Potatoes have beautiful flowers

GARDEN

Humble beginnings

Humble beginnings

The garden started out small and somehow just grew and grew.  It started out straight in the ground.  Under most circumstances the dirt beneath our feet is perfectly fine for growing food in… unless you live in a swamp!  I need raised beds so I can garden all year round.  Fortunately the previous owners built loads of horse proof fences, which are ideal for making raised beds, so they came down.  Make use of what you have before racing out to buy new.  The beds were filled with the best soil – my swamp soil.  It is rich and lovely and has the added bonus of being known as the sponge of the soil world!  Less watering required.

Um, Yeah... she gets a bit soggy!

Um, Yeah… she gets a bit soggy!

Those who know me well would probably choke on their coffee as they read that I like order and control in the garden.  This would come as a shock to some as I live a more ‘creative’ life beyond the garden.  But there is something about rows of veggies all standing to attention.  Having said that the creative in me uses a “yeah she’ll be right’ approach to making lines – no string here.  So the garden is wonderfully wonky.

A sight to behold

A sight to behold

The beds are all pretty much mono crops – like with like and once I sat down to figure out crop rotation, my head was spinning so much I didn’t want to think of it again.  I have three crop cycles – the row across the front, the group of beds in the middle and the row across the back.  Peas proceed the tomatoes to enrich the soil and onions follow tomatoes to clean up the soil, potatoes come before carrots so the soil is fluffy, the Solanaceae are all in a separate cycle.  The tall crops are in the back row so they don’t shade things out.  So some plants will be back in same bed in four years and others may not see the same soil for 7 years.  No chance for disease to build up.  And all I have to do at the start of each spring is move all the signs to the left, simple!

So this is how the garden looks this season:

garden map 2014

garden map 2014

8 Comments on “GARDEN

  1. Awesome and amazing would love to continue making a plan this year to do a plot for our sunday school children

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  2. Hi Sarah, I have 3 beds & some pots, I lost all my tomatoes this spring because I didn’t rotate my crops.
    I haven’t a lot f garden can you tell me the best way to rotate spring & winter.
    Many thanks
    Lyn

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    • Hi Lyn. Crop rotation can come across quite complicated and some plants can benefit others by growing in a spot something else was. But in a small garden you could just grow the same things as last season in the next bed, or even just move everything in the garden bed one space to the left each season, Managing the spring to winter crops is trickier as it depends on when things finish and when the new plants need to be planted so they don’t hold each other up. This can also vary with the seasons so finding out as much as you can about how long things should take to grow and then hope for the best. Making adjustments each season based on experience can help refine things. Pots can be cleaned and refreshed with fresh soil if necessary – the old soil can go onto the beds with different crops in it. I hope you have better luck with your tomatoes next time and manage to find your crop rotation rhythm. Cheers Sarah : o)

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