Friday, February 17, 2012

Companionplanting and crop rotation in practice

Way back in 2008 I found a chard for companionplanting, giving the best partners for several plants in a setup for 6 beds.

I implemented in 2008 and have been following the roaster quite diligently, having only once made a mistake with planting beans on the same bed twice in a row - this is now 4 years ago, so I doubt the negative effects on the soil are still an issue.

I only ever amend the soil with chicken poo ( the last two years, as we now have two ladies in the back yard) and compost once a year.

Over the years I have taken to name the beds after there main crop. So "Mischkulturbed 1-1" = companionplanting scheme 1-1 is come to be the Rootbed. The exact contend of the combinations you can find on folia - where I happily record my garden adventures for a few years now.

  2008        20092010201120122013
Bed 1 Broad beans 2-3Pea 2-2Bean 2-1Cabbage 1-2Koolrabi 1-3Roots 1-1
Bed 2 Pea 22Broad beans 23Pea 22Root 11Cabbage 12Koolrabi 13
Bed 3 Bean 21Bean 21 (mistake)Broad Bean 23Koolrabi 13Root 11Cabbage 12
Bed 4 Koolrabi 13Root 11Cabbage 12Broad Bean 23Bean 21Pea 22
Bed 5     Cabbage 12Koolrabi 13Root 11Pea 22Broad Bean 23Bean 21
Bed 6 Root 11Cabbage 12Koolrabi 13Bean 21Pea 22Broad Bean 23

As I was setting up the plan for this year, I noticed that I could improve. The beds starting with 1 are cabbages - meaning heavy eaters. The 2 beds are bean sorts - a different species, giving the soil actually, what the cabbages eat. If I were to rotate the 3 bed combinations as well, to have the cabbages benefit from the leftovers of the beans, I could help my crops.

I think I'll try............

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