Friday, March 21, 2008

Soil testing

This morning I tested the pH levels and temperatures in all 6 plots. Here's the results.....

Well, it seems that the adding of lime has done a good job of raising the pH level as it was down around 4.0 before. All I need now is a planting plan. Here's the 1st draft so far.........
Each plot is approx 8ft x 4ft.
Plots 1 and 2
These are alongside the shed and have not been fitted with floating row covers. I intend to plant Sunflowers up against the shed wall, just to add a little brightness to the proceedings. This means I'll probably have to rig up some kind of trellis against the shed. In front of the Sunflowers in Plot 1 maybe Pole Beans at one end and Cucumber or Squash at the other. Both these will be trained up inverted tomato cages which seemed to work OK last year. Also a row of Onions along the front.
In front of the Sunflowers in Plot 2 I was hoping to have a go at growing some Watermelons from heirloom seeds purchased last year.
Plot 3 Is earmarked for Bell and Hot Pepper plants, purchased from our local nursery along with Lettuce seed and Radish/Carrot seeds mixed at front of them.
Plot 4 Here there may well be Turnips (I've some seeds kicking around somewhere) along with Spinach. There could be another row of Radish/Carrot mixed seed planted a little later along the front to spread out the harvest.
Plot 5 is designated Potato land this season and I'm trying 2 methods of cultivation. One row will be in the conventional style by which you plant the tubers 3 inches deep approx 12 inches apart and "hill" the soil around the plants as they (hopefully) get a foot tall. The second row I'm going to try the mulch planting method instead where straw is built up around them as they get over a few inches tall.
Plot 6 finally will be home for the Tomatoes. As I mentioned earlier I have 3 different heirloom varieties at seedling stage at the moment and I'm planning on picking the best 2 plants from each type giving me 6 plants for that bed. The rest of the plants will be given to any friends and neighbors who desire them.

This mass of potential food will be interspersed with Marigolds and Basil because they look nice, smell nice and generally get along with everyone else in the garden, me included. Tomatoes and Basil taste good together too.
There could also be more Radishes where space permits as (a) they get along with most things (except the Pole Beans), (b) they're easy to grow and (c) they taste great in salads.

OK, so that's my plan for 2008.
Come back tomorrow because it may all have changed by then.

No comments: