I hire a big allotment garden of 100 m2 (120 sq yard) in the east of The Netherlands.
A central path and side-paths of paving stones divide the garden into 6 equal parts.
In each part I grow different plants. In part 1 potatoes, in part 2 cabbage plants, in part 3 root vegetables etc. Next year I grow each vegetable one part further. After 6 years the vegetables grow in the same parts again. This is called crop rotation. Due to crop rotation there are less ground diseases. And the garden soil is not exhausted due to “always the same plants” .
The soil in the garden consists of sand. It is easy to work with spade, hoe or rake but plants need regular watering to grow. See photos below.
Behind my house I have also a vegetable garden of about 60 m2 (72 sq yard).
Big allotment garden, May 1, 2019
In the front part there are big and small lettuce plants, 2 endive plants and a rhubarb plant.
I got a tray with tiny lettuce plants. I have put them in small flower pots, each pot with an insert and a strip. Plants are big enough to replant now.
There are also thin leek plants under a tunnel greenhouse. These leeks have been grown indoors in “shove trays”. Blocks of planting soil with thin leeks have been shoved in (on) the garden soil.
At the right side of the tunnel there are 3 lowered planting beds with tiny leeks.
This tunnel has special end plates; flat pieces of perspex, each with an air opening. There is curtain material at both sides of the perspex plate, fixed with screws. Two thick bamboo sticks and a half paving stone push each end plate against the tunnel.
The net curtain material has many tiny holes. The material is well air permeable; you can easily blow air through 2 layers of curtain material. Small insects, like miner flies or leek flies, can not pass this material.
At the long sides of the tunnel (at the outer side), garden earth has been shoved aggainst the tunnel. This earth closes the tunnel at the long sides.
At one long side of the tunnel there are 3 watering tubes, each with a cap. Watering the leek plants (under the tunnel) goes via a funnel and the watering tubes.
This construction makes the tunnel very airy, but still impenetrable for leaf miner flies, leek flies and other small insects.
This info is also to be found in tip 4) in chapter Leaf miner flie.
In the middle part there are onion plants, carrots and beetroots.
At the left side (next to the side-path) onion sets have been planted in a furrow on March 1, 2019. There is a layer of hay between the onions. The onion sets (next to the small pieces of corrugated plate) have been planted on April 3. With also hay between plants.
At the far corner (right back) there are summer carrots growing. The carrot plants in the front plant bed have been sown and replanted indoors. Later on, the plants have been shoved on/in the garden soil. See also tip 20 .
The seeds of the other summer carrot plants have been sown on moist toilet paper. The mini carrot plants have been replanted in the garden soil in the rear plant beds.
Three rows of bean plants under the tunnel. And black flower pots each with small bean plants in compost. These bean plants will be put in the garden soil (outside the tunnel) after May 15.
In the rear part, potatoes have been planted in round holes of 20 centimeters (8 inch) deep, made with a bulb planter. In each hole, one potato has been laid and a thin layer of garden earth has been strewd on the potatoe. The photo shows the holes in the garden soil. The potato plant could easily grow up due to the thin layer of garden earth on the potato.
Most potatoe plants are visible now.
In the corner of the rear part there are 2 compost containers, next to each other, made of square paving stones (30 centimeters, 12 inch). In the front container there is fresh plant material. In the rear container there is a heap of half converted compost. More info about these containers in tip 1.
The green plastic compost container at the end of my garden is used as a tool storage (for a hoe, rake, spade etcetera).
Backyard garden, May 1, 2019
Photo of the backyard garden on May 1, 2019.
In the front area of the garden there are 2 compost containers (next to each other) made of paving stones. The right side container has fresh plant material. In the left side container there is compost.
Futher in the garden there are 2 rows of strawberry plants, with straw around the plants. This straw now keeps the garden soil moist. Later on the straw also minimizes rotting of fruits.
In the garden there is a greenhouse made of white bricks. The soil level in the greenhouse is about 2 feet below the soil level in the garden. On top of the greenhouse there are transparent corrugated plates.
In this greenhouse there are gardening things. And trays with sweet pepper plants, zucchini or small summer flowers.
Against the green fence there is a grape bush. A row of small lettuce plants. Under the black plate there are small leeks in a lowered plant bed.
On May 1 my home grown tomato plants in trays with a layer of compost. And trays with small summer flowers (Tagetes, Salvias, Snapdragon).
Front garden, May 1, 2019
The front garden is towards south. On this photo a part of the front garden at May 1, 2019. All bulb plants have finished blooming. Bulb plants will be taken out and summer flower plants will be put in the soil after May 15.
The bamboo plant sticks in the soil prevent my neighbours cats from digging (and pooping) much in the garden soil.