainly a wee cutie and is never far away. Fennel the Cat watches warily from just a bit further away. One day they will be friends I’m sure and they will both be photo bombing me! : o)

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  3. I always end up with carrots in a complicated relationship myself! My solution has been to interplant them between all kinds of things. This last winter they were mixed with lettuce (to shade them as they entered spring and keep them from going bitter) and the onions (I forget my reasoning there, but am sure I had a reason, ha!)

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    • That is a good idea, sometimes I set up boundaries for myself that possibly don’t need to be there, but I’m a bit of a control freak in the garden and like neat orderly rows and groups of things that go together. Sadly – Much to Hubby the UnGardener’s dismay the neat orderly ends and stays in the garden! : o)

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      • Ha! I mix my orderly and creative. That bed of lettuce, carrots, and onions may have been mixed, but there were rows of carrots and onions (every other row) and then lettuce between those rows in repeating color patterns.

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  4. Glad to see I’m not the only one behind, though you are much better organised that we are. Need to get peas etc in but the weather is taunting us and not behaving!

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  5. Your transition from summer to autumn looks easier than ours. I know it is difficult to replace some of the lingering vegetable plants from a previous season to make room for the next, but at least the squash and cucumbers are helping out by shriveling on their own. We are at the oposit end of the year of course. There are no vegetable plants at work, but we still have some of the cool season annuals bedding pants.

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      • Because I have always been in the same climate, It is hard to imagine that there are climates that are actually ‘different’. (duh.) I can imagine seasons being half a year different, but different climates takes some getting used to.

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