Here is my Masterplan for 2010. I didn’t do one in 2009 so I thought I’d better do one this year.
There are a few things to note. Firstly, my tiny plot is roughly 13.5 metres long by 8 metres wide. Just to give you an idea of scale. I don’t really do crop rotation in the ‘correct’ sense. I try to keep the Brassicas in the same group each year and I also try to put the Carrots, Parsnips, Onions and Shallots together. But other than that I can’t really ‘do’ rotation because not all of my four beds have the luxury of full sun.
If My Tiny Plot was in the openess of a lovely allotment then I probably could but we’re positively hemmed in here. I have an 8-foot wall on the left side and a hedge of a similar height on the other. All of this produces a predictably sunny side and a depressingly shaded area.
Of course I ‘could’ try to rotate everything but when the Tomatoes and Sweetcorn ended up on the shady side then we wouldn’t be eatin’ no Sweetcorn that year, if you catch my drift. So with the delicate sun lovers (Toms, Sweetcorn, Melon, Squash etc) I rotate them between the two beds on the left.
My south-facing wall on the left is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. It’s the only reason I’m able to grow Peaches and Grapes. My coldframe is a new addition this year (it was finished as the end of the season last year) so I’m really only getting to make full use of it now. I’ll be using it to bring up seedlings until my Melon plant gets too big and out grows everything else.
I absolutely love Lettuce and I always grow too much. I like to make huge salads full of great mixtures of interesting leaves and I also like to give it away to my friends. So the two measly patches of Lettuce that I’ve indicated on the plan are clearly a lie. What will actually happen is that I will grow more than that but I will shove it in wherever there is space. I’ll have Lettuce seedlings growing in the coldframe and when I harvest one from the main plot, or create space somewhere else I will plant a new Lettuce plant.
The other thing to point out is that all the flowers in the garden are for cutting. They don’t hang around very long and so I like to go for varieties that will self renew, like Cornflower and Calendula and Sweetpeas (they will be in with the Runner Beans). But I also have Tulips and Echinacea that will come up every year too.
As you’ll notice I’ve put far too much effort into what really only needs to be a scribbled plan. What can I say – I’m in love with my garden, and when you love someone…
Click here for a super-duper, okay slightly bigger, version.
Once I get an allotment I’ll be making lots of plans and deciding which is best
Beautiful plan. You’ve inspired me to draw mine, but it will be far less artistic..!
It is very artistic; mine is a scrap of paper with pencil lines and a note of what is being slown/planted where. But then, my vegetable plot is very tiny – though I have concluded I am going to have to dig up a bit more of my lawn or I won’t have room for everything in there! Perhaps I will have a big enough plot to merit a coloured plan next year.
What kinds of things have you tried on the shady side? I’m actually researching shade loving edibles as part of my research on forest gardens. Of course, mine are largely no-dig perennials that can tolerate full or part shade.
I love the drawing! And here I just did a boring old excel. You can tell which one of us has the more creative mind…lol.
You seem very organized. I just cannot bring pencil to paper. Shovel to earth is my method. You’re smart.
Love the plan – much more varied (and artistic) than ours. We struggle for space in much the same way. This year we’ve decided to use the front garden to provide the extra sun we need. Sweetcorn on the front garden might look unusual, but we don’t care too much – growing our own is what matters most.
Great plan! I don’t do classic crop rotation either, partly space issues and partly lack of organisation!!
Loving you bright pretty garden plan – it puts mine to shame :-o
I love your plan. I am inspired! I have time today to plan the garden for this year so I may even get out colouring pencils… This year I am a ‘stay at home mum’ so hopefully I will have more time during the day to attend to vegetable growing. What lettuce have you found works well?
Your plan is beautiful in itself. Do you draw one every year? I hope you’re keeping those works of art. I understand the limited rotation. I have a small space too. Hope you find a way to squeeze it all in.
Hi Anne, I grow different types of Lettuce, always a few Butterheads (4 Seasons and Tom Thumb) then some Cos types (Parris Island, Little Gem, and Winter Gem), then some coloured ones (red salad bowl etc) And always some baby Spinach leaves, Rocket, and Spicy mixed leaves. I’ve also done Radicchio in the past too. Hope that helps.
I love this plan! I especially love your peach tree! Lucky you!
I was so happy to read you, having agonised over the fact that I could not figure out how to do a proper rotation in my garden with 4 beds but two in shady area. My compromise is very similar to yours but now, having read you, I can garden without feeling that I am not doing it right! I am trying to sow on the earliest crops in the sunny part and those crops that either are OK in the shade or do not fully appreciate the full sun and heat of summer, on the more shady side. it seems to work. What I have not figured out yet – and may be you can write a blog on that topic – is how to do succession planting/sowing. I have figured out that I can sow the first radishes and lettuces where I will eventually plant tomatoes and cucumbers. This year, we will replace the earliest potatoes (not in the ground yet because too cold and too wet) by the winter sprouting brocoli. These only needing to be planted in their final position sometime in early July. Any other ideas????
This is great! I was planning on doing the same this year, yet I have already gotten started without a masterplan. Really enjoy your blog! – The Arkansan Anglophile
Your plan looks great, both structurally and aesthetically. I wish I could draw as well as you!
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Hey MTP, and others!
If you cant move the crops – MOVE THE SOIL, sure its a bit of work but rotation is really about not using the same soil each year.
I think you get what Im saying.. the soil in the shady plot cant have the corn so do a switcheroo.
Contact me for more “Out of the veggie box” thinking …….