Allotment Gardening Advice Help Chat

Growing => Grow Your Own => Topic started by: Subversive_plot on August 08, 2020, 18:29

Title: Are you already planning your 2021 vegetable plot?
Post by: Subversive_plot on August 08, 2020, 18:29
Yes, I know it is way too early . . . or is it?

My 2020 plot sort of happened close to last minute.  I had only intended to grow a few tomatoes and peppers in containers, then realized I could do more . . . and then just "did".  I got a late start, got plants or seeds in the ground at around the time neighbors were approaching their early harvest, and yet it has worked out to be an acceptable year, if not "perfect".  I have harvested a good number of tomatoes, banana peppers, peas (early on), and fresh herbs.  I have high hopes for a good crop of okra and butternut squash.

I think I can do better with good planning for 2021 (whistling in the dark, hoping COVID-19 leaves all of us alone!! Our family is taking the precautions we can to overcome the short-sightedness of our national and state officials, and stay safe).

My conditions allow me to plan a winter 2020-2021 plot, as well as a 3-season 2021 plot.  I have at least 2 new raised beds planned.  Maybe 3?  I have promised my wife that part of it will be a flower cutting garden.

So, while I am working out what, when, and where to plant, what plans are you working on for your next plot?

[Edited for clarity.  I understand (but sometimes forget) that "garden" means something a little different in the USA compared to the UK.  I have clarified to mean (mostly) a vegetable plot (replaced "garden" in the original). I think "cutting garden" means the same thing in both places?]
Title: Re: Are you already planning your 2021 vegetable plot?
Post by: Learnerlady on August 08, 2020, 20:14
Hi,
All 2020 has been planning for 2021. Like you, took on new 3plot allotment on 1st April as want a go at a cutting patch. Plot was overgrown, had huge pile of wood on it, think large bonfire size and has marestail, bindweed, wind, buttercup and nettle problems. Spent the year clearing the current single plot working around crops and planting up strawberry runners, rasberries and moving blueberries and black currant bushes, pear and apple fans slabs and fruit cages to new plot. Bags and bags of weeds piled high until council tip opened, early morning bonfires to avoid complaints from the neighbours and three new forks before realising i need a spade! Seeds and plants put anywhere i had turned over but on plus side found there were paths laid around most of the plot, jerusalem and globe artichokes to tend, extremely overgrown but established asparagus beds and just harvesting figs from an established plant. Lots of weed killer used to try and get ahead, two beds trialled as no dig but despite careful digging, thick cardboard and compost still full of weeds and marestail but managed to get roots on the beetroot plants which is a first. Discovered the site of the newly moved shed has a stream running under it when heavy rain so now also have a moat so considering planting celeriac in that section. Aiming to grow smallish quantities of large variety of veg, getting my head around succession sowing and drying, pickling, freezing and different methods of storing with a plan to become virtually self sufficient. Sowing spreadsheet should be fun trying to buy none F1 varieties so I can save seeds, making a start with aqueligia and allium seeds. Starting to map out ready for crop rotation and will be making a list if seeds. Have been looking at kings seed so if anyone can make recommendations. Looking at trying to grow ground nuts and have a filibert in a container waiting for me to decide where to plant it.
So not sure if planning, could be asparations  👍😄   

Title: Re: Are you already planning your 2021 vegetable plot?
Post by: mumofstig on August 08, 2020, 20:43
Following some sort of rotation, means that it is already clear what moves where, for a lot of my beds.
It's only those beds that aren't in the main rotation that I need to think about, and their contents will change several many  times over the course of the winter  :lol: :lol:
Title: Re: Are you already planning your 2021 vegetable plot?
Post by: Potty Plotty Lotty on August 08, 2020, 21:06
I did wonder today where my beans are going next year as I tend to dig a bean trench in the autumn. So in some ways yes I am starting to think about next year!

I haven't got as far as updating my Excel plan but that will come soon.  :nowink:
Title: Re: Are you already planning your 2021 vegetable plot?
Post by: Subversive_plot on August 08, 2020, 21:58
LL, MoS, and PPL, you are all way ahead of me!

I am starting to figure out what varieties I want to grow.  My son has expressed a preference for a small green Thai variety of "eggplant" called Kermit (is it still an aubergine if it is not dark purple?).  I am looking at different varieties of tomato, suitable to our long hot summers. I'm still working on the rest.
Title: Re: Are you already planning your 2021 vegetable plot?
Post by: OakR on August 08, 2020, 22:26
I have started thinking about it!

I took on a 2nd plot just as we went into lockdown. It was in reasonable condition but I only managed to dig over roughtly 2/3rds of it, which was pretty hard work.

I think I am going to try no dig on the last 3rd next year and effectively the rest of that plot. We are also allowed ponds so I will try and put one in. I also want to plant some perrenial flowers as well as more annuals that are good for pollinators and am going to try to mix up some of my planting.

On my other plot, I'm about half-way through building my chicken run and hope to get some in the next 2-3 weeks and hope to enlarge thier run and \ or have an area they can 'free range' in.

I've also already started compiling a list of tomatoes we will grow next year and am thinking of what to grow more \ less of etc.

\\ I'll have changed my mind on most thing multiple times over the next few months!
Title: Re: Are you already planning your 2021 vegetable plot?
Post by: Christine on August 09, 2020, 07:29
Mid way into reorganising my original plot so that it will do more. I'm giving up the second plot as we have a waiting list so the original plot is going to have to become busy again. Installation of compost bins next to a hedge in a very sunny place has been the best thing to have been done this season. The old compost heap area can now be kept as growing space. Under the fruit trees has been cleared - the foxgloves were taller than me - and it will take fruit bushes in tubs. This will probably be dug up from plot 2 before I leave.

Enough left over seeds in date to fill up most of the plot next year.

So well on.
Title: Re: Are you already planning your 2021 vegetable plot?
Post by: New shoot on August 09, 2020, 10:31
I did do a seed check a week or so ago and made sure I had most of what I needed for next year.  It was just because this spring went a bit mad and you couldn't get anything for love or money, so it seems a sensible precaution.

The rest will be on a seed order this autumn/winter.  I am also going to buy some compost and John Innes compost to stash before the spring rush starts.  I bought 6 bags of multi-purpose and 3 of JI just before lockdown, plus big tubs of chicken manure and Growmore.  By using it sparingly and revitalising old compost with all these additions for potting on, that has lasted me the whole growing season.

I also have some bags of green lentils and other beans in stock for sprouting indoors over the winter.  They are such an easy thing to do and provide lots of nutritious veg in just a few days   :)

Title: Re: Are you already planning your 2021 vegetable plot?
Post by: basketcase on August 09, 2020, 13:02
Fiddle!  Just lost my post.   :wacko:

I got my plot when it was too late to start all the usual suspects off.  So I immediately started planning for 2021!  I decided to write this year off for serious growing, see what I've already got and plan raised beds, a fruit cage and a replacement for the lean-to greenhouse that blew down in a storm.  I've got 3 2mx1m raised beds constructed and have semi-terraced them (on a slight slope) by dividing the mound of soil at the top between the 3.

This has worked out to my advantage.  The plot is part of an older plot that's been split into 3, so it's actually not that big.  I'm getting a good sense of how much I can fit in and am able to maximise use of space in a way I probably wouldn't have thought of if I'd been able to dig straight in.  (Sorry  :blush: )

As I'd not been on the list very long, I wasn't expecting to get a plot for at least a year, maybe a lot longer, so I'd already started a container garden on the verandah.  I'm thinking that I'll grow things that require a lot of attention, don't take up much space or that I'd benefit from having close at hand here next year.  Salads, herbs, etc  Plus a few spares, like bean plant etc in case something devastates the lot on the plot.  I'm going to keep the strawberries here too, in towers.

At the moment I have:

As I was too late to sow much, I ordered a few plants.  These will mostly be planted in 1 of the 3 raised beds.  Probably not according to any plan.  Have you ever seen Geoff Hamilton's Ornamental Kitchen Garden book/DVDs?  I'd like to go for that sort of mixed gardening, rather than rows.  Plus perennials for cutting, edging the beds with companion plants and but bee-friendly flowers along the fences.

So far:
For growing for next year:
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Must have a rummage through my seed box and the latest catalogues too...  :D


Title: Re: Are you already planning your 2021 vegetable plot?
Post by: Subversive_plot on August 09, 2020, 15:43
We are waiting to have a deck rebuilt before constructing our new raised beds.  Planning on raised beds 1 ft deep x 16 ft long x 4 ft wide, though that could change.  We are trying to decide between raised beds made mostly with treated wood (not the arsenic type), or beds constructed with concrete block (sounds ugly, but the design I am looking at is better than you might think). 

Compost is fortunately cheap and readily available.  For £15 I can get a cubic yard load of bulk compost, fully tested for quality and safety measures.  It is made locally by the city.  The amount they load in the bed of my pickup truck is more like 1.5 cubic yards.  You can grow pretty much anything in this stuff.

We have plenty of our own pine straw to mulch the beds with and keep weeds down.

Winter garden?  I have not ordered anything yet.  I am thinking about yellow multiplier onions, lettuce, spinach, snow peas, sugar snap peas. Possibly radishes, beets, carrots.  Not sure about anything else yet.

Still pondering the summer garden, uncertain about anything except squash, tomatoes, Thai eggplant, and peppers right now.
Title: Re: Are you already planning your 2021 vegetable plot?
Post by: Growster... on August 10, 2020, 07:12
As we're only growing stuff at home now, the lure of 'square foot gardening' is becoming more of a reality!

We just don't use a lot of veg these days, and while decent new spuds etc., were always a fabulous treat when we had 'The Patches', we really need just fresh salads, loads of toms, a greenhouse full of things like peppers, a couple of wigwams of various beans, a few buckets of carrots and beetroot and a few rows of soft fruit...

Mind you, seeing that little list, it's probably still too much nowadays, so growing salads in trays will be the norm next year, and more easily controllable...

...blast, forgot the leeks and courgettes, and next year's shallots...
Title: Re: Are you already planning your 2021 vegetable plot?
Post by: Subversive_plot on August 10, 2020, 09:53

Mind you, seeing that little list, it's probably still too much nowadays, so growing salads in trays will be the norm next year, and more easily controllable...

...blast, forgot the leeks and courgettes, and next year's shallots...

Growster, with the leeks, courgettes, and shallots, those trays may need to become bathtubs!  :D

BTW, that leatherleaf Mahonia of mine that you liked is still doing well.  It will likely remain a decorative element in next year's vegetable plot. I do think of it as "Growster" when pass it in the garden.
Title: Re: Are you already planning your 2021 vegetable plot?
Post by: Growster... on August 10, 2020, 14:06
Ha Ha ha, Sub-P...

We do have a 20' x 12' Patch at home for the bigger stuff, and in fact, have just planted out a load of PSB for early next year!

Its the salad stuff which could be better organised, but that is much easier to place around the garden!

Mrs Growster's sister lives in Richmond Va, and she was a keen gardener up to a few years ago, when it got a bit much, but one veg she couldn't get going was ordinary runner beans! She tried all manner of ways, getting seed from over here, sowing at different times, but they just didn't materialise!

How do you get on, a bit further South?

(Niece worked as a physician just down the road from you, In Atlanta - specialising in HIV - I don't think she grew beans either...)!
Title: Re: Are you already planning your 2021 vegetable plot?
Post by: snowdrops on August 10, 2020, 15:04
In a way Iíve started to plan for next year, Sunday I heavily pruned the cherry tree to ensure a good crop next year without it reaching skywards & out of the fruit cage & all the currant bushes got a severe prune. 3 wheelbarrow loads back home & now shredded for taking  back to the plot for the next round of compost to be made, so thatís planned.
Also for next year I am having a poly tunnel & hopefully that will be sorted by Christmas so early spring showings will be the order of the day & I would dearly love a peach & apricot tree in there. Having the pt will drastically alter how I garden on the plot as it will go on the half plot that I have the fruit cage,Chicken pen, compost bins & Chicken shed as it is now known(Chicken food & related bits stored in there).  This will leave me with just the other half plot for outdoor grown crops & that is taking some getting my head round.
Title: Re: Are you already planning your 2021 vegetable plot?
Post by: rowlandwells on August 10, 2020, 19:26
yes we to are planning for 2021 as we harvest the raised beds of veg this season we plan the crop rotation by numbering the raised bed we can plan new crops in that bed for next season

hopefully if the green manure has done its job that will be next seasons potato ground and within the planning cycle we have spring cabbage seedlings ready to prick out into pots and onion seed to sow along with winter cauliflowers all to overwinter in the poly tunnel and ready to plant out come spring next year fingers crossed  :)

so the plan is already started for next season I've also been looking at some seed to order for next year taking advantage of the autumn ordering discounts available i think this season has been for some including us a bit frustrating because with the initial lock down we started late and  seemed to have played catch up but things haven't been that bad for our veg crops like always you win some and you loose some that's the nature of gardening

Title: Re: Are you already planning your 2021 vegetable plot?
Post by: Subversive_plot on August 10, 2020, 22:46

Mrs Growster's sister lives in Richmond Va, and she was a keen gardener up to a few years ago, when it got a bit much, but one veg she couldn't get going was ordinary runner beans! She tried all manner of ways, getting seed from over here, sowing at different times, but they just didn't materialise!

How do you get on, a bit further South?
Hi Growster!

Yes we are about 660 km southwest of Mrs. Growster's sister! 

You may find this a bit odd, but you are more likely to find runner beans growing in USA gardens as an ornamental, rather than as a food crop.  That statement is mostly about climate, rather than a comment on runner beans as a food.  Runner beans simply do better in cool, foggy, cloudy and wet growing conditions.  Nova Scotia, Maine, or the Pacific northwest would probably be great for them, and I suspect they are grown in those places.  They might also do OK in the highest elevation mountain towns in our eastern Appalachian Mountains in the South (though I don't know that for certain). 

Here in Athens, GA, summers are too hot and intermittently too dry for them.  I have a neighbor that grows scarlet runner beans for the red flowers; I see and occasional pod, but they don't set many of those, I suspect not enough to eat. 

In Georgia, we do grow beans, most of which are "snap beans".  I think you call these French beans?  We divide ours by growth habit (bush, half-runner, or pole beans), or color (green beans, wax beans (yellow), purple beans).  My favorite green beans are Roma (a broad-podded variety), Kentucky Wonder, and Blue Lake, all pole beans (you might grow these on pole tripods).  If I could grow only one of them, it would be Roma, but the other two are very good as well.  There is also a bush Roma.

Golden wax and Cherokee wax are my favorite wax beans.  Both are "bush" types, though Cherokee will also climb a bit (half runner).  They have a milder flavor than green beans.  I don't really have much experience with the purple ones.

People also grow Lima beans or butter beans in the south.

(Niece worked as a physician just down the road from you, In Atlanta - specialising in HIV - I don't think she grew beans either...)!

Society can always do with more good people like your niece, working to keep people healthy! 

When I am not working at home, I also work in Atlanta.  I am a geologist, working in a regulatory capacity to assure that contaminated sites are properly cleaned up by the owners.
Title: Re: Are you already planning your 2021 vegetable plot?
Post by: Subversive_plot on August 10, 2020, 22:49
yes we to are planning for 2021 as we harvest the raised beds of veg this season we plan the crop rotation by numbering the raised bed we can plan new crops in that bed for next season

hopefully if the green manure has done its job that will be next seasons potato ground and within the planning cycle we have spring cabbage seedlings ready to prick out into pots and onion seed to sow along with winter cauliflowers all to overwinter in the poly tunnel and ready to plant out come spring next year fingers crossed  :)

so the plan is already started for next season I've also been looking at some seed to order for next year taking advantage of the autumn ordering discounts available i think this season has been for some including us a bit frustrating because with the initial lock down we started late and  seemed to have played catch up but things haven't been that bad for our veg crops like always you win some and you loose some that's the nature of gardening

Rowland, it sounds like you have your crop rotation down to a science!
Title: Re: Are you already planning your 2021 vegetable plot?
Post by: rowlandwells on August 11, 2020, 08:39
thanks for that comment sub/plot its really all about crop rotation when i worked on the farm i took notice how the farmer i worked for did his crop rotation and then bringing that into my way of gardening there was obviously a plan of what was grew year on year and so i followed that rule of thumb

and its worked for me i have to say the seasons do seem to have changes some what over the years so we have to try to compensate for that change that's not always possible in our climate but as gardeners all we can do is try as said some we win so we loose

but yes i believe very much in crop rotation and this includes in that rotation the raised beds getting  manure each year except for those intended for root crops and as i said I'm growing green manure on my open ground to compensate for an alternative to cattle manure because its no longer available from the local farmer don't know if its going to be the best alternative but that to will come into my crop rotation plan

a little bit of explanation to the background behind my crop rotation plan for what its worth

 
Title: Re: Are you already planning your 2021 vegetable plot?
Post by: basketcase on August 11, 2020, 08:56
"You may find this a bit odd, but you are more likely to find runner beans growing in USA gardens as an ornamental, rather than as a food crop." 
Not really, they used to be grown as an ornamental in GB too.  Whereas, I discovered recently, Dahlias used to be grown for their edible roots!

"That statement is mostly about climate, rather than a comment on runner beans as a food.  Runner beans simply do better in cool, foggy, cloudy and wet growing conditions."
So.  Scotland then...  :lol: