Crop Rotation- Planting my Next Box
When do I plant my next? This is one of the trickiest parts to gardening. Lots of elements need to be factored in, such as how long it takes some plants to start producing, how long they produce for, and what should be done when they are coming to the end of their life cycle.
The good news is that we do most of this work for you! We've taken into account the sizes of each plant, how long it takes for your delicious herbs and veggies to start coming in, and how long they produce for. We use this data to come up with your annual production plan which maximizes what your garden can produce.
Using your annual production plan, we then send you the right plants, at the right times-- your #EasiestGardenEver!
But the question still remains-- I just got my next box, there are still things growing from my last one. What do I do? As always, we're here to make it as easy as it can get, so here's some helpful tips and FAQ's:
Where should I plant my new plants?
This really depends on how much space you have. If you have lots of space in your garden-- it's easy. You would want to plant in a new area. This allows your last area to rest a bit and get ready for next season.
We always recommend that you use less than 2/3's of your available space for any given box (keep 1/3 free when you start, and have 1/3 growing from your last box when you get your new box).
It might sound tricky, but so long as you keep 1/3 of your space free when you start, we've designed the planting program so everything will flow really well from season to season. When you receive a new box, about 1/3 of your space should still be growing form last season, 1/3 should be the extra space you kept from your last box, and 1/3 of your space will be from crops you already harvested from your last box. So a great tip is to remember to always try and plant a box in around 2/3 of your available space.
I think I'm short on space, what should I do?
If you don't have much extra space, here's some great tips:
- Take out last seasons' plants that have already been harvested. Normally the smaller plants grow faster and have already been harvested or are getting close to being harvested. Types such as lettuce should be picked, and you can take out these plants if you need space for your next box.
- Remove any dead, dying, or diseased plants. Nearly all veggie plants are annual plants. That means they start growing, produce, and end their life cycle within a year. Even if you could extend their lives past a year, they're often not as productive in following years and can carry disease, so it's best practice to remove plants at the end of their harvest or when they start carrying disease. You can start to tell that the plants are coming to the end of their life cycle when they are looking diseased (brown or unusual shaping/ scarring on the leaves towards the top of the plant) or when there is not much new fruit appearing. It's normal to see leaves at the bottom of a plant start to turn brown, and that is a normal part of growth. The issues come when the new leaves are also effected. A good rule of thumb is to see how much space you need for your new plants, and then clear any extra space needed by removing the worst looking old plants first.
- Intercropping is an agricultural practice where you grow multiple plant types in the same area. You can do the same in your home garden. What this looks like practically speaking is placing the new plants in between the old ones. This can work great for many plant types. For example, it takes tomatoes 2-3 months to start producing. Because of that, you'll get your next tomato plants when your last ones are just starting to produce. Why? Because if you want all tomatoes all season long, you'll need to plant a few months apart. Then, when your first tomatoes are dying off 2-3 months from now, the ones you're planting now are just starting to come in. It's really great! If you space the new tomato plants in between the old ones (trying to make sure they get enough sunlight so they can grow strong), the new ones will overtake the old ones at the perfect time!
How do I know when I should take out last seasons' plants?
This depends on the type of plant, the health of the plant, and if you've harvested.
Zine- If you look at the zine that was sent with your order, you'll see the specifics of each type of plant. Don't worry, we send out a copy each season, so you'll get a new one with your next box. Some plants grow and produce within a month or two. Others such as Artichoke can last for many, many months. Check out the zine for some great details! This will help you know how long you can expect your plants to grow for.
Plant Health/ Disease- Each garden is different. Every area has its own unique pests, and each garden has different amounts of water, sunlight, plant food, etc. This all ultimately lands up effecting how long the plants will live for. If plants are healthy, they can continue to produce for a longer period of time, but when they start having disease issues, it's time to take them out so they won't effect other plants in your garden. If plants start to have lots of insect damage, or if the leaves at the top of the plant start to brown, curl, or look unhealthy, it may not be a bad idea to remove those plants from your garden (and put them in the compost if you have one).
Harvest- If you've already harvested your herbs/ veggies and are running short on space, it's not a bad idea to take out the whole plant at the time of harvest. This helps make sure you enjoy your delicious homegrown food while also making sure that you'll avoid any plant disease that might come from aging plants. If you have extra space, then you can keep the plants growing so long as they remain healthy. Plants such as cabbage, broccoli, and some lettuces can keep growing even after they've been picked! If you can, keep these growing to enjoy even more tasty food! But remember, it's better to keep your garden healthy and diseased plants/ pests out over having an extra head of lettuce...
Should I plant the same thing in the same spot season after season?
It's better to move different types to different spots. This is because each plant has its own particular tastes (nutritional needs). By making sure they move spots, you'll keep them happy and healthy.
What's coming in the Summer 2020 box?
Thanks for asking! Here's what we're planning on sending:
We're always here to help. If you have any questions, please reach out to us on social media or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.