Meg Davies

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since Feb 21, 2018
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Recent posts by Meg Davies

wayne fajkus wrote:Since my deer protected garden has limited space, i often take the spacing and apply it both directions. If its 15" apart in rows 30 " apart  i go 15" both ways. This may be the grid you referenced to. Alternating each row at a diagonal can gain a little more breathing room.

Yes this is what I mean, and what I did last year. I want to plant as much as possible in the available space.
3 weeks ago

Trace Oswald wrote:Hi Meg.  Personally, I don't see any drawbacks to planting in a grid.  I have planted potatoes pretty much every way you can think of and they all work pretty well.  I most often plant them in grids, if I'm understanding you correctly.  I plant them in rows, with the next row staggered.  I have planted them in raised beds made of various things and then I just kind of stick them in anywhere sort of equally spaced but with no real rhyme or reason.  I have planted them in smaller containers that have 3 plants in a triangle.  Potatoes are pretty easy.  I usually put mine a couple feet or so apart, but it depends on the space I'm planting and how many seed potatoes I have on any given year.  The only thing I wouldn't do is put them really close together.

Hi Trace, thanks for your thoughts. How did you come up with a 2' spacing? What would you say is too close together?
3 weeks ago
Thanks for your replies!
Yes by triangular grid I mean rows that are staggered, and evenly spaced in every direction.
If the official advice says 15" apart, and rows 30" apart, but you want to plant in a grid, what I'm wondering is if the best spacing would be 15" apart in every direction, or to increase that spacing a little, say to 20" in every direction.

I guess the best way to find out would be to plant two beds and weigh the results.

3 weeks ago

All the potato growing recommendations describe planting potatoes in rows spacing them 30-37cm / 12-15'' apart, and spacing the rows roughly 60-75cm apart. I'm guessing part of the reason for this recommendation is for ease of planting/harvesting if you are using animals or machinery.

I prefer growing potatoes in a triangular grid in beds about 4' wide. I did this last year and my yields were fine as far as I could tell, but I didn't weigh anything or compare them to anything.

Does anyone else grow potatoes in a grid rather than in rows? What kind of spacing do you use between potatoes? If 12-15'' works within a row, would that be fine to use in a grid?

It would be great to hear if anyone else does a similar thing and what your observations have been, or if you've adapted the spacing advice in other ways.

3 weeks ago
Yes makes sense, thanks!
9 months ago

In cases like this I usually advise to do what looks best to you and so best serves your purposes, the human eye is a marvelous judge if we pay attention to what the brain tells us. (I refer to this as the "feels right" scenario).  

Ah thank you that is really helpful! That is what I needed to hear I think

9 months ago
Thanks again for your replies and suggestions.

The walled garden is quite small, although I have about an acre in total of mainly pasture bordered by ash and hazel trees.

I really like the idea of putting two bathtub sized ponds somewhere to clean greywater.

In South Wales we have plenty of rainfall, and so water collection for the couple of drier months is something I want to do.

I am still unconvinced about terracing, I need to better understand the benefits. I can understand it on a steep slope, but on a slope of around 10 degrees are there great benefits?

I will definitely return with more pictures when the digging is done, I've chosen the most overgrown point of the year to take photos!
9 months ago
Thanks for everyone's replies so far.
Yes maybe a larger keyhole bed in the centre makes sense.
Interested if anyone would encourage using the digger to resurface the land in some way - such as to raise the keyhole beds?
Currently planning what the digger will do while we have it.

Good point about the hugels dropping in height.

I wasn't planning on removing all of the rubble as this would lower the ground level too much, I might take out very large stones and then return the rest just without the plastic bags. Put the topsoil to one side and put that back on top at the end, and then over time keep adding organic matter to build the soil level up. Does that sound reasonable? Or do I ideally need to get rid of all the rocks?

I find decision making and planning takes up more energy than actually doing the work!

9 months ago
I have a small walled garden, walled on three and a bit sides, open to the south, it's on a slope, about 10degrees, although I haven't measured accurately. The slope is down towards the south. This is in South Wales, UK.

At the top right, the bedrock sticks out, it's beautiful.

Currently it's massively overgrown. I started clearing it to discover that the previous owners had laid down rubble sacks, dumped rubble on top, and left the lot.

I'm going to hire a digger to, at the very least dig up the rubble sacks, as I can't tell how far they extend underground.

What else would you do with the site?

I share this land with other people and there is some disagreement over what the garden should do, (although it's my decision ultimately).

My plan is as follows: A hugel bed along the top south facing wall, to grow melons and peppers in the short term, and in a few years time plant either citrus or soft fruit. Possibly build a short retaining wall in front of that bed for soil stability. Currently we are not sure how much soil depth there is to plant trees straight away, as it's just some topsoil, rubble and bedrock.
In the centre a raised herb spiral, (hugel herb spiral), with spokes emanating outwards on the ground, with strawberries, salads etc. Clear plants away from the bedrock to show it off and grow strawberries and dry-loving mediterranean herbs and plants in that corner.
Grow wildflowers elsewhere. Along the West facing wall apricots, along the east facing wall japanese wineberries and/or siberian kiwis. In the north facing corner there is a shed, and behind that I'll build a proper three-pallet compost system.

With this plan, because in places the ground is currently bowl shaped, plants behind the herb spiral would be shaded for some of the day.

The alternative plan, which I'm less keen on, is use the digger to terrace the land or level it at some height or other, and have rows of raised beds for growing.
I don't like this plan so much because
a. I want a circular plan
b. We can always make terraces with hugels
c. I don't want to lose the feature of seeing the bedrock

But am I missing a trick? Would terracing be a better plan?
What would you do?
Thanks for your thoughts!

p.s. the rubble is mainly stone and old lime. Not much/any concrete as far as I can see.

9 months ago
Thanks everyone! Very helpful thoughts. I will be making a hugelbed hopefully over the next month or so.
1 year ago