Tuesday, March 15, 2016

garden plans and bed preparation

home garden plan 2016

community garden plot plan 2016
I've finished up my garden plans. Just in time to start preparing the beds for planting.

ROTATION: To make new garden plans, I rotate my root crops (especially onions, garlic and carrots), as well as my tomatoes and potatoes. I try for a 3 year rotation. I don’t worry about rotating things like squash, greens, beets, cabbage, corn, beans, basil etc, though they usually end up in a different bed because of rotating the roots and solanacea. It’s recommended to follow a rotation of heavy feeder, light feeder, legume (soil builder). I try to do this, but in a small garden growing lots of different varieties, including many heavy feeders, it gets hard to do move things around properly. But that's the idea I shoot for. I like to keep similar plants together. They're generally good neighbors. They need the same soil amendments and fertilizer. For the brassicas, they all need to be covered against cabbage worms. In most beds, I add in scattered flowers: dill, marigolds, nasturtiums, sunflowers, hyssop, etc. to attract beneficial and pollinators.

Next step: COMPOST. I like to add 1 to 2 inches of compost, but only to beds that will have heavy feeders. I don’t usually add compost to light feeders (garlic, leeks, onion, shallot, carrots, parsnip, carrot, potato, turnip) if I composted that bed well the year before. I also don't compost legume beds. This year, I'll add compost to my onion and potato beds. I think they need it. Also it's funny, some people consider onions and potatoes heavy feeders and others list them as light. The heavy feeders will need more than just compost. I'll also fertilize as they begin their growth. Especially tomatoes, corn, and cabbage family. I use Garden Tone or a fish emulsion. But not too much. I wait til the leaves show a little green, then I fertilize. Too much fertilizer gives bushy plants with less fruit.


Anonymous said...

Where do the peas go?

kathy said...

They go in the bean bed. I should have written "legume bed". Or peas and beans. I planted them today!

Mutiny In the Garden said...

Does your community plot allow you to have permanent features? (pears and compost). This is my first time doing one but ours requires us to clear it all out by October 1.

kathy said...

Yes. We can have permanent features. All of our plots are individually fenced. Gardeners have arbors and perennials and raised beds etc. It's very nice in this way. We restrict the height of things to about 15 ft so they don't block the sun, but we don't have many other restrictions. But I also understand why some community gardens don't allow this. Clearing out allows the whole garden area to be tilled and it keeps the area looking nicer. We struggle to keep up the appearance of our fences and plots. At times in the past it has looked like a shanty town and raised the ire of nearby residents. The fences are our main problem. We have added restrictions on fencing materials recently - no plastic, no screens, no glass- and we recommend a standard type and height.

Either way, I hope you enjoy it. It's fun to garden with other gardeners.