Planting Groups – 2016

This is the time of year we take a moment to plan the up-coming season’s vegetables. After looking back to last year’s crop schedule, we’ve made a few changes to our planting groups, their rotation, varieties, and quantities. This year we’ll once again have four separate planting groups – Group 4 includes tomato, basil, sweet pepper, eggplant, marigolds, green onions, lettuce, and a good cover of winter rye in the fall; group 3 includes okra, kale, field peas, potato, radish, beets, bush beans, turnips, turnip greens, sugar peas, pole beans, cabbage, and baby lima beans; Group 2 includes summer and winter squash, sweet corn, cabbage, pumpkin, radish, field peas, pole beans, bulb onions, garlic, zucchini, sweet peppers, and dill;  from Group 1 we’ll get two or three cutting of winter rye to use at mulch then the bed will be left fallow until fall when it will be limed (if needed) and covered with a deep pile of fallen leaves.

We have four separate areas (or plots) for planting and each plot is 1000 sq. feet that is divided into 10 beds measuring 30″x40′. The rotation is group 1 follows 4, group 4 follows 3, group 3 follows 2, and 2 follows 1. Each year the groups will rotate into the next plot so that each group is planted in the same area only once every fourth year. We also have an additional two beds that are committed to growing wild flowers to attract birds, bees, and butterflies and an area at the south end of the field for growing sunflowers.

So, for this market year we’ll grow 3200sq. feet of vegetables along with an abundant supply of fresh blueberries, sunflowers, wild flower cuttings, and a few hot peppers that are planted in their own little bed away from sweet pepper. With our cropping schedule, we should be eating fresh produce March through December.

Our soil amendment needs are just about the same as last year. We’ll add 140 pounds of dolomite lime to plot three, no other plot will need limed this year. Each bed will be broadcast with a mix of 1c. cottonseed meal, 1 1/2c. bone meal, and 1c. kelp meal. We’ll lime and add cottonseed meal to apples, plums, figs, and pecans soon. The blueberries will get a good dose of cottonseed meal about mid-March. The next thing to do is determine which seeds we need and how many to buy. We’re right on that!

Happy Growing ♥

 

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