Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Planned Garden

I have finally designed my garden. By comparison to other gardens I've designed, it's tiny. My past life of backyard gardening has been at a housing co-op of ten people and while I never actually grew a garden big enough for 10, I designed and built gardens on the scale (a crazy endeavor I fondly blame on being youth-drunk and excited about the new-found love of my life). I am proud to say that this garden is a model of restraint. Here are the details:

The loveliness of my new garden is in its simplicity. It is designed as one 4' by 20' raised bed and another 4' by 18' rectangle. The bed, which will run East/West and will have a 6' by 4' rectangle of potatoes and bush beans (with sweet peas in the spring), a 4' by 4' square of carrots, parsnips, and beets, a 2' by 4' rectangles each of kale and peppers, and two 2' by 6' rectangles one for okra and one for cabbages. parallel to this bed and just north of it will be my tall plants (north of the other bed so as not to shade anything out). I will have two rows of mixed tomatoes (6' by 4'), then a corn/bean/squash rectangle of 8' by 4', which will have a row of lettuce tucked in behind it (to take advantage of the spring light before the corn grows tall, and then to take advantage of the shade in the high heat of summer), flanked by another double row, 4' square of my paste tomatoes. The beds will be lined with calendula/marigold, daisies, chives (around the caggage and root crops), and borage (around the tomatoes). I'm sure I'll also plant Sunflowers (the decorative kind) along the north and east of the garden.

I've picked out a spot I like by my house, in case the landlords don't have room in their garden for mine. Other than this, I have a beautiful bed of garlic planted at my old house. My rotation plan for next year is to add a bed to the north, rotate everything one plot over and back (potatoes into roots and kale, roots into cabbage, kale into okra, cabbage and kale back into one of the tomato plots, cron/beans/squash back to a new bed, tomatoes into corn/beans/squash bed and back into the new bed).

I made a general plan with dimensions of each plot per vegetable/companion set and then I made a specific planting guide down to planting patterns (traingles or rows) and number of plants, distance of planting, etc. for each section (tomatoes - 8 paste, 10 total mixed, cabbage and okra - 11 plants each, 8 heads of spring lettuces, 6 heads of summer lettuce, etc.)

And that, my friends, is it. Please do tell me about your garden designs and plans this year. I'd love to know!

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