I planted my garlic yesterday. I would have liked to have done it a bit earlier but I couldn’t. This is largely because I refused to pull out the cucumber plants that have done so well this summer (from 4 plants they produced a cucumber a day from December until late February, slowing to a couple a week by the end of March). Instead of pulling it out in March when production was slowing (and I had put in my plan) I left it in and left it in and left it in until there was just one cucumber left on it but even then I didn’t want to pull them out until that ripened. Ripen it finally did and my 4 year old daughter grabbed it for a salad which she was making which she then pronounced disgusting and refused to eat. She makes very odd combinations and frankly her diagnosis was correct – the salad was yuk and went straight into the compost. So I had wasted a week of valuable bed resting time to produce compost.
Of course you can plant garlic pretty happily in this (temperate) climate anytime up until about June so I could have left the beds to rest a little longer but I felt like playing in the dirt so I carefully measured out my bed and planted 14 rows of 7 cloves at 12cm intervals with 12cms between rows. My point in all this is actually to point out that I did actually consider my winter crops when I chose where and when to plant at least some of my summer ones, otherwise I might still be waiting for beans to finish etc and I wouldn’t have got to spend yesterday playing in the dirt.
I do find the planning does actually help. I plan to both ensure that I rotate my crops around the bed and also to ensure I follow some basic companion planting principles. I have to say I’m not yet sure about companion planting, exactly how beneficial given the amount of potential planning it needs but I do still follow some basic principles just in case.
My principle method of planning is to map out the beds on paper and write in where and when things are to be planted. I break the beds down into 1 metre squares and then dedicate each square to a different crop/s. The below links show the last few seasons and my current plan.
Garden plan Winter – Spring 2011
So, can I plant potatoes now Ms or Mr Tomato in the surburbs not more than 10kms from the CBD? (I am a few kms further out. But do not get frosts.) And which type would you recommend? I usually go for one with a lovely feminine sounding name.
The Provincial Pumpkin.
Hello Provincial Pumpkin,
Oooh I do like your name, I like the alliterative feel, perhaps I should have called myself the suburban swede….except of course they’re not my favourite vegetable…….regarding potatoes I would wait a bit until the end of May/start of June. Regarding types it depends on what you are going to use them for. If you want to boil them or use for salads then kipflers and pink fir apple are both great. Kipflers are fairly common and so easy to find – I grew them last year and had really good yields from pot grown plants. Pink fir apple they grow alot in the UK, they are small, long and knobbly and great for salad – I really like them but haven’t grown them here yet although I plan to this year. If you are looking for bigger potatoes then I like King Edward and Dutch Cream, as you like feminine names then perhaps the latter is more suitable.
Suburban Spud (ooohhh that would have been good……Liz)
First i must say i love this trees i use to have one years ago i bought at a farmers market in California but now i need to know where to get another as i have moved to Tempe, AZ. Second i will sound horrible but when my now 17 year old Miguel was about 3 & 1/2 years old we saw one of these chili trees and i said “look mijo it’s a candy tree”, he looked up at me as if saying really so i said “go on you can get one” and he did and then the tears came. A year later at another friend’s home we saw another one only it wasn’t well pruned / trimmed so it looked more like a bush and again i said to my son Miguel “look mijo its a candy bush go and get one”, the whole time struggling to keep my laughter too loud and again he did Lol now we search for a “Candy Tree” because there was a lesson in it all or so my version goes but also a funny memory. Can you send an email of where in the Tempe, AZ 85282 i can find one please. The lesson by the way is just because it looks appealing doesn’t mean it won’t harm you and don’t trust your eyes alone and any other lesson we want to add but mostly even sweet moms have a wicked sense of humor. Lol
Lizz Rodriguez Connal