Arranging the Garden
No one plan or arrangement for a garden can suit all
conditions. Each gardener must plan to meet his own problem.
Careful planning will lessen the work of gardening and increase
the returns from the labor. Planting seeds and plants at random
always results in waste and disappointment. Suggestions for
planning a garden are here presented with the idea that they can
be changed to suit the individual gardener.
The first consideration is whether the garden is to be in one
unit or in two. With two plots, lettuce, radishes, beets, spinach,
and other vegetables requiring little space are grown in a small
kitchen garden, and potatoes, sweet corn, pumpkins, melons, and
other vegetables requiring more room are planted in a separate
patch, as between young-orchard-tree rows or in other areas where
conditions are especially suitable for their culture.
The cultivation methods to be employed are important in
planning the garden. When the work is to be done mainly with a
garden tractor, the site and the arrangement should be such as to
give the longest practicable rows.
On slopes of more than 1-1/2 percent, especially on
light-textured soil, the rows should extend across the slope at
right angles, or on the contours where the land is uneven. The
garden should be free from paths across the rows, and turning
spaces of 10 to 12 feet should be provided at the ends. The rows
for small-growing crops may be closer together for hand
cultivation than for cultivation with power equipment.
Any great variation in the composition of the soil within the
garden should be taken into consideration when deciding on where
to plant various crops. If part of the land is low and moist, such
crops as celery, onions, and late cucumbers should be placed
there. If part is high, warm, and dry, that is the proper spot for
early crops, especially those needing a soil that warms up
Permanent crops, such as asparagus and rhubarb, should be
planted where they will not interfere with the annual plowing of
the garden and the cultivation of the annual crops. If a hotbed, a
cold frame, or a special seedbed is provided, it should be either
in one corner of, or outside, the garden.
Tall-growing crops should be planted where they will not shade
or interfere with the growth of smaller crops. There seems to be little choice as to whether
the rows do or do not run in a general east-and-west or in a
general north-and south direction, but they should conform to the
contours of the land.
Succession of Crops
Except in dry-land areas, all garden space should be kept fully
occupied throughout the growing season. In the South, this means
the greater part of the year. In fact, throughout the South
Atlantic and Gulf coast regions it is possible to have vegetables
growing in the garden every month of the year.
In arranging the garden, all early-maturing crops may be
grouped so that as soon as one crop is removed another takes its
place. It is desirable, however, to follow a crop not with another
of its kind, but with an unrelated crop.
For example, early peas or beans can very properly be followed
by late cabbage, celery, carrots, or beets; early corn or potatoes
can be followed by fall turnips or spinach. It is not always
necessary to wait until the early crop is entirely removed; a
later one may be planted between the rows of the early crop�for
example, sweet corn between potato rows. Crops subject to attack
by the same diseases and insects should not follow each other.
In the extreme North, where the season is relatively short,
there is very little opportunity for succession cropping. In
dry-land areas, inter-cropping generally is not feasible, because
of limited moisture supply. Therefore, plenty of land should be
provided to accommodate the desired range and volume of garden
Late Summer and Fall Garden
Although gardening is commonly considered a spring and
early-summer enterprise, the late summer and fall garden deserves
Second and third plantings of crops adapted to growing late in
the season not only provide a supply of fresh vegetables for the
latter part of the season but often give better products for
canning, freezing, and storing. Late-grown snap and lima beans and
spinach, for example, are well adapted to freezing and canning;
beets, carrots, celery, and turnips, to storage. In the South, the
late-autumn garden is as important as the early-autumn one.
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