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The first things to consider when planning your plot

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How should you plan out your plot? It all depends on the room you have and the aspect of your garden.  The main thing to remember is that you will need 4 beds at least (why 4 will be explained later) and depending on the direction of the sun in your plot all small plants at the front and tall plants at the back.

A variation on this idea, suitable for very small gardens, is a high density method known as “square foot gardening” –  visit the garden organic website

DRAINAGE  - Particularly if your garden is on clay soils you may suffer from boggy ground. If so the best solution is to either create a small pond at the lowest point of your site so the water will have somewhere to drain into and/or create raised beds and back fill them with bought soil or compost. They only need to be a maximum of 2 feet deep and can be constructed out of recycled scaffolding planks or other bits of wood or old tyres. Raised beds will also improve your growing soil (if filled with good stuff) and make your plot easier to manage as everything is neatly in one area and if the beds are narrow enough to reach to the centre from either side then you can avoid walking on them which will avoid compacting your soil.

ASPECT-     Which way does your plot face? North away from the sun or South towards the sun? This will determine how much sun or shade your plot is likely to get. You’ll also need to assess if you’re at risk from prevailing winds (the direction the wind most often blows). Obviously it’s not a lost cause if you don’t have a plot with maximum sunshine or if it’s exposed to wind and there are some things you can do to improve your chances of success. If you are attempting to grow some veggies in containers then the solution will be to move your pots to a more sheltered sunny position, which may mean putting them on the other side of the house. However if you don’t have the option of moving your garden then plant vegetable types that can tolerate some shade and construct a windbreak, e.g a willow screen or trellis.

Here are some veggies that can withstand some shade but they must get about 4 hrs of sunshine per day –

  • Salad Greens, such as leaf lettuce, arugula, endive, and cress.
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Peas
  • Beets
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Radishes
  • Swiss Chard
  • Leafy Greens, such as collards, mustard greens, spinach, and kale
  • Beans

The best type of windbreak is the natural one. Whatever you use to stop the wind will need to be 50% permeable as anything solid, like a panelled fence, will only deflect the wind straight up which will cause turbulence on the other side. So a hedge is the best solution. Although it will take time to develop it is the cheapest option will not only provide protection from the wind but will also provide wildlife interest into the garden and maybe even be a source of more food for yourself. Choose native plants and you cant go wrong!

 

The first things to consider when planning your plot

How should you plan out your plot? It all depends on the room you have and the aspect of your garden.  The main thing to remember is that you will need 4 beds at least (why 4 will be explained later) and depending on the direction of the sun in your plot all small plants at the front and tall plants at the back.

A variation on this idea, suitable for very small gardens, is a high density method known as “square foot gardening” –  visit the garden organic website

DRAINAGE  - Particularly if your garden is on clay soils you may suffer from boggy ground. If so the best solution is to either create a small pond at the lowest point of your site so the water will have somewhere to drain into and/or create raised beds and back fill them with bought soil or compost. They only need to be a maximum of 2 feet deep and can be constructed out of recycled scaffolding planks or other bits of wood or old tyres. Raised beds will also improve your growing soil (if filled with good stuff) and make your plot easier to manage as everything is neatly in one area and if the beds are narrow enough to reach to the centre from either side then you can avoid walking on them which will avoid compacting your soil.

ASPECT-     Which way does your plot face? North away from the sun or South towards the sun? This will determine how much sun or shade your plot is likely to get. You’ll also need to assess if you’re at risk from prevailing winds (the direction the wind most often blows). Obviously it’s not a lost cause if you don’t have a plot with maximum sunshine or if it’s exposed to wind and there are some things you can do to improve your chances of success. If you are attempting to grow some veggies in containers then the solution will be to move your pots to a more sheltered sunny position, which may mean putting them on the other side of the house. However if you don’t have the option of moving your garden then plant vegetable types that can tolerate some shade and construct a windbreak, e.g a willow screen or trellis.

Here are some veggies that can withstand some shade but they must get about 4 hrs of sunshine per day –

  • Salad Greens, such as leaf lettuce, arugula, endive, and cress.
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Peas
  • Beets
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Radishes
  • Swiss Chard
  • Leafy Greens, such as collards, mustard greens, spinach, and kale
  • Beans

The best type of windbreak is the natural one. Whatever you use to stop the wind will need to be 50% permeable as anything solid, like a panelled fence, will only deflect the wind straight up which will cause turbulence on the other side. So a hedge is the best solution. Although it will take time to develop it is the cheapest option will not only provide protection from the wind but will also provide wildlife interest into the garden and maybe even be a source of more food for yourself. Choose native plants and you cant go wrong!

 

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