Laying out ‘Goldilocks’ veg beds, just the right width – 3rd wk in Oct 2013

In horticulture, as with many aspects of life, using hand tools or machinery will have a bearing on the design of a holding. The acre of front field is to be both productive, while also being part of an amenity and educational area. Who knows, we may eventually be running courses in organic horticulture!

With all that in mind, the layout of the vegetable beds requires (1) pathways, (2) also a structure to make rotation of crops easy and (3) the width of the beds needs to be manageable. Width is important as one needs to reach a hand fork, hoe or trowel to the centre of the seed bed from the edge of each long growing area. About four foot, or a little over a metre seems about right. To borrow from

About 10 veg beds of 1.2m by 20m fit along this part of the field. Far easier to draw them on paper than to dig them!

About 10 veg beds of 1.2m by 20m fit along this part of the field. Far easier to draw them on paper than to dig them!

the comparisons in the Goldilocks fairytale, the beds should be neither too wide or too narrow, but just right!

However, it is not the end of the world if the veg bed is too wide. A robust piece of wooden plank can be placed across the bed to allow walking in from the edge if required. This distributes the weight of the gardener and is almost as good as not walking on the soil to avoid compaction.

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