This year I decided to try a different approach to vegetable growing and came up with what I call the…
Patchwork Garden Method
I plan all my flower beds and bulb designs around bloom time’s…. so that as one show is ending, another begins.
It’s all about timing and this can be a little tricky as Mother Nature has her own set of rules that only she knows…..the rest of us are constantly guessing.
But doing a little research and some well thought out planning instead of just buying what’s in flower and plunking it into the garden is the only way to ensure year round interest. Done right, each season will seamlessly blend into the next with explosions of color.
Be the conductor of your garden and it will sing in a symphony of flowers.
~ Sow and Dipity ~
Now, back to the vegetable garden…..
For years I’ve used the same method of tidy little rows to plant my edibles. There’s something very rewarding about seeing all those feathery carrot tops standing at attention, the bunches of vibrant green romaine neatly assembled in row and corn stalks tall and strong down one side of the bed.
But not this year…nope! I’m trying something different and it’s all about
‘making it pretty’
Now I usually start all my vegetables from seed but the last couple of springs have been tough fighting off slugs and dealing with cold wet temperatures.I prefer to direct sow as much as I can because I don’t have a lot of available space to start too many indoors.
So I bought several starter lettuce, kale and brassica’s in packs this year and only started my ‘specials’ indoors… the rest were directly sown as soon as the ground warmed up.
Instead of planting in rows, I simply laid out all the lettuce seedlings over a wide well prepared bed. I stopped making single rows years ago and started planting like vegi’s in the same row to save space and to make crop rotation easier from year to year.
I did the same with the brassica’s. For those that don’t understand this term, it refers to the mustard family and it includes vegetables such as Broccoli, Cabbage and bok choy to name a few.
Here’s the true genius behind this method…
….some vegi’s will take longer to develop and will need space to grow while others will be ready right away. The Kale in the Brassica bed is ready to be eaten with the broccoli and cauliflower falling quickly behind.
As these get pulled from the bed, the cabbages will begin to form and the brussel sprouts will have put on height giving the forming cabbage heads below room to grow.
The Patchwork Garden method in the lettuce bed is doing the same. The loose leaf and romaine vegetable seedlings are ready to eat, while the speckled butter-head and radicchio are still forming.
But to ensure a steady crop, I have seeded romaine and loose leaf varieties in between all the existing plants and they will grow into the empty spots left by harvested lettuces I’m pulling up now.
You may notice in the background my potato towers… these also save space in a small garden bed, here’s a post to check out on how this method works.
I love beans and sugar snap pea’s for snacking while I garden so I always find room for them, but again…
Why plant it in a straight row?
Using the Patchwork Garden Method, you can have a beautiful vegetable garden and eat it too.