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marpleblarp

does anyone have any allotment/ vegetable planting advice they can give me? I have a small patch in my garden (~6m2) by a fence with ~6-8 hours of full sun in the summer and it is a clay soil. Ive been adding some mulch to rot in over winter and I want to grow potatoes, onions, tomatoes, brassicas and some other stuff and want to know how best to make use of the small amount of space to get a good and healthy yield

zylphide

this got kinda long i'm sorry, i'm a plant biologist jksdfsd

clay soil is dense and needs to be aerated somehow to introduce air into the soil and improve drainage. mulching might be enough, but i would look into it some more to make sure.

certain plants HATE being planted next to each other, for a variety of reasons. either they produce compounds that another plant can't tolerate, or they attract similar/the same pests and you'll get a horrible infestation that hurts both plants. (look up companion planting and maybe allelopathic plants if you want more details)

recommendations for the plants you've listed:

  • planting tomatoes next to onions
  • do NOT plant potatoes and tomatoes together, they're both Solanaceae and attract the same pests
  • planting brassicas next to onions or potatoes
  • some brassicas do not do well with other brassicas (ex: cabbage hates broccoli and cauliflower, lettuce hates broccoli), look up more details depending on which brassicas you're interested in
  • some brassicas do not do well with tomatoes (ex: kohlrabi)

since your available space is not that big, i'm not sure you can follow all the reccomendations and still plant all the crops that you want. you can definitely try, but i'm not sure if you can space antagonistic plants far enough apart to avoid the adverse effects.

each plant has its own reccommended spacing between rows. bigger plants will generally need more space.

to grow potatoes, you probably want to grow them "upwards." idk how to properly explain it, but the potato part of a potato plant is actually a modified stem, so what you want to do to get more potatoes out of the plant is to plant the initial tuber into the ground. after that, as the plant grows taller, you need to add more soil around the stem. you can use something like a canvas bag with holes cut into it to keep the soil in place (the holes are to check the tuber growth status/harvest the tubers). this vertical farming helps to maintain empty space for other plants.

highly reccomend any kind of tomato cage for tomatoes to grow on, which may take up some extra space depending on the type of cage you buy.


marpleblarp

oh wow!! thank you so much!!! This is so so helpful to me. Ive been mulching to try and improve the structure as much as possible through earthworms and mycelial systems. Ive had a lot of issues where tiling the soil hasnt been effective as it compacts easily after heavy rain so im hoping the improved organic content and healthier bioshere could help out, or at least help with moisture retention in hot weather.

Thank you so much for the tips for which plants to put together. Ive attached my current garden plan that I made a few days ago and it appears to match up quite well with what youve suggested mostly by accident ahaha.
It was mostly designed around plant growing season length and how much sun they need/ how heat tolerant they are. I know potatoes and such prefer cooler conditions so keeping them at the back I think could help protect them from any hot spells in the summer.

I plan to grow broccoli and brussel sprouts next to each other although this is subject to change - im thinking of netting it to avoid cabbage butterfly issues.

Im hoping to companion plant tomatoes with carrots as ive heard carrots can improve tomato yields. Im not expecting any edible carrots with my soil but it could be cool to try.

Id really love to know what you think of what ive planned so far and how I can improve :)

OOh ive heard about potato bags!! We tried some in ground potatoes with some hilling and some potatoes in grow bags and the floor potatoes did a lot better - I think they just had more access to nutrients and space. Honestly im a little embrarrassed that I just now know what a tomato cage is. We got given some tomato plants last summer and abused them a lot to the point that they mostly trailed on the ground in bushes so that will be so so helpful this summer :D

Again, thank you so much for all your help and going in to detail - I appreciate it so much

P.S - does anyone have any tips for diverting slugs? I dont really have the heart to murder them all but they are a real pain when smaller plants are establishing and this garden gives them a lot of hiding spots


zylphide

not sure if i'd recommend planting broccoli with broussel sprouts. they need the same nutrients, which means theyr'e in competition with each other.

so looking at your plan, the main problem i see is the peas/beans near the onion. onions stunt the growth of peas/beans, so you would need to make some changes. i would reccomend swapping the cucmbers and the onions - onions are good companions for leeks, and cucumbers are good companions for peas/beans. peas/beans also hate leeks so there's that. plus you can use the tomato cages to help the cucumbers grow.

rhubarb is.... scary....

not because it's hard to take care of, but because sometimes they become Too Strong and you can't get rid of it.... also it grows h u g e so i'm not sure the small space you set up is enough for more than like... 1 plant. (people have forced rhubarb to grow in the dark and it grows so fast it makes like popping noises and i don't like that)

tomatoes also don't like hot temperatures (they're in the same family as potatoes), they like temps around 70F (21C), and while they won't die at higher temps, their growth will stall.

other than that everything else looks good

no clue on how to get rid of slugs though rip



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marpleblarp reblogged this post

ahhh thank you again! Okay so I will mix up the broccoli with something else and switch the onions and cucumbers in my plan so that is good.


lina reblogged this post

unfortunately the only thing that works long term for slugs is murder.


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zylphide reblogged this post

not sure if i'd recommend planting broccoli with broussel sprouts. they need the same nutrients, which means theyr'e in competition with each other.


marpleblarp reblogged this post

Ahhhh thank you so much!! I will keep this in mind! we tried growing some potatoes from the store last summer as we couldnt get seed potatoes with the lockdown but they did badly and got some sort of foliage virus so rotating sounds like a very good plan (and sticking to seed potatoes this year). Thank you for your advice!!


marpleblarp reblogged this post

oh wow!! thank you so much!!! This is so so helpful to me. Ive been mulching to try and improve the structure as much as possible through earthworms and mycelial systems. Ive had a lot of issues where tiling the soil hasnt been effective as it compacts easily after heavy rain so im hoping the improved organic content and healthier bioshere could help out, or at least help with moisture retention in hot weather.


lina liked this post
thedarklordgivenofucks reblogged this post
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zylphide reblogged this post

this got kinda long i'm sorry, i'm a plant biologist jksdfsd


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lina reblogged this post

i don't really have a lot of advice either. but regarding potatoes you'll want to not plant them in the same spot two years in a row. so start them in one end, then the other, then the middle of the plot and then back in the first spot. if there's space i'd even rotate them over 4 years. and potatoes like depth so dig deep :)


naiad reblogged this post

I don't have any advice but boosting in case anyone else has any tips?


marpleblarp posted this.