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Crop rotation in small planting area. Help needed


 
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Neiljw24
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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Joined: 19 May 2011
Posts: 6
Location: Wexford

PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 10:43 am    Post subject: Crop rotation in small planting area. Help needed Reply with quote

Hi all,

I have just built two raised beds which are 1mx 1m. So I have 2sq metre of planting area, but how can I rotate my crops within such a small space.

Is it possible?? Confused

Unfortunately I don't have the space to build any more.

I hope to grow peas, carrots, onions, lettuce, beetroot, spring onion, leeks, cauliflower, broccoli and runner beans.

Any help or experience shared would be great.
Thanks
Neil Very Happy

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michael brenock
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Joined: 12 Aug 2008
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Location: cork

PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes of course it is possible to grow and to rotate crops even in a small area, try not to have members of the same family in the same patch of ground in two consecutive years. The more important families are brassicas, cabbages cauliflower turnips etc, Umbelliferae, carrots parsnips Celery parsley, Legumes include Peas and all the beans, Solanaceae Potatoes and Tomatoes and Peppers,
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)

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Blowin
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Joined: 20 Aug 2008
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Location: Drimoleague, Co Cork

PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, Neil! For someone to go to the trouble of posting a query, they must be seriously interested and I'd like to prevent you from becoming disappointed.

In the list of crops you'd like to grow I'd have been happier if you'd used 'or' near the end instead of 'and' because I feel sure you won't be able to grow ALL of them. For instance, if you plant them as far apart as the books tell you, I doubt whether you'll get more than two, maybe three, broccoli plants into one of your beds. If you manage to cram two or three carrots, beetroot, lettuces etc. in, they'll only provide, say, one token feed per season and the rest of your packets of seed will have been wasted.

I feel sure you'd prefer to make a meaningful use of your space and, using Michael's guidance, why not grow one or two crops each year in sensible quatities. You don't mention how many people will be hoping to eat what you produce but one of your beds will feed a family with something like runner beans for weeks on end. Devote the other to a succession of lettuces, radishes and spring onions for sallads, i.e. replant as you eat, and you'll use the seeds wisely. Next year try peas in the salad bed and, perhaps, beetroot in the other if you want to pickle them and use later.

I'm sure you've gone into the possibilities of patio pots, growbags etc but, if you know the people around you fairly well, there may be an elderly person nearby with a garden they can no longer really cope with. A tactful approach with the promise of some 'goodies' later may relieve them of the problem AND provide you with extra space. I've known this sort of arrangement to work very well elsewhere and it might be worth a knock on the door?

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tippben
Rank attained: Vegetable garden tender


Joined: 15 Jan 2011
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Location: north tipperary

PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, look to "cut and come again" plants. Swiss chard is excellent. If you like broccoli, try the "five star" perennial kind. I'm sure you're aware of cut and come lettuce. Last year we grew runner beans in old buckets, climbing up strings, which worked well.
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michael brenock
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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

blowin: that was excellent advice, very well put. I have seen so many beginners disappointed after the first year by being over ambitious, trying to grow too many crops in too small an area and ending in failure. Start off with easy crops potatoes onions lettuce and give them plenty space.
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)
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Neiljw24
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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Joined: 19 May 2011
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Location: Wexford

PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey everybody,


Apologies for having not been on here in ages. Busy bee!

The veg are doing great, in the end i planted some lettuce, a few carrots, beans, spring onion, chives and pasley.

They are really progressing. I just make sure to water them every night because we have had some dry weather down in Wexford.

Thanks all for your advise.

It was a big help. Very Happy

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