Video: Growing Vegetables In Narrow Beds, How To Effectively Plan A Vegetable Garden
In July of this year, a field seminar of the Omsk Potato Growers Club took place on my site. After inspecting the site and talking about my technologies and experiences for a long time, one of the authoritative members of the club asks the question: "Since you are using the Mittlider system of splitting a vegetable garden into narrow beds, why do you ignore the recommendations to make wide aisles?"
I show everyone to my garden: "Look, the plants do not interfere with each other …" It turns out - as if waved it off …
It was not too lazy to answer, just everyone was already tired - three hours in the sun! This is not the first time this question has been asked, and it is clearly not the last.
Why did you make the aisles as wide as the garden beds - 50 cm, and not more? Yes, just out of greed. Let's count. The harvest of winter garlic this year is good - 3.2 kg per square meter of the garden. This fact was easy to establish: the weight of all the heads of garlic was divided by the area of the garden. Most often they think so. But there is deceit in this. Why don't we take track area into account when calculating yield?
3.2 kg per square meter of the garden does not mean at all that the harvest per hundred square meters is 320 kg! My weaving is 100 meters of a bed (50 cm wide) plus 100 meters of a path (the same width). In reality, it turns out that the yield from a given hundred square meters is the yield from 50 square meters (100 meters multiplied by 0.5 meters) of the ridge - 160 kg. In one Russian cartoon, the hero exclaims: "And in parrots, I am much longer!" So I can, without lying at all, say that the harvest of garlic this year amounted to 320 kg per one hundred of the ridge. But my "accounting" records after the sale of garlic on the market say something completely different - 160 kg were sold. The yield turned out to be "in monkeys"!
Now let's take a system of narrow ridges with wide, meter-long, row spacings. On a hundred square meters of a plot there is no longer 50, but 33 square meters of a ridge, which means that from a hundred square meters we get only 106 kg of the same garlic. The harvest is already "in baby elephants", with the same boa constrictor. Facts are stubborn things.
Adherents of narrow ridges with wide passages claim that wide passages are more comfortable to walk on. I totally agree with that! Moreover, it would be nice to have passages of 2.5 meters. Then you could drive on them on a walk-behind tractor or a car. I'm not being ironic at all. It would be really convenient: drove up with a trailer to the place, unloaded organic matter; I put the crop in a trailer right from the garden … But, unfortunately, I have to be guided not only by convenience. There is an old anecdote about the "new Russian" who was bought by "Zaporozhets". Friends are surprised: "Why do you need a Zaporozhets? You have a luxury jeep." He calmly replies that, they say, it is inconvenient to drive a jeep along the corridors of his new house.
Our limited plots in most cases require the use of every piece of land. Everything that has been said above is about economics, so to speak. But it is important to consider other factors, the main of which is a place in the sun for each plant. One of the Omsk newspapers literally says the following about the narrow paths on my site: "In principle, this is nonsense. Many experts say that in this case there is not enough sunlight for photosynthesis." But my plants do not push each other, but only just close the tops in the phase of their maximum development, despite the opinion of many experts.
It turns out that the experts are wrong? In no case. But you can cheat and get around some of the problems. The first thing to do is to place the beds from north to south. So the illumination of all cultures will become much better. Thinking over the placement of crops for the next year, I try to take into account not only the requirement of crop rotation (bed rotation), but also the size of the vegetative mass of plants located in neighboring beds.
For example, if you place next to narrow beds with zucchini and cabbage, then they will clearly shade each other. I have carrots growing next to the cabbage. The tops of carrots grow mainly upward, and therefore most of the area of the path goes to cabbage, and the carrots do not suffer. There are many such combinations if you look closely at the plants.
Potatoes don't fit into this principle. If you plant it not in a solid mass, but place it on the beds, mixed with other crops, then you must take into account that its stems fall under their own weight. And if we consider that in some varieties these stems reach 1.5 meters in length, it turns out that they will block not only my narrow paths, but also the neighboring beds.
But we are solving this issue too. In reality, everything happens like this. The potato beds alternate with family onions or winter garlic. At the beginning of summer, onions and garlic grow intensively, and the potatoes are only gaining strength. In early August, the potatoes become cramped. But at this time, onions and garlic are already ripening, we remove them. And the potato rows are located two meters away. They have enough space with interest. Thus, plants are not deprived of light, and an important condition is fulfilled - there is no empty land on which the sun's rays fall.
In August, in my section with a wheelbarrow, you can only drive along the main paths located across the ridges, they are wide - 1-1.2 meters. You can walk along the aisles between the beds, but it is better to do it carefully. But in August there is no longer a need for frequent walks between the ridges. There are almost no weeds, loosening and watering are not needed. I do not urge everyone to do it my way, each his own. My principle of splitting a garden is one of the options, and you choose.