Saturday, November 19, 2016


Creating a Mini Market Garden.

I have been reading a lot and watching youtube at night on market gardeners. They have lots of little tricks as this is their income but you can convert all of  the information down to a home garden. My two favorites are Curtis Stone   The Urban Organic Gardener ( Blog)  
Youtube  Urban Farmer Curtis Stone

and The Market Gardener Jean-Martin Fortier  Youtube channel for The Market Gardener

Both these gardeners work on small areas. Curtis uses several urban backyards to make up 1/3 acre and Jean-Martin has 1 1/2 acres. Both use hand tools and both in Canada.  I have no television where I sit but through the xbox I can look at youtube, and old tv shows through  ABC IView ,SBS On Demand, etc. Love that WiFi.

So fired up with lots of information I have decided to number all my beds. They are a bit of a higglety pigglety mess as it is more cottage garden but I was looking for a Raised bed system without raised beds lol. So I got on to The Garden Planner and redesiged my garden on paper both front and back. By numbering all the beds I can then relate what I plant to a bed number.

Easy once you have a few straight lines.

Once I started I realised that I would have to roughly divide the front garden beds into 12 inches wide by the length. This worked out with the drip lines also. With the success of planting carrots on a newspaper tape that I made, this blends itself easily to using paper towels as the "tape" and using the square foot gardening method.

Back Veg Garden.

The back was much easier as I already have the round beds and the rest just worked around it.

So much cleaner when done 12 years ago.

From there I then went to Quantity for the two of us per year and just the common ones we eat and freeze. So if I want to make Tomato Sauce one year I know to plant more.

Fuzzy due to converting to a photo. Amazing the quantity needed though.
By using all this information and working backwards of how many days it takes to grow from seed to picking, you can then work out a system for planting per week. This I have yet to do as I only just finished this last night.

Next step also is to work on rotating crops every year. Now that I have numbered the beds I can work on rotation crops as I intend to fill or 1/2 fill the long ones with the same vegetable like a mini market garden. So with thanks to Sustainable Gardening Australia


Season One Season Two Season Three Season Four
Bed One Legume Heavy Feeder Light Feeder Green Manure
Bed Two Heavy Feeder Light Feeder Green Manure Legume
Bed Three Light Feeder Green Manure Legume Heavy Feeder
Bed Four Green Manure Legume Heavy Feeder Light Feeder

Heavy Feeders include potatoes, tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, sweet corn, lettuce, cucumbers, zucchini, spinach, lettuce and Asian greens.
Light Feeders include onions, leeks, garlic, beetroot, carrots, parsnips and silverbeet
Legumes include peas, snow peas, broad beans, runner beans, snake beans and okra.

 The Solanaceae Family – includes potatoes, tomatoes, capsicums, chilis and eggplants.
The Brassiaceae Family – includes Asian greens, cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, turnips, mustard and radishes
The Apiaceae Family – includes carrots, coriander, parsley, parsnip, dill and caraway.
The Fabaceae Family – includes peas, beans and other legumes.
The Cucurbitaceae Family – includes pumpkin, zucchini and cucumbers.
The Amaranthaceae Family – includes spinach and silverbeet
The Asteraceae Family – includes lettuce and artichokes
The Chenopodiaceae Family – includes beetroot and quinoa
The Poaceae Family – includes sweetcorn and maize
The Alliaceae Family – includes onions, chives and leeks

With all this information now, I hope you will find it helpful. So what does it mean for me?
Well I stuck 4 pages of beans at 9  (36) to a page and will be ready in 50 - 55 days and 4 pages of carrots at 16 to a page (64). Ready in 70-80 days.  4 pages of Bok Choy at 6 to a page. Ready 50 days (24)  and 4 pages of Beetroot at 9 to a page.(36) Ready in 55 days. All can be left in the ground a little longer as well.

A Light Feeder Bed, a Legume Bed and and Heavy Feeder tomato bed. So now I know which to fertilize heavily, and what to follow next. I will also properly start planning for winter and sow seedlings more often. This is the beginning of my experiment but already I feel comfortable with it.

Till Next Time

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