Jan 9th, 2006
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. However, I only have four growing beds which are each 2.6 metres wide by 3.5 metres long. The growing area is roughly square. 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.
Okay – I cheated this year and got someone else to draw my Masterplan – but ain’t it pretty? mtp has been moved to our new back garden and now features a raft of fruit, including two Apple trees, two Pear trees, a Peach tree, two Blueberry bushes and the odd Tayberry. There’s also a new potting shed, a fancy bench and maybe… just maybe… a water feature thingy.
The 2007 Masterplan is here – featuring a new pumpkin bed, cutting garden, and there’s even room for some mini sweetcorn. You can tell how bored I’ve been over the winter months. Well if you can’t grow vegetables why not draw them?
For a larger version go here
This year mtp has doubled in size. The left-hand side was left to it’s own devices last year and ran wild with raspberries, gooseberries, blackcurrants and redcurrants. This year things are different. The bushes and canes are set to be trimmed and the land in-between the fruit will be cultivated and devoid of weeds. Here I plan to cultivate some of the larger crops such as main crop potatoes, sweetcorn, pumpkins, squash, and maybe even some melon (who knows?).
While the right hand side of mtp will concentrate on the smaller and more delicate vegetables, lettuce, spring onions, shallots, garlic, courgettes, french beans, carrotts and cucumber and tomatoes.
Of course by mid Spring all this will have been thrown out in favour of a more hap-hazard, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants approach as nature intended!
For a larger version go here
mtp’s very first year! It was only half the size it is now. As it was very overgrown, I only had time to cultivate half of it before the growing season began. However, we still managed to get in a bumper crop, with a little of everything we like to eat. The only things missing are some of the vegetables that take up lots of room (like pumpkins and runner beans) as we just didn’t have space. They make their entrance next year when the full plot is cultivated.