Once we had cleared some ground and could get a handle on how much space we had to work with, I found myself doodling what our plot could look like – this way Becks and I had something to pull apart & discuss. Where to put the fruit, how many beds, space between beds, did we want paths, did we want raised beds – the list goes on and on!
We picked up a cheap wheel barrow from Gumtree & that made us realise that 50cm between beds wasn’t enough – something that Becks had suggested when we pegged it out! Throughout this whole process, we’ve had to stay flexible – nothing was written in stone, but by starting with a draft, we had something to aim for.
Currently we’ve decided to grow cut flowers up the centre & after watching an episode of gardeners world, we now have a circular area leading up to a decked area – important to have somewhere we can chill out after a day of digging / weeding, fire up the BBQ and eat fresh corn right off the plant! We’re also toying with the idea of growing grapes up some form of structure by the deck.
As you look at the plan, the beds in the centre and on the left are all made (we’ve gone with raised beds) and with the veg beds on the left being the same size, i’m planning on making some modular cages / closhes that can be moved round as the crops rotate. We did have to reduce the beds on the left by one as the composting area is much larger, but that does mean we now have room for a three stage composting operation & a large section for letting any fresh manure rot down. From a crop rotation point of view, that means we could have an asparagus bed in one (which wont move) and then rotate the other 4 beds.
The larger beds on the right will get used for potatoes, purple sprouting, tenderstem broccoli and anything else that needs just a bit more room (like my pumpkin for the growing competition!). The rhubarb we uncovered will probably stay where it is (with the bits growing on the path moved back into the bed). There is also a large amount of strawberries at the top, so hopefully we’ll re-locate the runners into one of those beds too!
Now on draft 3 and we’re pretty happy so far – however, now we’ve found out about using wondermesh, we may no longer need a poly tunnel, so possibly a bigger fruit cage or and additional veg bed may be on the cards – watch this space!