This picture was taken a week ago, and everything looks quiet and peaceful in the kitchen garden. Only footprints of wild animals passing by in the snow indicates that there is some activity going on although everything is frozen rock solid.
There is not much to do in the garden at the moment besides cleaning up, if this wasn’t done already before the snow and frost arrived, but don’t be fooled – kitchen gardening activities need to be running full steam indoors when the outdoor activities have ended for the season.
Continuing the work I wrote about in my most recent blog post I’m adding more details to my garden plan and introducing crop rotation. Below is my plan with added colors – brown, red, orange and yellow to symbolize a 4 year crop rotation plan. The purpose of crop rotation is to minimize disease build up in the soil, and to replenish it and keep it healthy. If you grow the same type of vegetable in the same spot year after year, soon the plants will starve since particular nutrients will get used up. Keep the soil healthy and you’ll get healthy plants. It really is that simple.
Blue and purple colors indicate beds that will be left out of the rotation plan. Blue is a bed full of established rhubarbs, that I forgot were in that particular bed, and I want them to stay there. Purple are beds that are a bit cut off from the rest of the garden, and I’ll use them for fruit bushes, like black currant, blueberries, red currant etc.
The total bed size of each crop group is approximately the same, and bed number 13 was added to the yellow group to get a normal sized group, instead of using the bed for fruit bushes like bed number 15 and 16.
Before I group the plants I need to decide what I want to grow. This is the list for 2013, a list that I have made addition to each year since I started kitchen gardening (and I even forgot strawberries ) :
|Index||English name||Latin name||Variety|
|1||Basil||Ocimum basilicum||Thai Magic|
|2||Bean||Vicia faba||Broad, Hangdown grünkernig|
|3||Bean||Phaseolus vulgaris||Bush, Yellow, Helios|
|4||Bean||Phaseolus vulgaris||Runner, Neckarkönigin|
|5||Bean||Phaseolus vulgaris||Runner, Preisgewinner|
|6||Beetroot, long||Beta vulgaris||Forono|
|7||Beetroot, round||Beta vulgaris||Ägyptische plattrunde|
|9||Cabbage||Capitata var. alba L.||White, Türkis|
|10||Carrot||Daucus carota ssp. sativus||Summer, Nantaise 2|
|11||Carrot||Daucus carota ssp. sativus||Summer, Nantes 2|
|12||Carrot||Daucus carota ssp. sativus||Winter, Rodelika|
|13||Cauliflower||Brassica oleracea||White Rock|
|14||Celery||Apium graveolens var. dulce||Ortho|
|15||Chard||Beta vulgaris subsp. cicla||Green, Glatte Silber, Silverbeet|
|16||Chard||Beta vulgaris subsp. cicla||Green, Groene Gewone|
|17||Chard||Beta vulgaris subsp. cicla||Red, Rhubarb Chard|
|20||Kale||Brassica oleracea Acephala||Westländer Winter|
|21||Leek||Allium porrum||Blaugrüner Winter|
|22||Leek||Allium porrum||Summer, Hilari|
|24||Lettuce||Lactuca sativa||Leaf, Till|
|25||Maize||Zea mays subsp. mays L.||Golden Bantam|
|26||Onion||Allium cepa||Kepa, Sturon|
|27||Onion||Allium cepa||Red, Robelja|
|29||Parsnip||Pastinaca sativa||Halblange Weise|
|32||Pumpkin||Cucurbita maxima||Hokaido, orange, Red Kuri|
|33||Radish||Raphanus sativus||Cherry Belle|
|37||Tomato||Solanum lycopersicum||Black Cherry|
I have cucumbers and tomatoes out in the open this year, as opposed to growing them in self-watering boxes near the house. Well, I might sneak in a comparison experiment to see what works best.
All of the vegetables on the list is then divided into these four groups:
- Legumes and brassicas
Wikipedia can be used to find out if a crop is in group 4 or not.
The plan reveals that it’s actually only a few months of the year where your hands are clean and not full of dirt, but this period is used for drooling all over the new seed catalog, if you’re not at the local nursery or DIY store looking at new sweet tools.