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.
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.
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: