2015 Master Plan: The Swingset Quadrant

As I mentioned in my last post, in the fall of 2015 we plan to try a much larger greenhouse space for tunneling over our winter veggies. That large tunnel will be tall enough to walk into, and will arc from the northern edge of the bottom row of the swing set quadrant (in the northeast) all the way over to the southern edge of the top row of the patio quadrant (which lies directly to the south of the swing set quadrant, separated by a brick path). The greenhouse will have an entryway (maybe even a lightweight, plastic-covered door, if we get fancy) at the center intersection of all the garden beds. Take a look at the big plan and see if you can visualize it:

To make this worthwhile, we had to plan ahead to make sure that those two long beds will hold only cool-weather crops. So along the bottom row of the driveway bed, we have a pea trellis, carrots, and leeks:

The pea trellis is to the north so that it won't shade the young carrots and leeks as they grow throughout the summer. In the past we've found that tucking the carrots in between taller items works well for ones we won't harvest until the fall; in this case, the pea trellis will be long gone by the time we need to reach the carrots. Having the carrots in the center of that bed also means that they are in the spot that freezes last, so with the help of the tunnel and their positioning, we should be able to pull carrots from soft soil well into the winter.

To the left is our asparagus bed, which is permanently reserved for this perennial that gets bigger and better each year. The top row of grapes and herbs is also perennial, although we often end up tweaking the herbs during the summer. For example, I may have to remove an overgrown sage bush and wormwood this year.

The right hand side has a plot for bell peppers and hot peppers to the north and potatoes to the south. This summer we plan to revamp our potato boxes so that they better fill the space in the bed, which should help us plant more potatoes in a smaller area. We also plan to keep them much lower to the ground, since additional height hasn't increased yields much in the past couple years.

In the center C we will bring back the original bean house, which arches over the keyhole path in the center. These poles will support our black beans again. Around the outside edge of the bed will be pumpkins and butternut squash. We had this same arrangement in 2013, but will go back to it after just just a short rotation because it worked so well from a space-saving standpoint. We also heavily amend the soil with compost each year, so the short rotation should be sufficient.


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