- Everything! I said to myself this year. Enough! Stop hunching over the endless beds, and then either preserving the crop until you feel sick, or dejectedly trudge to the market in case of failure. The forces are not the same ...
I will leave three apple trees on the site - summer, autumn, winter, several cherries and plums, a couple of large-fruited currant bushes and a dozen raspberry bushes. I will sow unpretentious annual flowers, buy a trimmer and a hammock so that, while resting in the intervals between hayfields, I will admire the plot. Dreaming of a carefree life, I searched the Internet for the characteristics of lawn mowers and suddenly came across an article that I could not tear myself away from ... Mel Bartholomew, an engineer and businessman, claimed that he had created a simple and effective system with which you can grow so many vegetables how much you need, and with minimal labor and time - this is gardening in square feet.
This is what I need! The grass is clipped, and on it are scattered several squares (30x30 cm - a square foot), planted with different crops - vegetables, flowers, herbs and herbs. At the same time, the savings in seeds and seedlings are obvious (and this is important for a novice pensioner) - their number is easy to calculate in advance. It will not be difficult to prepare a garden bed - all that is needed is a scoop of compost and a handful of fertilizers. Easy to care for and, if necessary, install a shelter. People of any age, complexion and experience can cope with such work, and even more so - an experienced gardener!
As soon as the land dried up on the site, I got down to business. First of all, it turned out that the 30x30 square is too small, and secondly, I could not manage to make absolutely square beds, no matter what material I took for framing. By the way, I did not use the remnants of slate and plastic bottles for this purpose. Experts say they release substances that are harmful to health. Let my harvest be small, but environmentally friendly! By the way, several beautiful Volga stones turned up, a trunk of a sawn apple tree and trimming of thick boards. It was they who determined the shape - my square feet turned out to be ... triangular (see photo).
Back in winter, I figured out which cultures can be combined on one living space, because, as you know, well-matched pairs are more resistant to any adverse conditions. For example, the smell of celery scares off cabbage butterflies. Tomatoes, planted in the aisles of the gooseberry, protect it from the sawfly and moth. Joint planting of cucumbers and corn is for the benefit of both. Cucumbers stimulate the growth of maize, and beans, in turn, have a beneficial effect on the development of cucumbers. The fugitive emissions of the leaves of aromatic herbs have a beneficial effect on many garden crops. For example, sweet basil improves the taste of tomatoes, dill improves the taste of cabbage, and lavender, sage, dill, chamomile have a good effect on almost all vegetables.
As a result, the cultures on my triangular feet were distributed as follows. The first is early cabbage, leafy celery, dill. The second is a tomato (sort of Balcony Miracle), basil, salad. The third is chives, physalis, parsley. The fourth is sunberry, cilantro, lemon balm. There were several more beds with all kinds of garden vegetation in the most diverse combination, while everywhere I planted Tagetes or calendula bush. After all, they are unpretentious, emit phytoncides, and besides, they are amazingly beautiful! I placed only cucumbers and pumpkins in the old fashioned way, on separate ridges.
At first, the plants were very good - spacious and light. When it got cold, I covered them with non-woven fabric or special caps made of transparent dense film (see photo). But it soon turned out that the lady-cabbage prevents her neighbors from living, pressing them to the ground with large leaves. Fortunately, I remembered the advice of one gardener and tied the heads of cabbage on the "crown" (see. As a result, compact forks were formed, on which there were no pests. True, for prevention, I abundantly sprinkled the ground with stove ash.
Our summer on the middle Volga was somehow indefinite: now a record heat, then a sharp cold snap ... We could not count on a rich harvest. Nevertheless, my few landings showed their best side. True, late blight did not pass the tomatoes, but it appeared much later than in the plots of neighbors, and some of the fruits had time to ripen on the bushes. In general, I was pleased with the result.
By the way, I still bought a trimmer - great thing! Even trimmed weeds in the aisles and near-stem circles look like a real lawn. In addition, I noticed that by the end of the season, the composition of weeds began to change. You see, under the "trimmer pressure" only natural ground cover plants will survive, and I will be spared from the endless struggle with depression. In addition, I successfully used the mown grass as mulch, and I insisted the fine grass chaff accumulated in the protective casing of the tool in a tank with water - an excellent fertilizer!
But for the time being, I decided to refrain from buying a hammock - I am not going to give up on gardening, and next year I plan to make some adjustments to my "triangular economy".
Maria Ermolaeva, Kazan