Here's the planting schedules for 3 different beds from The Synergistic Garden
YEAR 1, April - Sow root vegetables in lines, planted 25-30 centimeters apart, of carrots and/or beets,
as well as turnips on the flat top of the raised bed. When sowing small seeds, push back the mulch in
the line to be sown, and without 'working the soil', simply make an indentation the same length as the
line, put your seeds in as you normally do and sprinkle some soil on top. Then put some pressure on the
soil so that it adheres to the seed. If the seeds are small do not replace the mulch, but do keep the area
moist. This crop can be combined with any type of sweet garden pea
, which can be sown either in
pockets or across the narrow bed every 2-3 meters.
On the sides of the raised bed plant in a zig-zag pattern; try onion sets or seedlings interspersed with
any type of lettuce or salad chicory. Keep the sides permanently planted with cut and come again
salads, planting new seedlings next to the plants that are going to seed. When the onions are harvested,
use the same zone for new onion varieties, or for garlic or leeks.
Over a period of time you should try to plant 'salads' where the onions were, and put the liliaceous
varieties where the salads were. The sides of all raised beds should be treated similarly except where
you want to grow perennial chives or other perennial or self-seeding members of the same family.
Be sure to sow flowers too in all your beds: calendula (predominantly the orange variety), as well as all
types of French marigolds and nasturtiums, paying attention to their growth pattern. Each bed should
have at least one of each of these plants as beneficial companions to the crops. Plant them on the flat
top of the raised bed, but don't let them take up too much space.
YEAR 1, July - As you harvest the root crop, sow mustard greens in the same spaces. As the sweet
garden peas are cut and left as mulch, sow pockets of beans at random.
YEAR 1, September - October - Sow winter varieties of spinach as the mustard greens are harvested.
YEAR 1, November - Sow broad beans or sweet garden peas among the spinach. YEAR 2 , March - April - Plant lines of Swiss chard plants among the broad beans. Sow legumes now
if you didn't plant them last autumn (or if they didn't survive the winter).
YEAR 2, June - August - Before harvesting the legumes, sow beans between the Swiss chard; continue
putting in beans throughout the summer.
YEAR 2, November - Sow broad beans or sweet garden peas (different varieties than last year), parallel
with the lines of chard.
YEAR 3 , March - April - Continue harvesting the Swiss chard until it begins to go to flower. As soon
as this happens cut most of the plants back as low as possible. Depending on the size of the bed and
how many plants you have, choose at least two, but not more than four, to stake and let go to seed.
(Space doesn't allow for details of selecting which plants to choose for seed production). Planting
parallel to the spent Swiss chard roots, begin a further root vegetable sowing following the Year 1
pattern; when choosing succession plants bear
in mind the crop rotation, and try to avoid having two
plants of the same family following each other.
RAISED BED 2
YEAR 1, March - April - Sow small peas in pockets, at 50-60 centimeters distance.
YEAR 1, May - In the center of: the bed plant tomatoes in two zig-zag lines. In front of the tomatoes
sow basil and coriander.
YEAR 1, June - Sow beans among the tomatoes all through the summer.
YEAR1, November - Sow broad beans in between the dying/dead plants that have been cut and left as
YEAR 2, March - April - Tomato plants like growing on soil where tomatoes have been grown before,
so no rotation strategy is needed - so repeat the Year I pattern although it's worth moving the plants
round so that roots are distributed through all the soil (put the coriander where you had the basil and
YEAR 2Autumn - For winter legumes alternate each year between sweet garden peas and broad beans.
YEAR 3, Spring - Repeat Year 1 or follow the pattern in raised bed 3 if you prefer to integrate a
RAISED BED 3
YEAR 1, March - April - Sow small peas.
YEAR 1, May - Plant (or sow) two rows of any type of squash in a wide zig-zag line towards the center
of the bed, together with some sweet corn.
YEAR 1, June - Begin sowing your beans.
YEAR 1, August - In the spaces between the squash leaves, plant Chinese cabbage, broccoli or
Brussels sprouts (the squash leaves providing shade to protect the transplanted seedlings).
YEAR 1, November - Sow broad beans or sweet garden peas in between the cabbages.
YEAR 2 Spring - As harvesting progresses (always ensuring that you cut the plants and leave the roots
undisturbed in the soil), you can sow spinach, mustard greens and/or borage and New Zealand spinach.
YEAR 2, Summer - Sow beans among the other plants.
YEAR 2, Autumn - Broad beans or sweet garden peas.
YEAR 3, Spring - Year 1 can be repeated or alternate with raised bed 2 (or another one). WATERING
Install a drip irrigation hose (a simple narrow hose with perforations every 25-30 centimeters works
fine and shouldn't suffer from chalk build-up). 2 hoses per bed is the optimum, placed in parallel about
l0 centimeters from the edges of the flat top of the raised bed.
If you want to set up a system of supports which can be left permanently in place in the garden and
which will not be damaged however strong the wind, try 6 meter long building rods (10 or 12
centimeter gauge) forming an arch across the beds. Attach a strong wire from the apex of each crossed
arch to the next and these will form good supports for winter climbing peas as well as summer beans.
Be sure to use biodegradable string for attaching plants to the supports, so that at the end of the season
you can simply undo the knots from the support and let string and plants mulch together on the bed.
Cucumbers, melons and many squashes can be encouraged to climb in this way, thus freeing up a lot of
space at ground level.
the self-fertility way produces a rich harvest: the more plants which live and die in the soil
the richer and more fertile it becomes.
, The One-Straw Revolution. 1978. Rodale.
The Natural Way of Farming. 1985. Japan Publications
The Road Back to Nature. 1987. Japan Publications.
Ruth Stout. Gardening
Without Work. 1961. Devin-Adair.
How to Have a Green Thumb Without an Aching Back. 1968. Exposition Pres