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size of beds and how much to plant


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  • size of beds and how much to plant

    Hello again,

    I'm still clearing my new plot, but procrastinating (otherwise known as waiting for oh to do all the hard work !) by trying to plan out my allotment!

    I had a rough measure the other day and it's approx 7 x 15m, with another 10m in length currently fenced off (apparently they are filling in old mine shafts! I don't really fancy digging up my spuds and disappearing down a shaft!)

    Anyway, I'm planning 4 main beds (potatoes, roots, legumes and brassicas), which will be about 1.2 x 5m each, plus areas for a strawberry bed, growing sweetcorn, nursery / seed bed, shed, compost bins etc etc When I eventually get the bottom of my plot returned I plan to grow fruit bushes there and probably squeeze in some more veg beds.

    I know it's a "how long is a piece of string" type question, but I'm just wondering how much of each thing do you plant? For example, the potato bed (1.2 x 5m) - I'm assuming I'll be able to plant about 30ish seed potatoes in there? Once the earlies are lifted, would I be able to put my courgettes in there?

    I'm planning on growing broad beans, peas, French and runner beans in one of the beds. Again, I'm not really sure how many I can fit in that area.

    I'd also like to grow some squashes / pumpkins, but I gather these need loads of room. What about sweetcorn - what sort of an area do most people use, and could I plant some squash underneath them?

    Sorry for all these questions! I hope over time this will all seem so obvious to me!


  • #2
    I have 1.2m by 3m beds (although they're 4' by 10' to me!), currently 3 of each on a 4 year rotation just like you are planning. I planted 3 main crop potatoes across each bed and put 6 rows in, ie 18 in total which, although closer than many recomend, worked well. Factored up this would mean that spacing would allow you to put in the 30 you are planning. I put the earlies somewhat closer, 4 per row and it would have been 10 rows if I'd planted a full bed up. This would mean you could put a heck of a lot in! I have some squash in where my earlies were - note that you can train squash upward, my lottie neighbour has some cheap garden arches which look good and make use of vertial space.

    Sweetcorn, I've planted 9 in a 1.2 x 1.2m square but I don't want many as it's only OH that likes it. I had about 1m bed length, possibly a bit more of broad beans which I always plant closely and got loads and have 4 wigwams (1 runner and 3 French beans) in the other end of the same bed. Again, a bit close but very productive. Peas and mange tout have had their own bed but next year I'm giving over a full 3m long bed to peas as I want to grow a few more and want to keep them separate from the mange tout which I will grow elsewhere. Personally I'm finding the space for brassicas more of a problem but that could be due to me being less familliar with them as I've not grown them much. Write up a plan, stick to it the first year and then tweak to your hearts content when you realise it needs changing!

    Some of us live in the past, always talking about back then. Some of us live in the future, always planning what we are going to do. And, then there are those, who neither look behind or ahead, but just enjoy the moment of right now.

    Which one are you and is it how you want to be?


    • #3
      I meant to reply to this earlier -sorry!

      Thanks very much Alison - that was very helpful and the sort of info I was looking for!

      Now on with my plans...


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