By planning, I mean that I spent quite a bit of time reading up on crop rotation - and crop rotation geared towards what I grow. I don't grow every vegetable, but focus only on growing what we eat. Growing other vegetables for vegetables sake would be a waste of water - even with the porous pipe irrigation system we have in place - and, I'd have the additional problem of trying to get them into RMan's mouth LOL
For instance, knowing now what yield I got growing mealies (sweetcorn) last year I definitely won't be pouring precious summer water onto another crop - not even with the rain water which we are going to collect in our 6 X 5000 lt water tanks this winter. Pink popcorn - that was worthwhile, so that has a place in one of my veggie beds next spring :)
I use John Seymour's "Complete Book of Sufficiency" quite religiously, and my interpretation of his recommendation on crop rotation goes like this:
|My crop rotation spreadsheet. I omitted|
onions and garlic, but am treating them
So, the bed that held the corn crop last season, will, next spring, hold my tomatoes, sweet peppers and swiss chard in the front. But what is it holding now...?
I asked RMan if he could make me the following structure with the Black Wattle poles left over from the "screen" we erected between our neighbour and ourselves.
|RMan made me this structure in the old corn bed|
which is 4mtrs X 7 mtrs in size
|Excess Black Wattle poles were put to good use|
|The broad beans were planted along the porous|
pipe and the cross poles positioned above them
|The rows of beans should make them easy to harvest|
(pic from 6th May 2013 - you can see the broad
beans are just below the bottom cross pole)
|Supporting the broad beans with garden twine -|
I'm anticipating a bumper harvest :)
(pic from today - the broad beans are currently
overtaking the 2nd support - roughly
my waist height)
The peas - they were planted on the outer edges, and for their support, I inserted more garden twine between the cross poles.
|Even the pea plants got their required support|
Next Spring / Summer I will interplant the tomatoes, chard and peppers where the beans / peas are now and the existing structure will allow me to support the tomatoes perfectly. (I will almost be able to palisade the tomato plants LOL)
As for my shadecloth veggie patch, that is currently planted up with carrots, garlic and onions - it's going to have a long break before it houses tomatoes again :)