I’m planning for 2017 and have worked out that my beds should be 0.4 metres wide. I have space for 17 beds if I make the length 4.5 metres.
Why 0.4 metres wide? That’s the width I can easily straddle which will make planting and harvesting easier. Also, I can stride over each bed easily so I can get from one end of the allotment to the other with the least effort.
The area between the beds provides a pathway for my wheelbarrow and I may cover it in wood chip mulch or straw. This will keep the weeds down. An alternative to this is to rotovate the pathways every now and again or use a heat wand to burn off early weed growth.
I have space for 17 beds on my allotment. Some of the beds will be harvested once, but others may be harvested up to 4 times, for example if I plant radishes or salad leaves. I’ll be following a permaculture regime, so the beds will be covered with a layer of home produced compost (humus) prior to planting. Once harvested, a further layer of compost will be applied prior to replanting. Weeds are essentially soil conditioners, and find it difficult to grow in rich soil, so less time spent weeding.
The beds will be operated on a no dig basis and the priority for 2017 is more productivity with less work.
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