Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Doing the 'Crop Rotation' tango!

Left: Truss tomatoes ... Right: Grape tomatoes

Two examples lead on to the 'issues' that I am trying to cope with in this first foray into veggie gardening since 1959-1960. First example, is one I have mentioned before. I stuffed both carrots and peas. The carrots were all twisted and gnarled, whereas the peas did not bear more than about three examples of fruit. Second example, is that my tomato vines have turned into a dense, twisted jungle which I despair will ever ripen any fruit.

So, what are the broader issues? First, the soil must be tilled adequately, 'friable' I believe is the term'. No sticks, no stones, but lots of organic matter. And the tilling must be much more than surface deep, one foot in depth even! Second, Not all plants make good neighbours. Some will happily coexist, while others must either precede or follow.

So, I need a rotation plan. 'Gardening Australia' recommends FOUR BEDS X FOUR YEARS. So, this I will incorporate into my forward planning. Requires much thought, as my choice of vegetables - the ones the family is happy to consume - are so at variance to that which GA has chosen.

Left: What is the mongrel eating my raspberries? ... Right: When do I harvest this bounteous supply of capsicum?

Left & Right: This cucumber is looking a treat with about 8 cuwies nearing harvest.

And finally, a rockmelon. I have never grown them before, but think the fruit is just below, but separate from, the flower. Shall be interested to see if I am anywhere close!


Rosemary said...

Those rockmelon flowers look like they are male. If I remember correctly the female flowers start showing up a little later. I had 1 plant that took over the whole garden bed. Lots of sun and water and they take over.

Something for you to ponder on. The Native Americans grew 3 vegetables (The Three Sisters) in close proximity, each providing support for the other. These are corn, climbing beans, and squash. Tho corn provides the support for the beans and both provide shade for the squash. The beans also fix nitrogen in the soil which increases the sustainability.

Julie said...

Oops, sorry, Rosemary. Meant to respond when I read your comment - but forgot!

Then they would be similar to zucchini in their flower structure. They look similar in their growth poattern, and to cucumbers to.

I had read about beans growing up corn stalks. I might try ONE example of this next year. I am not a good plant tamer. I know about beans & peas and their generosity with nitrogen. Hence, two of my beds will be (pretty much) swapped over next year, with the tomatoes in the low bed and the beans/peas in the high bed, which will need lots of tilling in the mean time.

It is all quite engrossing when one gets into the detail.

Alannah had her first straight from the vine rASPBERRY TODAY, AND THE LOOK ON HER FACE WAS A DELIGHT. Sorry for the yelling ...

Rosemary said...

No worries Julie,

The cantaloupe (rockmelon) I grew in the front garden bed started as 4 little plants but the dratted bunnies (I'm in Oklahoma) ate 3. The 4th one damn near took over everything and was a source of great amazement to everyone walking by the house. No-one had ever before seen fruits in the front yard. It's a bit like your beds in Castlecrag. I grew up in a flat in Mosman and our bits of the garden were the front beds. Mum had one for flowers and the other always had a large variety of veggies.

Kirsten Lynn said...

I know someone who is eating your raspberries...

Julie said...

*grin* ... the look on her face when the flavour burst was to treasure!