Rotation, Rotation, Rotation!

The glorious blue-sky days, frozen puddles, blooming daffodils and sparkling frosty grass of this week all suggest a change around the corner. Spring isn’t far off and we’re busily getting ready for it now! Preparing our beds, adding the beautiful biodynamic compost we made last spring, weeding, weeding, weeding…and planning.

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Come spring, each garden bed in its turn will transform from what it now holds into something completely different and that takes planning. Lots of it! Looking forward at what we want to grow for summer in what kinds of quantities, and looking back at what we have already grown in each bed to make sure we don’t plant crops from the same family in too close succession.

Last year’s tomato beds now have green manures and broad been crops in them, but this spring will be too soon to plant tomatoes in them again or we risk harbouring pests and diseases that could wipe out our crop. So….maybe we’ll plant salad in those rows instead!? We now have almost 55 rows in our market garden to plant out and planning the successions is really quite a juggle! We make sure we have 20% of our space growing a green manure at any one time to ensure we are feeding the soil, not just taking nutrients from it all the time. Then we have to work out what we can grow, what we like to grow and what people will want to eat! Lots to consider.

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Once we’ve worked all that out, Mel crunches the numbers to work out how many seedlings of each different crop we need to grow in the hot house and then we set about scheduling days according to the moon cycles, to sow successions of those crops to ensure they aren’t all ripe and ready at the same time! Yikes!

We’ve got 2 weeks left on our crowd funding and if it is successful we will be able to purchase some much-needed propagation infrastructure to make sure that we can actually grow the seedling in the numbers that we need them. The community hot house we use at the moment is great but much too small for our expanding garden, as we found out in autumn!

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You can check out our crowd funding campaign here if you’re interested in finding out more about what we’re up to and why:

https://www.chuffed.org/project/gung-hoe-growers-double-or-nothin#

And in the meantime, may the daffodils be blooming in your garden and stars bright above your head at night!

Grow well

Sas and Mel

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