Formulating Garden Plans for 2014

Today was a beautiful sunny day outside. We walked through the yard and garden checking the flower beds out and the vegetable beds out. We were discussing how to plant our rows this year. We are going to rotate the potatoes to the rock bed. We are cutting back the size of the potatoes we grow this year to ½ maybe even down to a 1/3 of what we planted last year. We are unsure exactly how much we should scale it down. We had too many potatoes last year. We won’t have to make new beds this year because we are doing this. We want to experiment planting in the French intensive gardening method.

”There are three points that,in combination, distinguish this system from all others:
1). very thorough soil preparation, incorporating all nutrients before planting;
2). preparation of beds rather than rows, each bed mounded up above normal grade to form a body of soil that warms quickly, drains well, and takes in air easily; and
3). close planting…..

Close planting gives greater crop productivity, stifles weeds, and acts as a living mulch- conserving moisture and regulating soil temperature. Repeatedly thin plants as they grow..”

We want to plant seedlings which is easier to space them than seeds. We want to rotate seedlings when the crop is done producing. I have read on it. Now we need to configure the beds in our growing space. Right now we are just standing and scratching our heads. We know it can be done and that it should increase the variety of vegetables we plan to grow. It should also increase productivity of the vegetables that we eat the most of all winter long.

We are trying to decide what projects we will have this year. We need to put horse manure on the Potato box, green house and flower beds. We plan to transplant the strawberries and Rhubarb into the vegetable beds. Transplant the chives. We need to dig up my mint plant and put it in a planter on our patio. Oh by the way it already has new growth on it. The green house needs maintenance. We need to write a list down. We need to set a time frame as well.

We have been debating making new beds for two years. I have been reading on the net and gardening books that I have at home. We go through all the material together and discuss it. We are trying to make the garden as efficient as we can be. We are bravely daring to try a different method.The difficult part is creating the space design of the beds.

There are signs of spring every where. My daffodils have popped up and a few of them have unopened flower buds. My lilies are coming up. I found my first blå sippor/wind flower for the season… SPRING IS HERE! I just saw the weather forecast for tomorrow. It said 10 C. That sounds like heaven to me.

Posted on March 8, 2014, in Gardening. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Sounds an interesting method for growing vegetables. Good luck!

  2. I love to hear that you are making new plans for your garden. The new system you talk about….is it like having ‘raised beds’?. Or is it more than that? I have raised beds with deep soil and I plant very closely together. You may mean something different. Last year was the first time I actually planned out all my beds to incorporate edible flowers in my scheme. It was lovely to have Calendula and Cornflower next to the leeks and beetroot. You have inspired me to get my plan together. I think this year is going to be a great gardening year for you. Wish I could grow too many potatoes! Mine nearly always get blight. -Karen.

    • Hi Karen,
      I am sorry to hear that you have been plagued with potato blight. I don’t know if you already know this information but here goes. All the literature that I have read say that you must Rotate potatoes every three years to prevent disease. When you have blight you must destroy the plants, Do Not put it in your compost heap. Otherwise you are spreading the blight spores and further contaminating your garden.

      It can be cause by too much rain and high humidity.
      If you go back and look at the pictures of our potato box you can see that we plant the potatoes in raised mounds. It helps keep the ground moist but not overly water logged.It also keep and air flow in the soil. We also fertilize the soil with manure, bone meal and wood ash every fall but you can do this before you plant the potatoes. You could add a small amount of sand as well to help with better drainage. This is what we are planning to do this year in certain sections of the garden where we are using the french method. When your plants are so tightly grown together it can exhaust the nutrients in the ground. I also make a manure water sludge that I fertilize the plants during the growing season to help the grow healthy and strong.

      I will post a picture from my book on the French intensive gardening method later today. We have raised beds too but I am talking about making mounds ( inside the beds) with the highest point is in the center to create better drainage…

      I sincerely hope that this information helps you. Feel free to ask more question for further information.

  1. Pingback: 3 Must Know Vegetable Gardening Tips | Recipes for a Healthy You

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