Sunday, January 4, 2009

Plan Early, Change Often

Planning the garden would seem essential to making really effective use of the available space. My past practice has been to plant whatever is ready to be planted in some open space. This sometimes means that short plants later end up in the shade of taller plants. And, if there is something to companion planting, with some plants next to incompatible plants. Sometimes I don't consider what will happen as plants grow. Last year, as an example, I planted the cucumbers on one side of a four foot wide bed and soybeans (edamame) on the other side. The cucumbers used the soybeans to climb on but the soybeans didn't benefit from this. I should have anticipated that.

This year I had a plan complete in late December. But then we chose a few new crops; I read a little more about companion planting; read that the winter rye in the bed where I planned to plant potatoes in mid-April needed to be dug in for a month before planting; and then we decided to dig out the asparagus after the 2009 harvest. These changes required re-planning the garden. I also wanted to be able to just rotate the beds north one bed at a time each year. That meant making sure that I didn't plant something like tomatoes in the same location in two different beds such that tomatoes one bed didn't rotate in the next year or two to a place where tomatoes had already grown. [I have trouble with leaves wilting and plants being less productive.] So now I have my second detailed plan for this year. Since I have already ordered seeds perhaps I won't have to change the plan again.

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