Plotting

With my seed order arrived on Monday, yesterday seemed like a good day to sit down and work out where I was going to plant everything (I know, I know, proper grown up gardeners probably work out their planting plan first and then order the seeds, but where’s the fun in that? This way my friend and I can have fun leafing through the catalogue and deciding on new things on a bit of a whim because we haven’t grown them before or because they sound amusing. Which is why I was sitting there scratching my head yesterday afternoon wondering what could have possessed me to order Pak Choi…)

So anyway, I sat down with my garden notebook (look, I am a proper grown up gardener, I have a garden notebook and everything) and worked out what would go where based on what had been planted there before, what had had manure dug into it already, which bits were more sheltered for plants that like falling over (I’m looking at you, sweetcorn) and so on. Again, I’m sure that if I were more organised, I would have a proper multi-year rotation system worked out, and also that I wouldn’t randomly dig manure into beds over the winter but refer to my master plan, along with scientifically applied amounts of blood, fish and bone, and wood ash, and seaweed extract, plus a scattering of eye of newt or whatever else it is you need to grow prize-winning vegetables as opposed to merely amusing ones.

planting plan mark 1

If anyone’s wondering, it says ‘mangetout’ on the top right hand corner, not ‘mangos’….

That all seemed to go surprisingly easily so today I went up to the garden and started the process of carting compost to those beds I had deemed to be in need of extra organic matter. It was as I was happily digging in the second barrowful that it occurred to me that actually, I was about to plant potatoes in a bed which had had potatoes in it two years earlier. Hmm, not good, especially as potatoes have a tendency to linger in the ground. So I could swap the potatoes and onions, except then the onions would be in the same place twice in a row, so that wouldn’t work. So swap one of the onions and the beetroot, and then move the squash … and actually the seed bed would also have to move because it would mainly have brassicas in it and it was going to be in the same bed as the kale was in now, which seeing as I’d suffered from club root last year wasn’t a good idea. And I can’t move the parsnips, because they need less fertile soil, and come to think of it the squash should really go into one of the slightly smaller beds and …
revised planting planFortunately it’s a pleasant thing to sit in the spring sun (at last!) and out of the wind and do the garden sudoku, shuffling all these variables around until the solution is found, albeit with no real certainty that there actually is a solution. And so that’s what I did, and now I have the absolute, definite, last word, this one’s for real planting plan – at least until next week, anyway.

Looking back through my garden notebook, I see that I went through exactly the same process last year…

last year's planting plan

And come to think of it, I changed several things around after that as well…

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4 Responses to Plotting

  1. Christine says:

    Spring sunshine!! It’s currently snowing in Kent . . . again. Enough already!

  2. Charles says:

    snowing in central London. Don’t worry we plan our company rather worse than you plan your garden, at least you have a plan!

  3. disgruntled says:

    Christine – eek! We had our first night without frost for ages last night…
    @Charles – well, subject to constant revision

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