November in the raised veg patch...

13 November, 2013

Lately I've been focussing on the intermingled ornamental and veg garden, so today in the interests of unbiased blogging I thought I'd show you where things are at in the raised veg patch.

The raised veg patch has 8 beds on a 4 year rotating cycle. I split these into: (in order of rotation)
Solanums, cucbits and others: Tomatoes, eggplants, potatoes, capsicums, chillies, zucchini, cucumber, squash/pumpkins, cantaulopes/melons.
Beans: Peas, broadbeans, french beans, climbing beans, storage beans, then celery.
Alliums and root veg: Onions, leeks, garlic, beetroot, carrot, parsnips, turnips, swede.
Brassicas: Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, then corn.

Note: I don't grow all of these plants in these beds, it's just a rough guide of what goes where in each year.

In my garden record book (containing details of varieties I've grown, what went where, garden plans etc - it's a great resource as I forget things like where I bought that plant and what I planted when...) each year I document the raised veg plan thus:


This is the 2012-2013 record, so now some things have moved on to the next bed.

This is how it looks at the moment. Starting with the beds on bottom left, above labelled 'Beans'.

These still have the remnants of last years' celery crop, some of which is still hanging in there and some of which is going to seed. I'm letting it as I want seed for both sowing and for the kitchen. (Homemade and homegrown celery salt, here I come...)


There is also some self sown broad bean crops that really shouldn't be there, but they grew and I couldn't be bothered moving them, so there they stayed. The plastic garbage bag on the bottom right has sand in it, which when I pull the celery out will go into the bed to lighten my heavy clay soil.

The second bed in this pair has the new season root crops of parsnip and carrot.


Moving onto the beds labelled above as 'Solanums' not suprisingly there are no solanums to be seen. They finished ages ago, and now the beds are strictly in their 'Beans' phase.


The first bed (top bed in above photo) has the french beans (varieties 'Polo', 'Valentine' and some bought-as-seedlings butter beans).

The sown seed has come up well, and is protected by birds and other marauding animals by plastic lattice.


The second bed contains the beans for storage, of which I am growing a bush type of 'borlotti' and 'yin yang' beans. Both of these are from my saved seed of last years' crops which was just enough to allow for replanting. These seeds originally came from some given to me by someone very generous out there in blogland but for the life of me I cannot recall (and haven't written down - see another thing to put in the gardening book) who it was. But I thank you. These have also germinated well and are protected by a mess of twigs.


The support structure has 4 different climbing bean types at the base of each post - 'Kentucky Wonder', 'Climbing Princess', a mix of 'Rattlesnake', 'Blue Lake' and 'Purple King' - these are saved seed from a bought mix so I have no idea what I will get - and lastly I have no idea. I scattered some seed down, but didn't label it and now I feel like a duffer. Silly me.

But either way, they are growing and some even have flowers and baby beans.


The third lot of beds above labelled 'Brassicas' are now the 'Solanums', and this year are to be entirely devoted to tomatoes. I will be blogging seperately about my tomato growing soon, so will leave that discussion until then.

Lastly, the beds which are along the fence, above labelled 'Alliums and Root Veg' have a mix of old and new.

The old is still evident in the bed with leeks going to seed, a kale which seems to have missed the memo that it is spring and has missed going to seed, and the broccoli which has definately got with the program and is going to seed which I am planning to save.


There is also some self sown rocket in there. This stuff is everywhere in the garden. I can't get rid of it, not that I'd want to.

The second bed in this rotation has been entirely removed of brassicas and is now growing a healthy crop of corn. This has also come up well from seed and will eventually be thinned (i.e. when I get around to it.)


So that's it. Plenty happening both on the end of the autumn season crops and the beginnings of summer crops.

I really only practice crop rotation in this part of the garden, and as you can see it is not strictly enforced. Do you practice crop rotation? Do you think it makes a difference?

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for tips - we purchased our garden plot in May, so I appreciate any practical experience with crop rotation. Good luck!

    Dominika (www.zahradavsrdci.weebly.com)

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    1. No problem. Good luck with your plot!

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  2. I have to admit to being a poor rotater, or should that be rotator? Either way I'm now growing solanacae in the same bed for the third year running. It has the most sun over summer so I am loathe to move them but I reckon I will have to rest it next year...

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    1. I know what you mean. Sometimes its a compromise between the best spaces for sunlight/soil etc and crop rotation. For what its worth my dad has been growing tomatoes for 30+ years in the same spot and never had a problem...

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