Here is what we plan (planned) to plant in 2010/11, starting from spring 2010. Ta da!
This has only taken a whole year of fiddling about with timings and spacings and choosing vegies to grow. It’s been through many changes – it’s even changed since we started planting in spring, but as of this moment, it’s the best we’ve got.
And here is why we chose to plant what, where and when we did.
And here’s an explanation of my cryptic spreadsheet:
We have 2 main gardens, the summer garden (SG) and the winter garden (WG). We use both of them all the time, it’s just that SG gets more sun in summer and WG gets more sun in winter. SG is represented by the columns on the left hand side, WG is represented by those on the right.
Each month’s plantings is represented by the rows of alternately shaded boxes.
The SG is divided into 4 strips, each 3.6m wide, and each strip into 8 sections of 1.8m. For monthly plantings, we plant 2 sections (ie 3.6m) of one strip. The numbers after SG indicate where in the SG the planting is, as follows:
SG DOT strip number DOT section numbers
Font limitations mean that moon quarters are symbolised with little funny dot things:
● plant in first quarter
◎ plant in second quarter
¤ plant in third quarter
“row” means parallel to a strip (ie a length of a strip). “col” means perpendicular (ie a width).
When a plant is preceded by “with”, it means that it’s a companion plant, meant mostly to support the main crop. However, if it’s edible we’ll also eat it.
So for example, look at September. This is a big month, the start of Spring. The planting plan indicates that when the moon was in the first quarter, we went* to the winter garden and planted Hawaiian corn in the first two sections of the first two rows, plus rocket, lettuce and silverbeet in the first two sections of the third row.
When the moon was second quarter, we planted Cherokee Wax beans under the corn, and pigeon pea in the third and fourth section of each of the three WG rows. Then we went to the first strip of the summer garden and planted the first two sections of the first row with Blue Lake beans on the ground, and cucumbers and luffas along the fence. The first two sections of the second row we filled with Black Beauty zucchini and French Breakfast radishes.
In the same moon quarter, we planted into the solanums strip (strip 3) a whole row (ie 8 sections) of tomatoes (5 varieties) and a whole row of Sebago potatoes, plus 2 sections of eggplant and capsicum.
In the third quarter, we went back to the first strip and planted carrots and parsnips into the first two sections of the third row.
Cryptic and complicated? Yes. Can I think of a simpler way to record it all? I wish. If you can, please let me know.
*Actually, this was the plan. Things didn’t always go to plan, what with the rain, the solar battery installations, the vast task of finishing the bloody fence and clearing the weeds. Not to mention changes to the planting plan. But mostly we got it right, and this is the starting plan for next year, until we find out what we’d like to change.