Posted by Craig | Posted in allotment | Posted on 30-04-2011
Tags: allotment, catch cropping, digging, growing, intercropping, planting, seeds, sweetcorn
It doesn’t matter whether you have a small garden, or a large allotment plot, you always seem to run out of growing space, especially in the busy late Spring and early Summer months.
However, there are a couple of techniques that can be used, which will ensure that you get the absolute most out of your growing space.
Although both may be sown or planted at the same time and then grown together, the faster of the two will have been harvested and out of the ground before the slower one is ready to fill the space. Tall crops, such as sweetcorn, also leave adequate space beneath them for lettuces to grow.
Fast growing crops include Oriental salad leaves, small lettuces, corn salad, spinach, radishes, and spring planted shallot sets. Slow growing crops, amongst which the quicker growing ones can be grown include sweetcorn, tomatoes, leeks, parsnips, and winter brassicas such as cabbages, cauliflowers, sprouting broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.
Catch cropping means sowing and harvesting a fast growing crop in the brief period when a bed may be free or empty, in the period between two separate plantings of slower, more long term crops. For example, there may be a bed empty in late spring or early summer before planting out leeks or winter cabbages.
Or perhaps after lifting early season broad beans or new potatoes, you will have enough time to grow a fast growing crop before the ground is used for hardy kale or autumn sown Japanese onions.
So, as you can see, you can grow even more in that small piece of land than you originally thought!