Getting started

Before you pick up your spade, it’s a very good idea to take the time to plan your garden. Right from the beginnning, I knew I wanted to have four small plots so that I could “rotate” my cops from one plot to the next each year. There are very good reasons for doing this. More about rotation later.

To make my four plots, I began by measuring out the area I needed to dig them. Lucky for me, I had a few old doors which I found in a skip. These were ideal for marking out the plot areas. They also gave me a nice straight, firm edge when I came to dig out the soil.

Using some old doors to mark out the plots.

Using some old doors to mark out the plots.

The American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson used to say “adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience.” Good gardening involves both patience and a resolve to seize the moment. “For everything there is a season…”

The ideal food growing area for me is enough space to dig four small plots. However, four large pots, bins, buckets, window boxes or any reasonably large container would allow one to make a start. You’lll notice I talk about four plots quite a lot and may have wondered why four? See this article on the subject.

The next thing to decide was what to grow, and which plot to grow it in. I started with a sketch of my planting area, a bit like this one:plan-12

In Plot 1 I decided to plant my onion family, the easiest food to grow using onion sets).

Plot 2 is for pea and bean family members.

Plot 3 will have the cabbage family .

Plot 4 will grow my favourites, beetroot and leaf beet (which is just like spinach, but hardier and easier to grow.)

I decided at an early stage to have concrete pathways between and around my plots.

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