1) I have a hugelkultur style raised bed with strawberries and garlic. The garlic is just there for some general pest protection, diversity and Im testing it to see what happens if I leave it in the ground from year to year. So active growth for strawberries would be from March to June. Once berries are done being picked, which is about now, I will plant some chickpeas which should be done by September. Just before those are done I will plant Fava beans and take them through November. That gets me through 9 months instead of just 3 months.
I have more ideas, but wanted to see if this type of thread would interest anyone before I go posting novel!
2) The next idea is for a potato patch. I grow my potatoes in between hugelkultur beds and I fill up the gap between them with leaves, dried grass, straw and other types of compost. I do this instead of dirt, I find it’s a good use of space and works well for my crop plantings since I wont be stepping on them at certain times. Typically I put chicken wire on the ends to help hold everything in. This coming year, IM going to make the chicken wire on all 4 sides and make it higher to take up smaller space.
So from May to October I will be growing potatoes, from March to June I grow flax as a cover, beneficial attractor and companion plant. I will also be growing alliums on the ends of the potato beds from Fall until the following summer. I just need something that I can plant after the potatoes that will take them into the spring…this is where I was thinking winter wheat would work well, it holds the ground over the winter and then gives me straw to start my potatoes in.
3) Right next to my potato patch I plan on planting snow peas. These actually climb up the sides of the chickenwire cage that I plant the potatoes in. These would grow from March to June/July. At the base I would be growing carrots, radish, and lettuce from March June/July. Once the end of August comes around I will probably plant all of these again in succession for fall and winter harvests.
I just have to see what will grow well in that area between June and August. Any ideas?
4) Next is the sweet potato hugelkultur bed. This is occupied from May to Septemberish. Im thinking a bush bean from May to July/August over top of the sweet potatoes and then maybe a hardy spinach for Sept through April. I could either harvest the spinach in early winter or cover it up and keep it for an early start for spring.
I just pulled up garlic and carrots and am following with lima beans. Obviously what you can follow with would depend on the length of your growing season - mine is longer than yours (so to speak).
Any bare areas get planted with mustard and spinach in the fall but I am sure I could do better than that.
Could you leave a small patch of wheat to ripen and save the berries? Will your climate allow?
That way you'd have the benefit of a high-carbon addition and a built-in rotation.
I dig my garlic, but I always miss some. I don't get nice, fat cloves as everything's squashed in together, but if bulb aesthetics aren't an issue...
It 'll just keep on going in my garden and I like green garlic.
John Polk wrote:
A great crop for succession planting is Snow Peas. They are about 60 days from seed to table, and do well in summer heat when most peas wilt. I stagger plantings every 3-4 weeks for continuous harvest, but here is the kicker: About 3 weeks before your first expected frost, plant a row of them. They will grow to about half size before the frost shuts them down. The plant will go dormant through the winter, then as soon as the soil warms in spring, growth will resume as if nothing had happened. That is when to start your first spring row. You will be eating fresh snow peas a full month before your spring planting is ready. (I guess that is why the Chinese named them "Snow" peas.)
You are correct about the winter months. I would save berries, but I grow oats as well since we cant eat anything with gluten. So I dont want to risk the contamination since they grow closer together. When I grow hard winter wheat, I cut it down before the heads get close to developing and use it for straw/hay.
@John...what zone are you in that you can do that? Any particular variety that has worked well for you?
Any ideas on that? I've got collards, Cilantro, Dill, Broccoli, and others that I've left to reseed. Crossing my fingers to see what happens.
Thanks in advance!
The biggest problem with them is getting enough for dinner...I usually munch on all of them while in the garden. LOL