Garden: Crop Rotation

I’m currently trying to plan what we are going to grow on the allotment as I’d like happy and healthy vegetables – and lots of them!

One key thing that is apparently needed for healthy veg – even before buying seeds, is to understanding the basics of crop rotation; the core idea behind rotating crops is that to get the best out of crops you shouldn’t plant the same thing in the same place year after year.

Doing so increases the risk of disease and reduces the specific nutrients that those plants need.

carrot

(Picture from Pinterest)

Vegetables can be divided into four main groups – five if you count onions however I’m allergic to those so I am ignoring those!

  • Potatoes: Obviously potatoes and tomatoes
  • Roots: For example Beetroot, carrots, chicory (which I randomly bought despite having no idea what they taste like!) and parsnips
  • Brassicas: Broccoli, Brussel sprouts (which didn’t grow so well for us in 2017), cauliflowers, kale, swede, cabbages and turnips – not actually managed to successfully grow many brassicas so I need to do more reading on these
  • Legumes: Peas and beans

Rotation isn’t so important for most other vegetables; including sweetcorn, asparagus, rhubarb, squashes and courgettes – although planting them in the same place repeatedly isn’t a first grand idea

A simple rotation suggested by the internet and that I am going to try this year is:

Year One:

  • Bed One – Potatoes
  • Bed Two – Legumes and roots
  • Bed Three – Brassicas

Year Two:

  • Bed One – Legumes and roots
  • Bed Two – Brassicas
  • Bed Three – Potatoes

Year Three:

  • Bed One – Brassicas
  • Bed Two – Potatoes
  • Bed Three – Legumes and roots

I’m hopeful that this will work as our late potatoes did get blight last year – which wasn’t fun!

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Gardening: I think it’s dead

When someone says “I’ve sent you 100 snowdrop bulbs” I was a) vey surprised as that seems pretty random and b) expecting dry bulbs.

What I got was “in green” snowdrops, i.e. snowdrops that someone else planted, saw flower, dug up and shoved in the post with the expectation that I would plant them. There was probably also the expectation that the plants would live… but that might have been too much to hope for.

Apparently what you *should* plant “in green” snowdrops do that only the green is showing. 40 minutes of searching on the internet did NOT tell me this but I really wish it had.

Let’s just say my snowdrops are showing some white stalk above ground…but they are also lying limp and dead looking so it might be a mute point.

On the plus side the Forythia, Buddleja or Japanese Cherry don’t seem to obviously hate me right now… there is no sign they like me but it could happen!

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Gardening: Spending Money

With a starter budget of £100 and a list of plants that my parents had ‘suggested’ I looked at the site they recommended and threw as many of the suggested plants in the cart as I could afford.

This got me:

1 Forythia

1 lavender Buddleja – a “Free Petite” one which apparently means it will have short branches and stay smaller than a normal Buddleja (aka butterfly bush)

1 ‘blue heaven’ Buddleja – a “Free Petite” one which apparently means it will have short branches and stay smaller than a normal Buddleja (aka butterfly bush)

1 Prunus ‘Amanogawa’ – aka a Japanese flowering cherry

This set me back about £75, the sale meant that I saved about £18, so now I can afford some compost an some of the freaky toxic sounding grow prompting pellets!

None of these plants are edible, my desire to make my parents happy is currently stifling my own random plant purchasing – this isn’t necessarily a bad thing as I have no idea what grows in clay soil!

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Gardening: Getting started and stressing out

We moved from a flat with no garden – communal moss doesn’t count, to a house with a small garden.

I don’t know what size it is and I’m awful at guessing measurements but if pushed I would guess madly that it can’t be more than 6 metres by 3.

My parents are REALLY good at gardening and prefer the organised chaos look. The in-laws grow vegetables and rhubarb. So I feel a bit of pressure. This pressure is then increased by my parents suggesting all sorts of plants for the garden and expecting me to have a handle on what I want and to have long term plans.

The truth was that I had zero plans, I had the vague idea that growing edible stuff could be cool.

I knew the soil was clay with lots of stones in (and some random sand that was probably dumped when the house was build in the mid 1980s) and I knew compost was my friend! Then parents gave me £100 towards plants and a link to a website who had a sale on!

Now I am going to have to pretend that I know what I’m doing and what I want!  No pressure!

Copyright © WhereEvilThoughts 2015 – excluding pictures! Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to WhereEvilThoughts with appropriate and specific direction to the original content