Clicking on any of the pictures will open them at full size in the browser window, which means you will have to use the 'back' button to return to the main pages, whereas clicking to the left or right of any picture will open them in a new window, if you fancy a closer look at any of the piccies we've posted! We've included a Google Earth satelite picture of our plots and this years planting plan at the bottom of the page, next to each other. If you choose the Earth view on the satelite image you can rotate the image until it is lined up with the planting plan, then use the arrows in the plan to scroll from Plot 2 to Plot 1.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Plans for our first plot!

So, after concentrating on clearing our new plot for the past few weeks, we've now got to decide exactly what we are doing with our first plot, the one next door! As you can see from the piccy here, its almost fully dug over (apart from about half of the large bed we used for brassicas last year - the yellow grass in the center) and already under cultivation, with about 35 brassicas, 3 rows of broad beans, 2 rows of runner beans, 2 rows of peas, a large bed of Jerusalem artichokes, about 100 garlic plants, 180 onions from set (overwintered) and about 150 onions from seed, plus of course the rhubarb, 85 raspberry canes and 300 strawberry plants!

We have kept on top of hoeing (when the weather has allowed it), but still, there's a couple of areas that we know we need to tackle (the strawberry bed is half full of weeds, where we ran out of weed control fabric for planting thru and just mulched with bark chippings), so we've decided that what we are going to do is split the largets beds (they are currently 8' to 9' wide and anything from 12' to 40' long) with the addition of more paths, to bring the bed sizes down to a more manageable size and allow us not to have to step onto them! Putting more paths in sounds like a big job, but as they will only be cross paths (between the long paths that already run front to back), then it shouldnt be that bad a job (tho there are about 18 of them to be out in!)

The addition of these paths will remove some of the growing space that we have, but will also make it much easier to keep it tidy and weed free, and allow better segregation of our crops into their own beds.

The greenhouse will be staying where it is, and as you can see here, its growing away nicely, especially after being weeded and the toms sideshooted today), with the first toms now flowering (later than last year tho) and the first cukes and peppers beginning to form! The bed behind the greenhouse that currently has brassicas and goosegogs in it will be split into 4 beds, one for the goosegogs (that we will plant thru weed control fabric and bark up to keep maintenance to a minimum) another nearest the greenhouse for those plants we wish to let run to seed for future seed harvesting (think shallots, leeks and parsnips here) and the other 2 beds will retain their brassicas, probably planted thru cardboard to keep the weeds down a bit!

The onion and garlic bed in the middle will be left alone until they are harvested, but once thats done, then this will be split in 2, and the bed behind will be split into 3, making it easier to keep clear and to move around the plot!

The last bed (furthest from the new plot) will also be split with the addition of further paths, tho not until the beans that are in have been harvested!

Also to do on this plot is to sort out the area between the pond and compost bin at the front, as it was damaged in the high winds recently, and needs looking at, so perhaps this will be the last job for us to tackle whilst on holiday at the end of June beginning of July!

So, it should look really good when we've finished, just a lot more hard work to go to get it fully there, but having the new plot has proven to be an inspiration, and hopefully once all the works are complete it should be easier to keep on top of, especially if we're planting thru cardboard and using no dig and mulches!

Strange to think that last year we were happy with this plots layout, even tho it meant we had to walk on the beds to reach everything, and now we are going with a full individual beds system!

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