We’ve been talking to local gardener, Jodi Rice, who is a first time veggie grower. Here is part two of our talk where she talks about her garden strategies.
Are you doing any succession planting or companion planting?
Jodi: I may plan some succession planting for next year. This is the first year we’ve had the garden for the whole season, so it’s really just seeing what works well in our soil and space. However, since the peas I planted (probably too late) died off, as did the spinach, I’m considering putting in some late peas, maybe in September.
Sarah: Good idea, I’m thinking of doing that too, as I didn’t get peas in during the spring. I’d get the peas in as soon as possible. Temperatures in August, especially at night, will be cooler.
Jodi: I had thought about companion planting, but between not knowing much about how these plants grow, or how to space them out, or how to care for them, I got a bit overwhelmed. So I opted for planning according to space needed. I might try some companioning next year, but then again, it depends on what we decide to plant.
Next year I am going to rotate a bit, partly based on space and partly on what grew where this year.
Sarah: Well, you already have marigolds growing with your veggies, and that’s a good type of companion planting. French Marigolds and tall Crackerjack variety have substances in their roots that surpress crop killing nematodes.
Are you using any mulches?
I put down a bit of manure mid-season, but otherwise, not really. If I replant the peas I may mulch them, though hopefully it won’t be as blazing hot in the fall.
Sarah: I found mulching with a heavy layer of straw helped my garden get through this latest drought. It lets the water get to the vegetables, instead of disappearing as runoff, as mulch cushions the fall. I also mulch with my rhubarb leaves, whenever I harvest the stems.
Are you growing organically? What are you using for fertilizer?
We are. We put down a mix of compost, sheep manure and black earth when we first set out the beds. I then added some more manure mid-season, and plan to put down some more this month (mostly because we still have some left rather than because of any master timing plan).
Sarah: I love your garden photos, Jodi. It’s a great idea to keep records of your produce and the yummy recipes you’ve made from them.
Photos by Jodi Rice