.1 Acre Market Garden Rotation

So I spent some time a weekend or so ago pouring over every book I had on crop rotations, and rechecked out the copy of Eliot Coleman’s New Market Grower that I had donated to our library. This file is the my current working draft rotation for the farm-and, yes, I know I need to get out more in the winter. Most of the time was spent on getting the layout side of the rotation up, the actual plant details have alot of work left.

Sub Acre Market Garden Rotation

Some explaining, this is basically an abstract spacial representation of the layouts in the .1 Acre Page to show each bed progressing through 4 years of rotations.: Rows are each one bed in the garden (there are 12). Each Column is a month in the Gardening year (Starting in March) that takes that bed through a 4 year rotation as you scroll right. Each bed accommodates a 18 month cover crop in each 4 year chunk, and every bed is designed to only be have exposed soil directly at planting time. I did not include “till times” but it is assumed that the cover crops will be killed by mowing or chicken tiller with enough time to allow either seeding or transplanting. Almost certainly some of the rotations are too tight for this. The smaller rows under each “group” is to mark under-sowing of cover crops while the cash crop is still in place.

Much will need to be ironed out -after several hours the question of how long winter squash would be in the ground began to slip beyond me-, especially how will I kill the perennial cover crops without tilling? I will be partnering with my county extension soon and may reach out to ATTRA in person since they are actually funded again. There will be a second rotation as this one is very light on varieties right now (no beans!!) so the second garden will incorporate what this is lacking. The original design was for .25 acres which makes flexing in varieties easier. Next steps are in ironing out flower and herb varieties for the perennial insectary beds and then somehow dumping all this into a digital presentation to pitch it to the land owners!

Comments are very much encouraged, I know that many of you are much more experienced at this than I am! I know there are myriad minor issues still in there and February will bring a much closer revisit to ensure planting/harvest times are reasonable, etc once my brain stops hurting from juggling all these time/spacial relationships onto a spreadsheet.

5 Responses

  1. […] Ok, you can blame Patti and Derrick – they asked for it! And I had to do something to keep up with Rob’s amazing garden bed rotation spreadsheet. So, here’s Emily’s Totally Insane Spreadsheet for Planning What to Plant […]

  2. […] my own crop rotation sheet (feel free to download for your own use) based on one I saw at the blog One Straw. Crop rotation is where you alternate the variety of crops planted in a bed to avoid soil depletion […]

  3. to kill weeds and cover crop without tilling you can spray vinigar on a sunny day. Add a little boidegadable detergent to help it coat the leaves. The vinigar damages the leaves so they dehydrate. To kill grasses spray again when new leaves appear to exhaust the roots.

  4. I came across your site the other day after looking up potato towers. Very interesting reading and I like the idea of “be the change”. I’m an early retiree of the “boomer” generation and I have my remaining years to try and effect some change – even if it is only a small change. So I’m trying my hand at gardening and look to eventually get up to a 1/2 acre size in a zone 2a region. I’m even thinking about the possibility of winter harvesting ala Eliot Coleman and now obviously yourself. Looking forward to the journey. Great site by the way.

  5. Hey there,

    I just wanted to let you know we included you blog in our story on top 50 Gardening Blogs at http://www.sheinspires.com.au/gardening/50-top-gardening-blogs

    Do have a look and let us know your thoughts. You’re welcome to link to it too .

    All the best,
    Be Inspired Online Today

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