Monday, 23 January 2012

Garden Planning

One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.

A. A. Milne

I would like to be an organised gardener with a “Monthly Garden Planner”, with straight rows of vegies planted at the correct time, fed and watered consistently and with neatly trimmed garden edges that always separate the neatly mown lawn from the well-tended garden, but I know I can’t do it..…and besides….. making exciting discoveries is much more fun.

There is a (sort of) plan in the vegie patch.  While we can grow vegies all year round here, most have a season they prefer - Winter is much milder so is the peak growing season.
We have 5 main beds. I rotate them around but this is basically what I try to do.
Bed 1  
Autumn/Winter - Zucchini, Squash and maybe some tomatoes
Spring/Summer - Melons – watermelon & rockmelon and also maybe sweet potato
Bed 2 (root vegies)
Autumn/Winter - Carrots, Beetroot , Radish, Onions, Garlic,
Spring/Summer - Carrots, Beetroot , Shallots, Radishes
Bed 3
Autumn/Winter - Tomatoes & Basil
Spring/Summer - Corn, Beans and/or Eggplant
Bed 4
Autumn/Winter - Snow peas, Lettuce, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower
Spring/Summer - Cucumbers, Asian greens, Silver beet, Lettuce
Bed 5
Autumn/Winter - Snap peas, Chives, Shallots, Spinach, Silver beet,
Spring/Summer - Beans, Cherry tomatoes, Capsicums, Eggplant
Herb Bed & Pots 
I prefer to grow various mints, coriander, basil, parsley, oregano, sage and rocket in the ground. The rest of the herbs are in pots. Also, the chillies are in pots.
There's also a strawberry bed (which I've pulled out at the moment) and a potato patch (which is demountable).

So that's the plan. But in reality, it never quite happens like that. There's always some mishap with getting the seedlings ready to plant out. There was the catastrophy of the greenhouse blowing over last Spring, but more often it's simply that I forget to water them for a couple of days and they die. Usually the garden ends up with "whatever seedlings suvived" and whatever happens to be on sale at the nursery to replace the dead ones rather than my original plan.

We had some rain last week with more forecast so I've planted my Summer crops again. I know mid-summer is a bit late, but this is Take-2.  I've sown some seed, but most of the garden is purchased seedlings from the big green shed.
In the top photo to the right is bed 1. The asparagus at the back is going well and even has some shoots that look good enough to eat. The sickly watermelon vine has a new lease on life since it's now being cared for. I planted rockmelon, a few capsicum plants and a row of parsley seed along the edge.  On the left the strawberry bed  has lettuce and some beetroot seed at this end.
The second photo bed 2 - rows of carrot, spring onion and radish seeds plus some chives & bed 3  (at the back) corn plus the eggplants.

Bed 4 has french beans and baby squash seedlings, a row of bok choy seeds sown and the remaining cucmber vine.
Bed 5 (at the back) I'm trying sunflower seeds and a few chilli plants.

Next weekend I'm hoping to replenish the herb garden and the pots.

I've also put some seeds in trays in the shadehouse. They would stew in the plastic greenhouse at this time of year. Besides - we now have a sprinkler system in there so I'm hoping they will survive and can be planted out as space permits.

Even though things didn't go to plan we should still have lots to harvest.

 Oh, and my exciting discovery!

We put a wire frame around the mandarine tree in the chook yard to stop the ladies digging at the roots and threw a nice deep blanket of compost around the roots as mulch. The self-seeded tomatoes are doing better than any I have every tried to grow in Summer.


  1. Well it all sounds very organized to me! Best wishes with your growing.

  2. I like your gardening method. I only have 3 veg plots I would like more. Its winter here, so nothing much is happening in my garden. We have to replace a fence so a lot of big shrubs have been cut to the ground...maybe a new veg bed could go in there...Have a good week.

  3. Sufficiently organised me thinks! Just enough to keep things in proper order without being too rigid. Organised but with plenty of space for discoveries :)


I would love to know what you think and appreciate your comments.


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