Thursday, 6 September 2012

Designing the Plots!

Well I don't know about you, but I've found that every book & webpage has a different version on what plants are 'companions' and what are 'enemies'. There are some plants that do better and have more disease resistance if you plant them in different places each year (crop rotation) or with their 'friendly companions', which sounds like a great idea! Why not if its going to help fend off the bugs?! 

I've also looked into old fashioned row by row vs square foot & decided on giving the square foot method a go, as I want to get the most yield from the space I have. I've heard mixed reviews about the success of this system & I think I will vary a bit from the quantities suggested on some things. I can't see how a tomato plant can fit into a square foot... and a rhubarb..... (but I could be wrong!). But definitely for the majority - like beets, onions, garlic etc. I'm going to give it a go! 

So I've measured my 'feet' out & put the strings up. 

So in designing my plots originally it was all a bit of a hap-hazard guess. There are some that are obviously good together like Tomatoes & Capsicums; and others like Beans and tomatoes that shouldn't be planted together, but should follow each other in rotation! Confused?! SO was I! So I ended up using an internet site that designed vege plots instead.

Check out: - Its a fantastic web garden design program that you can either use for normal row by row gardens or square foot gardens. It has a click & point system to put plants on the grid. The BEST feature is that it will have this flashing red warning system when you're about to plant some 'enemies' together! 

Another cool feature is that you can have a follow on garden.  So say you plant your spuds in place "A" this year, when you go to plant your spuds in 2013 the same warning flashing red system applies so it warns you if you're planting in the place where tomatoes/potatoes were planted last year! Fantastic for the memory challenged such as myself! I've only tried the 30 day trial so far & planned out my gardens for next year using their system (Although I'm sure that my plans will change!). You can print them off & find out information about each plant. It even has a location function - so you can get the plants specific to your country. 

Check out my plan!!! 

My gardens were slightly bigger than a complete foot each side - so where it has plants hanging over the edge I'm just using a strip of them not the full amount.

For those Square Foot Gardeners out there - this program also has the Quantities you can plant of each vegetable per foot in the top left corner of each vege! Something invaluable as I couldn't find anything that listed all the veges available & how many you could plant in each foot using this method.

So there's the plan! I had a lot of fun planning & moving & making things fit! Hope you do too!!

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