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Comments

Joanna

This is just the kind of information that is in short supply in gardening books. Also how long things take from sowing to harvest, which also makes a huge difference when you're planning.

Asparagus - I think it would prefer full sun. Ours is in a south facing bed, sheltered, but no shade apart from that cast by the 30inch walls which surround the bed on three sides (it was an elaborate DIY project on the part of my husband, good, but not, I think, entirely necessary!).

I'll be very interested to see what people think about the alignment of raised beds, as I'm planning a couple for next year. What are you making them from?

Sorry, can't help AT ALL on the camera ... but hope that you solve it without losing any photos

Joanna
joannasfood.blogspot.com

Hi Joanna,
I'll probably make the raised beds from either gravel boards or edging timber from a company called AVS - they've got 6inch high, 12foot lenghts and sets of pegs to secure them. They also deliver (at least in Surrey and Sussex). Nice people to deal with.

Patrick

Congratulations on the new garden!

I think you're on the edge in terms of having enough direct sun for veggies. You're going to need to experiment a bit. Peas can tolerate some shade, so can things like strawberries, lettuce and maybe some cole plants. For many veggies, even a little bit of shade can be a problem.

I have no idea about asparagus. Garlic really likes as much sun as possible...

Good luck with the camera!

Patrick,
I am worried about the amount of sun. But in clearing the area I've dug up old potato tubers, there's rhubrarb there, old gooseberry bushes and apple plum and damsons. So at least there has been growing in the past.

But I think I'll have enough. Sure there is some shadier areas but that's ok as this year I planted up my salads in a shady area and they did very well.

I'm keeping on the allotment and I know there I can grow all types of veg (brassicas are difficult though because the soil is so thin) there. But my intention is to consolidate my growing efforts so I think I'll devote the allotment to the bulky crops that don't need daily picking or tending - the staples like spuds, onions, garlic. Beans peas salads I'll keep close to home.

Melanie Rimmer

Most people on our allotments plant their rows in alignment with the local drainage. Our plot runs across a sort of valley, so all the plots are sloping, except the people at the bottom of the valley who suffer flooding and frost.

A few people plant their rows at an angle to this, aligned with the midday sun.

To be honest, I can't say there is a vast difference between the harvest given by the two approaches.

---Hi Mel,
Currently most of my beds are north south on the alloment and I've two that align east west. There does appear to be a bit more of a shadow cast in those two from the sides of the raised bed.

steven

My beds are laid out parallel to my fence line in a roughly north/south orientation with the south end getting more shade. It took some trial and error, but the greens do well at the shady end in the heat of summer and the tomatoes are at the north end. I don't get many problems with the plants casting shade on each other since I've spaced the beds wide enogh for the mower to pass through.

---Thanks Steven. I was planning on leaving enough space to move a wheelbarrow through so that's about the same width; though I'm going to use landscape fabric so I don't have to mow. I'll also have to cage it in against deer,rabbits and birds. The previous owners had a 'potager' so I'll try growing there as well. They didn't have this protected so maybe I'm being too cautious. What I don't want is going to all the trouble bringing things on to have bambi or peter devour it. Now where's that rifle.

Matron

I don't think the aspect of the beds is an issue, the plants will cleverly follow the sun wherever it is. As for the amount of sunlight, I had a garden that only had about 4 or 5 hours of direct sunlight in the morning as it was West facing. Nothing edible grew terribly well, except for blackcurrants and raspberries.

----Hi Matron, I'm getting more than that amount of sun in Oct so I'm encouraged. But I'm keeping the allotment on for next year so I can really see which part of the garden gets enough sun

Bare Bones Gardener

Does that mean you will be going into an Elmer Fudd impersonation on us soon.....

---If there are any rabbits around, maybe

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