We’re both pretty sore today, ’cause we spent all day yesterday rototilling & then cleaning up rows to make high beds – they’re about a foot and a half above the level of the paths between. It took us just about all day to get watersorb, gypsum, slow-release fertilizer, and blood meal added; everything rototilled twice; and to form up the beds. But it’s now ready for planting, and all we’ve got to do is to get the tomatoes from the nursery & to lay in the major drip lines and we’re ready to plant.
In addition to what I listed in a previous post, we’re planting Collard Greens, Red Potatoes, and Sweet Potatoes. Most of those seeds come from Kitazawa Seed, which is a seed company here in San Francisco which specializes in Asian vegetables. They’re pretty cool, and I suggest that you grow some Kabocha squash if you grow anything at all, ’cause they’re truly fabulous – way better than pumpkin for making pies.
Here’s a diagram of what the layout is like. It’s 25 feet from top to bottom, and about 45 feet from left to right. The spaces between the rows are about 1 foot, so that should give you an idea of what you’re looking at.
The space is shady towards the top left corner (where the Celtuce is to go), and we’ve had to balance out where to put things based upon where they’ve been before (no tomatoes nor potatoes can go in the same place they’ve been unless you’ve had three years in between, for example), but we’re pretty sure of this layout.
One thing we learned last year was that you can’t really trellis more than two tomatoes in a row, because you lose fruit where the plants intermingle, and you end up with plants being dwarfed by their neighbors. So, we’ll be planting the tomatoes in short beds, with only two tomatoes in each bed, and stretching two support beams above the three beds. It should let us trellis successfully, and give us a better harvest. We’ll see.
We’ve also made the beds much higher than we’ve been able to make them in the past, which should make it easier to harvest and to weed. AND we’re only planting one thing in each bed. We’ve tried to mix things in the past – tucking basil beneath the shade of a tomato, for example – and it just doesn’t work all that well. Not only do you end up with things competing for resources, you also end up with an inability to plant things in replacement. For example, if you’ve already pulled all of your beets out, but you still have greens growing, you’re stuck with leaving that bed to the greens. If you plant just one thing, however, you could plant a replacement crop, better utilizing the space.
These are things we think about. And lie awake thinking about.